UFC 229’s co-main event between lightweights Anthony Pettis and Tony Ferguson, as expected, was a wildly entertaining rumble.
Former UFC Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson made his return to the octagon Saturday night aat UFC 229. That, after being out since last October (when he won and was later stripped of an interim lightweight title), and dealing with an injury. Ferguson returned to face off with Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of the evening at Nevada’s T-Mobile Arena. Ferguson had been scheduled for the fourth time to meet Khabib Nurmagomedov just months ago, a fight again wrecked due to injury. Pettis, meanwhile, himself a former 155lb champ, was coming in off a win over Michael Chiesa.
It promised to be a war. And for two rounds it was. A bloody, creative, wildly entertaining one.
Ferguson came out moving forward and Pettis went to the leg kick early. Ferguson replied with his own leg kick in return. Ferguson moved forward again and began working the jab. Ferguson kept moving forward stalking Pettis, and Pettis exploded forward with a flurry that was blocked. Ferguson continued to pressure Pettis, an approach that kept the former champ moving backwards. Ferguson looked to loosen up as the round progressed and ended the round with a jumping attack where he pushed off the fence, one that sent Pettis into retreat once again.
Tony Ferguson rushed out at the start of the second round, guns blazing. Anthony Pettis clipped him, hurting Ferguson, opening him up and sending him back. Pettis launched his attack with a flurry that saw Ferguson trying to roll away. They ended up on the mat with Pettis working from top and bleeding from his head. Once the two got back to their feet the action stopped for a moment, as the doctor checked the cut on Pettis. Once the action resumed it was right back to business with Ferguson stalking Pettis, and Pettis looking to counter. Ferguson mixed up levels well with punches to Pettis’s body and head. He backed Pettis into the fence and loaded up on punches that hurt Pettis until Pettis answered with a overhand right that forced Ferguson backward. After retreating for a moment, he went right back to pressuring Pettis against the fence. Pettis launched a cartwheel kick that just missed as time ran down, and he landed on the ground with Ferguson dropping punches on him as the round closed.
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When he made it back to his corner a bloodied Pettis was asked by coach Duke Roufus if he was able to keep fighting. Pettis advised his hand was broken, and Roufus was not about to allow an injured pupil to continue. That resulted in a corner stoppage, but the ten minutes fans got were thoroughly entertaining.
Tony Ferguson def. Anthony Pettis by TKO (corner stoppage), Round 2, 5:00