Analysis, Podcast Notes For UFC 229 From Sean Ross Sapp Of Fightful.Com


Tony Martin KTFOs Ryan LaFlare in R2

  • As James Lynch said on our preview podcast, Sean Shelby called these two the most boring fighters in the UFC. They're both massively successful, but boring.
  • True to that billing, Tony Martin hurts Ryan LaFlare in round 2, and isn't able to follow up. 
  • Martin connects with a huge head kick at the end of the round. If this is how he competes at 170 pounds, especially against a guy like Ryan LaFlare, it's a good move. 
  • Martin has won 5 of 6, and is 2-0 at Welterweight.
  • SRS' Rec: A decent fight and worth a watch if only for the finish and level of talent in the cage
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Nik Lentz dominates Gray Maynard and wins via TKO in R2

  • UFC gave Gray Maynard a long leash, and he's missed a lot of time. Him vs. Lentz is from a time gone by. Every time Lentz fights, I think back to when people thought he was the question McGregor couldn't answer.  
  • Maynard is unbelievably slow, and he gets hit with almost everything. Lentz crumples Maynard, but somehow Maynard survives and is on top of Lentz, only to fall back into the same position.
  • That was a 10-8 ass whipping. Gray Maynard's corner should stop this. But they won't.
  • Maynard should take the heel way out after getting poked. Say he can't see, cost his opponent half their money. Live to fight another day. Maynard cracks Lentz, but Lentz fires back and wins with a head kick.
  • Lentz shouts out Brett Kavanaugh for some reason. I'm sure all 100 people watching on Fight Pass will take note.
  • SRS' Rec: I always recommend a guy like Gray Maynard's fights because you never know when the last time you'll see him fight. After this, maybe it's time. 

Yana Kunitskaya beats #12 Lina Lansberg in a snoozer

  • Kunitskaya scores a couple of nice trips and uses a rarely seen can opener.
  • A whole lot of nothing happened in this fight. It'll be enough to get Kunitskaya ranked in the division, but that's not exactly a high bar. 
  • SRS' Rec: Do not watch this. I don't care how bored you are.

Scott Holtzman elbows Alan Patrick's head in, R2

  • Patrick is moving around unpredictably and using feints very well. Round two sees Holtzman lock up a takedown.
  • This match is a huge stalemate and Patrick fighting a takedown. Midway through the second, Patrick leans on his strike a little too much and is countered by Holtzman. 
  • Holtzman is able to KO Patrick with some really nice push-off elbow. Some of the better in UFC history, to be honest. 
  • Holtzman injured his hand.
  • SRS' Rec: Watch the finish. It's a beauty. The rest of this fight is completely disposable besides the nice second round counter.

#9 Aspen Ladd slaughters Tonya Evinger, R1

  • A scramble leads to a Ladd takedown, which leads to some of the scariest ground and pound I've seen in a women's fight. The fight is stopped, probably a little late.
  • People don't do to Tonya Evinger what Aspen Ladd just did. Not that quick, and not these days. Aspen Ladd is for real. 
  • If Ladd can get her weight under control, she's a major prospect. 
  • SRS' rec: Watch this fight. All of it. Ladd has some holes in her game and her looking the way she did at weigh-ins at a young age is troubling, but she could be a major star.


Vicente Luque rolls Jalin Turner's eyes back, R1

  • This is kind of a questionable matchup. Turner is actually a lightweight, but he's landing some good shots and combos.
  • Turner is a massive underdog and based on the betting line already has overperformed. He's aggressive, but composed. Luque breaks the rhythm and counters almost immediately, but Turner's attack is really diverse.
  • Turner hits a spinning elbow, but gets caught coming inside and is knocked out. It's a really scary sight to be honest. 
  • This was a weird matchup to begin with. Luque got the call two weeks ago.
  • Michael Bisping brought Turner in to prepare for the Luke Rockhold fight. 
  • SRS' Rec: Definitely watch. Despite the odd booking, Jalin Turner is a good prospect, and Vicente Luque is just good -- he's won 7 of 8.

#5 Jussier Formiga Jansports #2 Sergio Pettis

  • Pettis is using his jab really well early, and later in the round scrambles up after a Formiga takedown. Despite how nice his jab is, it doesn't stop some great timing on the Formiga takedown.
  • A whole lot of nothing in round 2, until Pettis stuffs another Formiga takedown. Formiga grabs a body lock trip after taking the Whizzer away, and drags Pettis to the ground. 
  • Formiga pretty quickly takes Pettis' back. Pettis does virtually nothing but stand for the entire five minutes in a standing body triangle backpack. He didn't try to somersault or anything. Pettis gave away the fight. 
  • Formiga says he wants a title shot, but that performance wasn't one that's gonna get it.
  • SRS Rec: Pass on this. Unless you're one of those people who take in every fight with high level competitors. Nothing but a couple of Formiga takedowns. 

#8 Michelle Waterson outclasses #9 Felice Herrig, UD

  • Waterson opens up with front kicks, but then Herrig spends minutes trying to beat Waterson at her own game. 
  • Herrig works the body lock, that she'll usually control, but leaves herself open for knees a lot. This continues through round two, until Waterson hits a nice head kick and a throw from the whizzer. Waterson is able to get some great elbows after that. 
  • Waterson works an STO and is taken down, as you often will be on that attempt, but is quick to work elbows from the guard -- which I love. Waterson showing how to win a fight off your back, and if I were Waterson, I wouldn't want that stand up from the ref.
  • I'm not sure why one judge gave Waterson a 10-8 round, but whatever. Waterson wants in the title conversation, but I'm surprised she expected it before this fight. She also wants to become the first UFC champion that is also a mother.
  • SRS' Recs: Pass.

#2 Derrick Lewis comeback KOs #5 Alexander Volkov

  • Anyone who has watched these guys completely expected Volkov to control at range and land at will, and he does. 
  • Nothing like wild speculation on commentary. "EYE POKES!" "FISH HOOKS" "NO REASON"
  • Volkov gives up position on a terrible Lewis takedown attempt and eats some big punches from the top as a result. Lewis faked the single and steps around for a takedown, and it fails multiple times.
  • Volkov loses his mouth piece, wanted Herb Dean to put it in for him (he didn't), then acted like he didn't know it was his. 
  • Volkov goes at Lewis with teep kicks and strikes at range. Kind of disappointing that Volkov hasn't been able to finish. By round 3, Volkov was coasting to a degree, and Lewis finally waded in and made him pay with a huge overhand right. 
  • Derrick Lewis' fights are miserable until he knocks someone out. He probably says he's going to retire after this, too. That's just Derrick Lewis. 
  • Joe Rogan: "Derrick Lewis, why'd you take your pants off?" Derrick Lewis: "My balls was hot."
  • Lewis wants to fix his cardio before fighting for the title. 
  • SRS' Rec: Watch this fight. As frustrating as it can be, it's a really good example of why a sense of urgency in MMA is so important. 

#12 Dom Reyes kind of knocks out #7 OSP

  • Dom Reyes shucks off every takedown attempt OSP throws his way, and scrambles back up from a hip throw from the whizzer. Up against the cage, Reyes makes OSP pay with sick Browne elbows. 
  • OSP takes Reyes down briefly, but he gets right back up. This is takedown defense done right. 
  • Reyes keeping OSP at the end of big strikes against the cage, and landing big power shots. Dom Reyes is a top 5 light heavyweight right now. Sue me
  • OSP is never out of any fight until it's over. Dom Reyes knows he's up, and is coasting accordingly. His volume falls off a cliff.
  • OSP is able to lull Reyes here and there, but gets knocked out with one second left. The horn sounds, and technically OSP survives.
  • Hey I mean, just retroactively call the TKO like what happened to Dvalishvili this year

SRS' Rec: First round and last ten seconds. That's it. Dom Reyes is a player though

#2 Tony Ferguson beats down #8 Anthony "Showtime" Pettis

  • I'm shocked that Tony Ferguson wouldn't be 100 percent like six months after knee surgery. He gets kicked and is immediately limping. Cruz isn't happy about it. He also did no physical therapy. Okay.
  • Ferguson is applying pressure and striking effectively at range. He's mixing up his rangey punches with inside leg kicks. 
  • I don't know if there's anyone I would like to fight least for an hour straight than Tony Ferguson, because I'm pretty sure he doesn't know how to process being tired.
  • Pettis drops Ferguson, but gets split open as a result and his momentum is halted when the ref has a doctor check the cut. 
  • Ferguson throws combos that only work for him. His style, his body. 
  • Pettis is getting pieced up, but occasionally lands a nice strike. They're fighting in a phone booth, but still striking with technical prowess. 
  • "FLIPPY ACROBATICS IN WRESTLING AREN'T REALISTIC IT'S LIKE A CIRCUS SHOW." Showtime Pettis does a goddamn cartwheel in the middle of being punched in the face repeatedly.
  • Bless Duke Roufus. He refuses to send his fighter out with a broken hand. I just gained a lot of respect for Roufus there.
  • Ferguson is emotional and crying in the cage. He calls out McGregor very aggressively
  • SRS' Rec: Watch this. Watch it again. Watch it again and try to break things down, but just keep enjoying it. Easy fight of the night.

Khabib (c) taps #1 Conor McGregor 

  • McGregor stuffed a couple of takedowns before Khabib got him town and ties McGregor's ankles.
  • McGregor unlaces the ankles briefly, but is right back where he was. If Khabib does this for five rounds, he's gonna be in 200k buy territory for the rest of his career. 
  • Khabib CRACKS McGregor with a huge overhand and takes Conor down! He's working from his feet, throwing big punches, smashing McGregor. He threatens with the double wristlock, but Conor gets out. 
  • McGregor stuffs takedowns throughout round 3, and boxes the piss out of Khabib. He's opening up his strikes, but showing Khabib no respect on the feet. 
  • Conor has broken like four rules in this fight, and it's in Khabib's head. Khabib goes really hard for a takedown to start round four. Khabib gets the back and lands a face crank. THAT'S IT!
  • Nurmagomedov jumps the cage and attacks Dillon Danis. A member of Khabib's corner runs in and sucker punches Conor. Security has to break it up. This is insanity.
  • Dana White refuses to put the title on Khabib, fearing a riot.
  • SRS' Rec: WATCH. One of the most insane things in UFC history,
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