UFC’s (Ultimate Fighting championship) lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his title against former two-division champ and No.1 contender Conor McGregor in the most anticipated fight in the promotion’s history in UFC 229 at Las Vegas.
The co-main event will see a battle between heavyweight KO artists, as No.2-ranked contender Derrick Lewis will lock horns with No.5-ranked Alexander Volkov.
Known for his crushing pressure and ground game, the undefeated Nurmagomedov (26-0, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) has proven to be unstoppable inside the Octagon. Over the course of his spectacular run, he’s earned dominant wins over Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, Rafael Dos Anjos, Abel Trujillo and Thiago Tavares. Nurmagomedov’s last outing saw him best Al Iaquinta to capture the lightweight championship. He now looks to earn his first successful title defense in a grudge match for the ages.
McGregor (21-3, fighting out of Dublin, Ireland) looks to reclaim his belt against his most heated rival yet. The bout marks his return from competing against Floyd Mayweather in the biggest global boxing match ever seen on Pay-Per-View. In the Octagon, he’s delivered incredible victories against Nate Diaz, Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway. He became a two-division champion by knocking out Eddie Alvarez in 2016, and he now aims to take his top spot back against his toughest test to date.
Heavy-handed Lewis (20-5 1NC, fighting out of Houston, Tex.) looks to stake his claim for a title shot with another vicious finish. During his UFC stint, “The Black Beast” has earned impressive finishes against Marcin Tybura, Travis Browne and Gabriel Gonzaga. His last outing saw him earn a decision win over recent title challenger Francis Ngannou. He is now primed to put away another surging contender. A champion outside the UFC, Volkov (29-6, fighting out of Moscow, Russia) is currently riding an impressive six-fight win streak. Following victories against Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson and Timothy Johnson, the Russian standout netted a spectacular KO win over former champ Fabricio Werdum in March. Volkov is now ready to deliver a show-stealing performance to earn a UFC title shot.
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Additional bouts on the card include:
• In a pivotal clash of flyweight contenders, No.2-ranked Sergio Pettis (17-3, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) takes on No.5-ranked Jussier Formiga (21-5, fighting out of Natal, Brazil)
• No.7-ranked light heavyweight contender Ovince Saint Preux (22-11, fighting out of Knoxville, Tenn.) looks to stop undefeated No.12 Dominick Reyes (9-0, fighting out of Victorville, Calif.)
• No.7-ranked strawweight contender Michelle Waterson (15-6, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) squares off with No.8 Felice Herrig (14-7, fighting out of Crystal Lake, Ill.)
• Rising bantamweight Sean O’Malley (10-0, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz.) will look to keep his perfect record intact against streaking Jose Quinonez (8-2, fighting out of San Diego, Calif. by way of Tlaltenango, Mexico)
• No.11-ranked bantamweight contender Lina Lansberg (8-3, fighting out of Malmo, Sweden) meets Yana Kunitskaya (10-4 1NC, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M. by way of Murmansk, Russia)
• Gritty welterweight Ryan LaFlare (13-2, fighting out of Farmingdale, N.Y.) aims to continue building momentum against tough prospect Tony Martin (12-4, fighting out of Boston, Mass.)