UFC 229 erupts in chaos after Nurmagomedov taps McGregor

Local Holtzman wins on card
By: 
DARRELL JACKSON, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy UFC/Getty
Scott Holtzman, who trains at the MMA Lab, battled to a huge victory over Alan Patrick with a third-round knockout Oct. 6 bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

As more than 20,000 fans packed T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the UFC’s fight of the year, the fighters showed why the sport is one of the most up and coming sports in the world after 25 years in existence.

“This has been the fight we have been waiting for, and I drove all the way from Arizona,” said Flagstaff resident Joanna Goldberg who was attending with her husband, Jim. “Once they announced this fight, we knew we were coming to watch this.”
 
The crowd saw a card that had incredible fights, headlined by the fight-of-the-year lightheavywight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov against returning No. 1 contender Connor McGregor in a fight that lived up to expectations with a submission and a mini riot after the fight was over.
 
Nurmagomedov scored a submission victory by choking out McGregor in the fourth round, but the fight will be remembered for what happened after.
 
After three rounds of back and forth battles, Nurmagomedov got McGregor in a rear-naked choke, forcing McGregor to tap out.
 
Immediately, Nurmagomedov began yelling and taunting one of McGregor’s coaches and team outside the octagon, when he suddenly leapt over the cage and dove toward the crowd feet first.
 
As Nurmagomedov attacked McGregor teammate Dillon Danis, a member of Nurmagomedov’s team leapt into the cage and struck McGregor numerous times before officials and police forced each fighter from the arena.
 
Three members of Nurmagomedov’s team were arrested in the brawl, not Nurmagomedov, but McGregor denied pressing charges and they were all released from jail.
 
Before announcer Bruce Buffer announced the winner of the fight in the ring, the first time without either fighter in the ring, UFC President Dana White could be heard telling Nurmagomedov that “If I put this belt on you, everybody’s going to start throwing (expletive) into the octagon.”
 
Nevada State Athletic Commission is investigating the post-fight melee, and White predicted severe consequences will be forthcoming.
 
The two combatants entered the fight with bad blood and anger toward each other with prefight talk that had fans looking for war that spilled out of the octagon afterward and shocked everyone in attendance.
 
“There is nothing better in the UFC fight, but this was insane,” Juan Juarez of New Mexico said before the fight. “The way (Nurmagomedov) jumped out of the cage and attacked someone outside the octagon, that was just really crazy.”
 
As fans exited the arena, the overall events got rave reviews, but the fracas afterward dominated.
 
“I was close enough to see that up close, and that was pretty scary,” Julie Benz of Georgia said. “I have to thank local police; they contained it and kept the fans safe.”
 
After the card, White addressed the press and said the events after the main fight were a dark day in the UFC’s 25-year history.
 
“I’ve personally been doing this for 18 years, and this is the biggest night ever, and I couldn’t be more disappointed,” White said. “You know me, I’m usually mad at everything. (Tonight) I’m not really mad, I’m just disappointed.”
 
White added that while he should have been crowing about a successful card, he was undecided about anything but the ruckus after the bout.
 
“This is still one of the biggest moments of my career, and I should feel a lot better right now than I do. We should be celebrating right now. I don’t give a (expletive) how many pay-per-views (buys) we have done right now. I don’t care. I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, it has been all I talked about all week, and now, I don’t
give a (expletive).”

Local fighter shines

Locally, Scott Holtzman who trains at the MMA Lab, battled to a huge victory over Alan Patrick with a third-round knockout.
 
“I just had a son and had to leave him to train for this fight,” Holtzman said. “This win is for him and my wife.”
 
In the third round, Holtzman connected with a right hand that dropped Patrick to the mat and Holtzman jumped on him and connected with a combination of ground-and-pound, but Patrick was able to get a strong defense and temporarily escape.
 
“That guy has some of the best jiu-jitsu coaching royalty, and I had to fight my best in there,” Holtzman said. “He is a tough fighter, and I knew I had to keep the pressure on him.”
 
“Both hands are broken, early in the fight, but I knew I had to continue battling,” Holtzman said. “I just kept pushing, and there is added pressure being on a card like this, but there was already so much pressure on my shoulders being away from my family.”
 
Holtzman scored the victory when he got top position and connected with three elbows to Patrick’s face, knocking him unconscious, and the ref called the fight at 3:42 of the final round.
 
“I want a top 15 opponent next, and I think I have established myself in this division, and I want to take the next steps,” Holtzman said. “First things first, I am going home to give my baby a kiss.”

UFC 229 results

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Connor McGregor via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 3:03
  • Tony Ferguson def. Anthony Pettis via TKO – Round 2, 5:00
  • Dominick Reyes def. Ovince Saint Preux via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Derrick Lewis def. Alexander Volkov via KO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:49
  • Michelle Waterson def. Felice Herrig via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Jussier Formiga def. Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)         
  • Vicente Luque def. Jalin Turner via knockout (strikes) – Round 1, 3:52
  • Aspen Ladd def. Tonya Evinger via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:26
  • Scott Holtzman (MMA LAB) def. Alan Patrick via knockout (elbows) – Round 3, 3:42
  • Yana Kunitskaya def. Lina Lansberg unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Nick Lentz def. Gray Maynard via TKO (head kick) – Round 2, 1:19
  • Tony Martin def. Ryan LaFlare via TKO – Round 2, 1:00

 

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