UFC 229 Recap and Fallout

Andrew Dursi, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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McGregor sits against the cage following his defeat. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The much anticipated October pay-per-view event from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC 229, came and went with an incredible undercard, intense main event and controversial finish that has left much of the UFC community wondering what happens next.

The heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Alexander Volkov had the most important impact on the title situation for its weight class. Lewis came out firing in the last round, and scored a knockout with just 11 seconds remaining. In the rankings that follow the event, the Beast moved up to the number two contender spot, and it was announced that he will challenge Daniel Cormier for the Heavyweight Championship at UFC 230. This announcement, while viewed by most as exciting, was also viewed as controversial since former champion Stipe Miocic is still the number one contender for the title, but Cormier declined a championship rematch.

Maybe the best fight of the entire night, Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis put on a show for the sold out Las Vegas crowd. The bloody bout was stopped after the second round when Pettis’ cornerman announced his fighter had broken his right hand in the previous round and could not continue. Despite the former champion earning the victory, the embrace from both fighters in the post match proceedings showed the great deal of respect the two have for each other, and since the fight ended in an unorthodox fashion, a rematch may not be far off for Ferguson and Pettis.

Of course, the most anticipated fight of the night was the main event between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. The fight itself was actually quite anticlimactic, with McGregor tapping out to a neck crank at 3:03 of the fourth round. It was the fight that ensued following the bout which left the watching world in shock.

After Referee Herb Dean had to pry Nurmagomedov off of Mcgregor, Nurmagomedov stood back, shouted at McGregor, and then jumped over the octagon fence to attack Dillon Danis, McGregor’s jiu-jitsu coach. As chaos ensued in the crowd, two members of Nurmagomedov’s team jumped into the octagon and continued the assault on McGregor. After an all out brawl, T-Mobile Arena security and Las Vegas police officers were able to seperate the fighters for just enough time for the final decision to be announced.

Nurmagomedov was escorted to the locker room first, without his championship belt. UFC President Dana White told him, “If I put this belt on you, [the fans] will start throwing anything they can into the octagon, and people can get hurt.” As he was making his way to the locker room, popcorn, drinks, and several other items rained down from the bleachers onto the champion. McGregor was taken to his locker room next, with no reported alterations or incidents. In the weeks that followed, three arrests have been made against members of Nurmagomedov’s team for assault, and both fighters have been suspended from fighting in the UFC with no return date in mind for either of them.

This altercation also caught the eye of boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who hinted at a fight with Nurmagomedov and a rematch with McGregor after they return to fighting. Mayweather defeated McGregor in a boxing match in August 2017 and although speculation of a rematch in the octagon has been speculated for months, no official match has been confirmed yet.

With UFC 230 just over two weeks away, all eyes are now shifting focus from McGregor and Nurmagomedov, to Cormier and Lewis since their main event fight will top off an already stacked card at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 3.

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