The best and worst from UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor
Whew. UFC 229 was built as the biggest show in promotional history and it sure as hell delivered. We got a wild night of fights with some incredible finishes that ended in a descent into absolute chaos, scenes that will dominate the MMA news landscape for probably the rest of 2018.
Quite where things go from here is anyone’s business, but for now all we can do is guess the UFC’s next move. The only thing not in question? UFC 229 was an absolutely unforgettable show. Here are the best and worst moments from the night’s action.
#1 Best: Khabib leaves no doubt that he’s the greatest
The main event fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, with Khabib’s UFC Lightweight title on the line, was billed as the biggest fight in UFC history, and going in there were so many variables that it was a very tricky fight to call. Personally, I thought McGregor’s speed, timing and counter-punching skill would see him through.
Well, I was hugely wrong. The fight saw Khabib prove exactly why he’s considered the best 155lber on the planet right now, as he largely dominated McGregor for four rounds, submitting the Irishman with a nasty neck crank midway through the 4th.
The first round saw Khabib wrestle McGregor to the ground and honestly? He did very little with the position, which gave Conor hope coming into the second. But the secondnd round was thoroughly one-sided – a big right hand dropped ‘The Notorious One’ and from there Khabib smashed him on the ground. It was surprising to see McGregor get up so easily afterwards.
It did appear for a moment that Conor would get back into the fight – he arguably took the third round by stopping Khabib’s takedowns and landing the better strikes – but any hopes the Irish crowd had were then crushed in the fourth with more dominant grappling from ‘The Eagle’ leading to the submission.
McGregor looked slightly rusty, but he still hit Khabib with some heavy shots and the Russian walked through them. And on the ground, it was simply not a contest. Right now Khabib is clearly the best 155lber in the world, and it’s up to the rest of the division to catch him up. This was truly the performance of a champion.