Don't Sleep on UFC 229's Female Fights
On Saturday, October 6, the biggest fight in UFC history will look to crush every single PPV record. UFC 229 will feature a pivotal matchup between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title. The hype for the event is real, especially with the main fighters getting so much media attention.
One thing to remember: they aren’t the only fighters on the card. We have Tony Ferguson returning and the Pettis brothers competing in separate matches. There are several female fights worth talking about as well. Some matches could result in title opportunities, while others are tune-up fights for the future of the ever-growing female divisions.
Let’s take a look at the three female fights taking place at UFC 229, and who may get their hand raised by the end of the night.
Lina Lansberg (135.5 lb) v. Yana Kunitskaya (134.5 lb)
Bantamweights will go to war on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims. Looking to go 3-2 in the UFC and get her second win in a row, Lina Lansberg (8-3) is trying to crack the top ten of the Bantamweight rankings. A respected fighter, Lansberg has the skills to dominate any opponent put in her way.
Remember Yana Kunitskaya? She was the fighter everyone said was being fed to Cris Cyborg at UFC 222 in her UFC debut. Now in the Bantamweight side of things, Yana (10-4 (1NC)) will try and knock out her opponent and regain some respect within the UFC.
Aspen Ladd (134.5 lb) v. Tonya Evinger (136 lb)
Two top female contenders in MMA will fight on the FS1 Prelims to determine the latest challenger for Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. Well, at least who will be considered to fight for the belt.
Ladd (6-0) last fought at UFC Fight Night 118, beating the aforementioned Lansberg via second-round TKO. She was supposed to face Leslie Smith at UFC Fight Night 128 but failed to make weight. Smith refused to fight at catchweight, canceling the bout altogether. Seeing that weight issues will no longer be a factor (until the day of the fight at least), Ladd is ready to go and perform in front of the most passionate crowd she will ever see.
She faces a former UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship contender in Tonya Evinger. The 37-year-old Evinger (19-6 (1 NC)) has one no contest, one win and one loss in her record after winning nine fights in a row. The former Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion lost her UFC debut against Cris Cyborg at UFC 214. She will look to get back on track and prove once again why she belongs as a top contender.
Michelle Waterson (115 lb) v. Felice Herrig (115.5 lb)
The main card of UFC 229 may open up with the strawweights. Past history has shown that is never a bad thing.
Michelle Waterson (15-6) is coming off of a split decision victory over Cortney Casey at UFC on Fox 29. In her last six fights, Waterson is 3-3. “The Karate Hottie” is 2-2 in the UFC, and is a submission specialist, having won multiple matchups via choke. The only problem? She hasn’t won a bout via submission since taking out newly married Paige VanZant back in December 2016.
Herrig (14-7) may actually be getting some boo’s based off the comments she has stated about McGregor and his actions surrounding UFC 223. She has openly been against him, something not many people are candid about.
This is not about her opinions, however, even if she may be right. The former kickboxer won four in a row before losing to Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 223. With nine wins via decision, she will look to avoid the ground game of Waterson.
Could there be a title opportunity on the line between the two? With Rose Namajunas without any true challengers outside of Joanna Jedrzekczyk, it is entirely possible. At the end of the day, Waterson’s prediction may come true at the expense of Herrig.