UFC 229 kicks off with a welterweight bout pitting Ryan LaFlare against Tony Martin. LaFlare is an impressive 14-2 in MMA competition including seven UFC victories but is still looking for his first UFC. Tony Martin is a submission grappler with four wins in his last five bouts.
Round 1. Martin presses forward to start the fight, throwing lead jabs. LaFlare looks to counter with a number of kicks. They clinch two minutes in and Martin pushes LaFlare against the cage. Martin can’t get in position for a takedown and he backs away. Martin is occasionally landing a solid straight punch, but LaFlare’s kicks, particularly to the leg and body, tend to be the best blows. Martin knocks LaFlare down with a punch, but LaFlare is quickly back up. LaFlare looks for a takedown late but cannot get it. Close round. 10-9 LaFlare.
Round 2. Martin drops LaFlare with a big punch, and LaFlare is in trouble. Martin looks to finish with punches on the ground. LaFlare appears out momentarily but then recovers his senses. LaFlare is bleeding. Martin nicely takes LaFlare’s back, but LaFlare is able to turn out. LaFlare is briefly on the bottom and as he tries to get up, Martin grabs a D’Arce choke attempt. LaFlare is able to slide out of that and return to his feet. Martin catches LaFlare again with a punch coming in. 10-8 Martin.