The biggest fight in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship more than lived up to the hype, but it was marred in mass chaos in the aftermath.
Khabib Nurmagomedov took Conor McGregor down repeatedly in the fight and brutalized him with vicious ground-and-pound. The Irishman was able to block most of the punishment and get back to his feet, but he was never able to deliver the crushing power he’s known for. The two stood toe-to-toe in spurts on the feet, each giving as good as the other, but “The Eagle” scored another takedown in the fourth to end the fistic fireworks.
Nurmagomedov (27-0) eventually slithered to McGregor’s back, applied a rear-naked choke/crank and forced “Notorious” to tap out. The end came officially at 3:03 of the fourth, allowing the Dagestani native to retain his UFC lightweight championship.
What ensued was chaos. Nurmagomedov initially had words for McGregor, failing to stand up immediately after referee Dean stopped the fight. The champion then climbed out of the cage and rushed into the crowd, apparently attacking someone from the McGregor camp, who was sitting cageside. Meanwhile, inside the cage, one of Nurmagomedov’s cornermen -- Zubaira Tukhugov, according to UFC announcer Jon Anik -- reportedly landed a right hand on Conor McGregor.
After a few moments of sheer chaos, things simmered down and the fighters were escorted separately out of the cage.
And even closer to the action outside the cage. No clue who the guy is with the bleached hair that Khabib attacks. pic.twitter.com/RHmmaw6sHm— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) October 7, 2018
Watch how far this guy comes to get in the cage pic.twitter.com/Y7xqmmCeVU— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) October 7, 2018
Ferguson Breaks Pettis
The co-main event between Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis was about as insane as any fight in UFC history, even though it had an anticlimactic finish.
Pettis came right at Ferguson when the fight began, but “El Cucuy” eventually turned the tides with his exhausting pressure. Ferguson (25-3) hurt Pettis a few times in the first and nearly had him going, but “Showtime” hung tough and continued to fight back.
The Milwaukee fighter dropped Ferguson in the second with a straight right to the jaw and floored him again moments later after chasing him down, but the Californian fought his way out and to safety. Both fighters were covered in Pettis’ blood as they waged a wild war, but the fight was called after the second.
Duke Roufus, Pettis’ trainer, decided to throw in the proverbial towel when he realized his man’s right hand was broken and couldn’t continue.
Reyes Closes with Style
Rising light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes nearly had veteran Ovince St. Preux out in the first, but he couldn’t put him away. “The Dominator” tagged St. Preux (23-11) with an assortment of punches and kicks to the head and body, rubberizing “OSP’s” legs multiple times.
Reyes (10-0) let his foe off the hook, though, and carried him through to the end and won a unanimous decision. Reyes nearly knocked St. Preux out in the closing seconds of the fight, but he had to settle for the judges’ verdict instead. Reyes won via tallies of 30-27 (thrice).
Volkov Gets Crushed with Hail Mary
Alexander Volkov was beating the living heck out of Derrick Lewis for three rounds. Make that two rounds and four minutes and 45 seconds.
The Russian was tearing “The Black Beast” apart from a distance with kicks and punches and had the Houston fighter hurt on numerous occasions. But with a seeming lack of killer instinct, Volkov (30-7) continuously let Lewis off the hook and it cost him.
With 15 seconds left in the fight, Lewis blasted the taller heavyweight with a straight right the jaw, knocking him onto his back. Lewis (21-5) immediately pounced and slammed down punches until Volkov was out cold, ending the fight at the 4:49 mark.
Waterson Bests Herrig
In a matchup of two popular strawweights, it was Michaelle Waterson who prevailed as she bested Felice Herring via unanimous decision.
“The Karate Hottie” used a better overall striking game and landed three timely takedowns to seal Herrig’s fate. Herring (14-8) was never able to find a rhythm as Waterson did almost what she wanted, even when she was on her back in the third frame. In the end, Waterson (16-6) won a unanimous decision via tallies of 30-26, 29-28 and 30-27.
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