In one of the most anticipated fights of the year, Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon for the first time since UFC 205 almost two years ago. He left to pursue a big money boxing match against Money Mayweather, which he put on a good show, but ultimately lost because…well, he’s not a boxer. In the meantime, his opponent has run roughshod through the division and now owns the title.
UFC 229 Main Event
Khabib Nurmagomedov (C) vs. Conor McGregor (#1)
Conor McGregor is one of the most marketable and divisive athletes on the planet, and this is a huge grudge match fight against Khabib, the current champ. As you probably remember, the former champ Conor McGregor went nuts at a pre-fight press conference for Khabib‘s last fight, resulting in injuries to other fighters, fights being cancelled, and arrests being made.
Khabib is one of the best wrestlers in the division, and I think this will prove to be too much, even for the likes of “The Notorious.” I see “The Eagle” smothering the former champ and retaining his title in a ‘fight of the night’, and maybe even ‘fight of the year’ main event.
My Pick: Khabib Nurmagomedov -155
UFC 229 Lock of the Night
Tony Ferguson (#2) vs. Anthony Pettis (#8)
Ferguson, who won nine fights in a row before losing in his championship bid by submission, looks to get a rematch after beating top-ten ranked Pettis.
My Pick: Tony Ferguson -345
UFC 229 BIG Money Bet of the Night
Ovince Saint Preux (#7) vs. Dominick Reyes (#12)
Saint Preux, despite being ranked higher than Reyes is the underdog in this fight. I think his ring experience (33 professional fights to Reyes’ 9) is going to be the difference here.
My Pick: Ovince Saint Preux +175
UFC 229 Upset of the Night
Derrick Lewis (#2) vs. Alexander Volkov (#5)
Here we see another example of the higher ranked fighter coming in as the underdog. Lewis has won eight of his last night fights, his only blemish coming in a slugfest knockout loss to the esteemed Mark Hunt. In that span he has beaten some of the best in his division, including Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson, Travis Browne, and Francis Ngannou. His 85% victory by KO/TKO is just scary, and I think his heavy hands are going to be too much for Volkov.