LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The UFC is having one of their largest cards in years tonight in the fight Mecca of the world. UFC 229 will feature the long-awaited return of Conor McGregor who will be entering the cage for the first time in almost two years. He will try to reclaim the belt he was never beaten to lose against the current Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
This is one of the most anticipated matchups in company history, as McGregor is the UFC’s biggest draw, and one of their greatest fighters of all time. He is taking on an unbeaten Russian who wants to take him apart.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is 26-0 and needs this win to begin to cement his legacy. 16 of his 26 wins have come by either TKO or submission. He wins, and it is convincing every single time. The only knock on him is that he doesn’t exactly have a long list of notable names that he has beaten. Taking on McGregor is a gigantic jump up in class for him. His biggest win was his last, a decision over Al Laquinta. He did defeat former champion Rafael dos Anjos by the decision as well, but that was 4 plus years ago.
On the opposite side of the coin, McGregor has beaten some of the biggest current names in the industry, and looked great doing it. He has title wins over Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez, both in dominating fashion. He has looked untouchable at times with the only question looming for the Irishmen being his gas tank. Now, questions of rust make be coming into play as well.
To go along with his title wins, McGregor also has huge wins against other big names such as Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier, Chad Mendes and Nate Diaz. McGregor is a big fight player, and doesn’t back away from the high-pressure moments. He is the kind of guy that talks people into their seats and then keeps them coming back with electric performances.
This will be McGregor’s toughest test by far, buy I do see him pulling it out with a gut wrenching but powerful second round knockout. There will be some moments that make it appear like Nurmagomedov has him in major trouble, but McGregor will pull this one out.
Undercard Quick Predictions
Tony Ferguson over Anthony Pettis by decision
OSP over Dominick Reyes by second round Choke
Derrick Lewis over Alexander Volkov by KO round one
Felice Herrig over Michelle Waterson by split decision
Sergio Pettis over Jussier Formiga by first round ref stoppage
Nik Lentz over Gray Maynard by 2nd round TKO
NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter
Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.