The UFC is in Las Vegas for UFC 229 and the much anticipated showdown between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former champ Conor McGregor.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6:15PM ET/3:15PM PT)
RYAN LAFLARE (13-2-0) VS. TONY MARTIN (12-4-0)
Andrews: A grinder of a first bout with LaFlare getting back on track with the decision.
Andrews Predictions: Ryan LaFlare via UD
GRAY MAYNARD (14-7-1, 1NC) VS. NIK LENTZ (30-9-2, 1NC)
Andrews: “The Bully” only has two KO wins in his career. He is back on track with two wins in his last three contests after losing four in a row. He is also five years older at 39 than Lentz, who has lost two of his last three. But I think Maynard gets caught here by an aggressive Lentz shot or submission.
Andrews Predictions: Nik Lentz via submission
#12 LINA LANSBERG (8-3-0) VS. YANA KUNITSKAYA (10-4-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Kunistkaya is eight years younger, but she tends to fight defensively against top opponents. Lansberg is aggressive, but does not have the toolkit of Yana. So, I feel caution will be the victor in this fight, which means Kunistakaya will stifle Lansberg enough to grind out the win.
TSN 5 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
SCOTT HOLTMAN (11-2-0) VS. ALAN PATRICK (15-1-0)
Andrews: I like the toolkit of Patrick. This will not be a barnburner of a fight but Patrick will grind out the win.
Andrews Predictions: Alan Patrick via UD
#9 ASPEN LADD (6-0-0) VS. TONYA EVINGER (19-6-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Ladd is a workmanlike wrestler, but Evinger is still the queen of 135, her only loss was a recent beating to the best female fighter of all time at 145. Tonya should be eager to remind everyone of this tonight.
Andrews Predictions: Tonya Evinger via UD
VINCENTE LUQUE (13-6-1) VS. JALIN TURNER (6-3-0)
Andrews: Turner is making his octagon debut from the DWCS. Luque has some good wins, all recent too. I expect him to overcome the youth and enthusiasm of Turner with his experience.
Andrews Predictions: Vicente Luque via UD
SERGIO PETTIS (17-3-0) VS. JUSSIER FORMIGA (21-5-0)
Andrews: Pettis is facing his best competition yet in Formiga. Experience goes to Formiga and I think if there is going to be a finish, Formiga will get it. But Pettis is technically sound and I expect him to grind out the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Sergio Pettis via UD
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
#8 MICHELLE WATERSON (15-6-1) VS. #9 FELICE HERRIG (14-7-0)
Andrews: Waterson is always competitive but against higher competition, she usually loses. Herrig has the tools to beat Waterson and I am expecting her to pull through after some resistance with the win.
Andrews Predictions: Felice Herrig via submission
#2 DERRICK LEWIS (20-5-0, 1NC) VS. #5 ALEXANDER VOLKOV (29-6-0)
Andrews: Can Lewis get his hands on Volkov. Sure, he can land the big shot that ends the fight early, bt if he can’t, then the height, reach, and ground game of Volkov will help him coast to the decision. I think Volkov is smart enough to come up with and execute the game plan.
Andrews Predictions: Alexander Volkov via UD
#7 OVINCE ST. PREUX (22-11-0) VS. #12 DOMINICK REYES (9-0-0)
Andrews: Which OSP will show up? The OSP who beat Tyson Pedro should beat Reyes, anyone else could get humbled. Fortunately, OSP seems to be prepared these days.
Andrews Predictions: Ovince St. Preux via submission
#2 TONY FERGUSON (25-3-0) VS. #8 ANTHONY PETTIS (21-7-0)
Andrews: Pettis has done well in his recent fights, but here is where Ferguson will show that the new generation has evolved. It will be competitive early, but Ferguson will pull away in the later rounds.
Andrews Predictions: Tony Ferguson via UD
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV (26-0-0) VS. CONOR MCGREGOR (21-3-0)
Andrews: McGregor hasn’t fought in over a year in the cage and while his bark was still evident in the preamble, his bite will be nullified by the Khabib takedown. McGregor has to end this early and keep the fight standing on the feet to win. But the fight will eventually go to the ground, where Khabib will take over.
Andrews Predictions: Khabib Nurmagomedov via UD