UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor Fight Pass Preliminary Card Results and Recap

UFC Atlantic City Ryan LaFlare
Ryan LaFlare Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

UFC 229’s early preliminary card, streaming exclusively on UFC Fight Pass, featured a trio of promising bouts, including Tony Martin vs. Ryan LaFlare, and the lightweight return of Gray Maynard.

The biggest event of the UFC’s year thus far went down in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday. With a good shot at breaking the promotion’s viewership record on PPV, the return of Conor McGregor at UFC 229 was set to be huge. The title fight between ‘The Notorious’ and lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov promised to be thrilling. And a hardy undercard was an added bonus, with Tony Ferguson taking on Antony Pettis at lightweight, and Derrick Lewis taking on the surging Alexander Volkov in a key heavyweight battle. That was just a small portion of the action.

Before any of the fights went down on PPV, UFC 229 featured a trio of fights exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. Opening up the card, welterweights Ryan LaFlare and Tony Martin threw down. LaFlare entered the bout off a win over Alex Garcia at UFC Atlantic City, while Tony Martin had defeated Keita Nakamura at that same event.

Next up, former lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard was back. ‘The Bully’ was also back at lightweight, facing another gritty veteran Nik Lentz.

And in the featured bout of the UFC Fight Pass prelims, Lina Lansberg and Yana Kunitskaya, both of whom entered the UFC by fighting Cris Cyborg, threw down at bantamweight.

Ryan LaFlare vs. Tony Martin

A low blow by Ryan LaFlare halted the action early in the card’s opening welterweight bout, but that said, LaFlare was finding success with his kicks.  Martin continued to eat those kicks to the body as the round progressed, with his midsection showing more and more redness. Martin, however, stayed behind his right hand, and managed to wobble LaFlare towards the final minute of the round.

In round two, that right hand would come out again, with Martin dropping LaFlare around the two minute mark. He pounced on the fallen fighter, adding more right hands. LaFlare was bloodied, and tied Martin up in half-guard, hanging on for dear life. Despite this dangerous turn of events, LaFlare managed to make it out of the round.

The third saw LaFlare continue attacking with kicks, this time nearly taking Martin’s legs out from under him with an inside leg kick. Martin, however, had a kick or two, and a trick or two, up his sleeve. He launched a right head kick, catching LaFlare with his hands down. LaFlare dropped, and Martin followed up with a few punches for the finish!

Tony Martin def. Ryan LaFlare by TKO (head kick and punches), Round 3, 1:00

Gray Maynard vs. Nik Lentz

Former title challenger Grand Maynard found himself bullied by Nik Lentz early, eating a right hand followed by a knee to the body. Just a minute into the first round of their lightweight fight, and Maynard was down by the side of the fence, covering up while Lentz worked to control him. Maynard survived that exchange, but was clipped by a left hand moments later. Lentz then got him to the ground, and worked himself into position for a guillotine. Maynard broke free of that as Lentz rolled on top, but ‘The Bully’ was in a bad spot, eating elbows from Lentz as they entered the final minute. Lentz then let his hands fly, lefts and rights raining down. Maynard covered up, struggled his way back to his feet, only to eat a pair of heavy knees to the head before round’s end.

Round two was halted early when Maynard suffered an eye poke. Back underway, Lentz and Maynard wound up trading, each man landing on the other before Lentz added a head kick, dropping Maynard! A few follow-up blows and Lentz had the TKO. Two right head kick finishes to start the card. Wow.

Nik Lentz def. Gray Maynard by TKO (head kick and punches), Round 2, 1:19

Lina Länsberg vs. Yana Kunitskaya

The featured prelim on UFC Fight Pass at UFC 229 saw Yana Kunitskaya fending off an attacking Lina Lansberg early. Lansberg pressed the attack, with Kunitskaya throwing a kick that was nearly caught. In a clinch shortly thereafter, Kunitskaya landed a takedown via a throw that saw her enter into Lansberg’s guard. Lansberg worked her way back to the fence with Kunitskaya on her, which allowed Kunitskaya to control from the back as Lansberg powered back to her feet. Soon enough Lansberg had managed to turn, getting underhooks on Kunitskaya, who appeared to have a strength advantage. Kunitskaya then powered her opponent down with another throw. She’d finish the round dropping some elbows from the top.

Kunitskaya attacked with leg and body kicks in round two, while Lansberg circled out of harm’s way. Yana would then close the distance and clinch, landing a knee to the body. Another knee followed as Kunitskaya maintained control. Lansberg would fire back a pair of knees of her own, but she was struggling to find any way off the fence. The ref, however, came to her rescue, deeming that not enough action was taking place. Off the restart, Lansberg pressed forward, but couldn’t find her range. Toward’s the end of the round, Kunitskaya changed levels, looking to take the fight down, but nearly gave up her neck in the process.

Round three featured Lansberg again trying to start strong, while Yana answered with her jab and was a little quicker to circle away. However, she soon had a clinch on by the cage. Kunitskaya landed a takedown near the ninety second mark, but couldn’t keep Lansberg down long. Lansberg needed a finish, but couldn’t find it — they went the distance, with Kunitskaya taking the unanimous decision.

Yana Kunitskaya def. Lina Länsberg by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 

Check back come fight time for results and a full recap of the UFC 229 Fight Pass Prelims!

UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor Fight Pass Preliminary Results

Yana Kunitskaya def. Lina Länsberg by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nik Lentz def. Gray Maynard by TKO (head kick and punches), Round 2, 1:19
Tony Martin def. Ryan LaFlare by TKO (head kick and punches), Round 3, 1:00