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5 potential surprises that could happen at UFC 229

Scott Newman
Top 5 / Top 10
827   //    04 Oct 2018, 00:33 IST

UFC 229 is one of the biggest shows in promotional history
UFC 229 is one of the biggest shows in promotional history

We’re now just days away from the long-awaited Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor fight at UFC 229, and while everyone is making their own predictions as to what could happen – in that fight as well as in the other exciting fights on the card – perhaps the best thing about this show – and MMA in general – is that nobody has a clue what’s going to happen until it actually does.

That means that all kinds of surprises could happen on the show. We’ve already seen a few this year – who would ever have expected Henry Cejudo to dethrone Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227? Or for Brock Lesnar to crash the Octagon at UFC 226? Pretty much, nobody, that’s who.

Here then are 5 potential surprises we could see at UFC 226.

#1: The main event could end quickly

The long-awaited McGregor/Aldo fight went just 13 seconds
The long-awaited McGregor/Aldo fight went just 13 seconds

Due to the way that the UFC mythologizes its major stars in their pre-fight hype packages and countdown shows, it’s very easy for fans to fall into the trap of expecting a back-and-forth war for the ages in each and every big main event. But quite often that isn’t the case.

In the case of the upcoming Khabib/McGregor showdown, everyone seems to be expecting a great fight – the punching power, timing and movement of Conor against the takedowns, brute force and ground-and-pound of Nurmagomedov. So wouldn’t it be a surprise if we saw nothing of the sort?

Perhaps the most jaw-dropping possible result would be one like we saw at UFC 194. At that show, McGregor stepped into the Octagon as the challenger to UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo – a man who hadn’t tasted defeat in a decade. Everyone was expecting a war – and everyone was stunned when McGregor sparked Aldo out in one punch, ending the fight in just 13 seconds.

Could lightning strike twice on Saturday and see McGregor regain his title by leaving Nurmagomedov unconscious in seconds? Or – even more stunningly – could it be Khabib who manages an early finish, ala his knockout of Thiago Tavares?

If the fight does go quickly, it’ll be a major surprise – but it’ll be one that leaves the fans talking forever.

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