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411’s UFC 244 Report: Masvidal Wins

November 3, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
#3 Jorge Masvidal (169.6 lbs.) vs. #7 Nate Diaz (170.4 lbs.)
#4 Kelvin Gastelum (184 lbs.) vs. Darren Till (186 lbs.)
#14 Vicente Luque (170.2 lbs.) vs. #9 Stephen Thompson (170.4 lbs.)
#8 Blagoy Ivanov (257.4 lbs.) vs. #5 Derrick Lewis (265 lbs.)
#11 Gregor Gillespie (155.4 lbs.) vs. #10 Kevin Lee (155.6 lbs.)

#7 Corey Anderson (204.6 lbs.) vs. #11 Johnny Walker (204.8 lbs.)
Makwan Amirkhani (145.4 lbs.) vs. Shane Burgos (145.8 lbs.)
#13 Edmen Shahbazyan (185 lbs.) vs. #11 Brad Tavares (184.6 lbs.)
Andrei Arlovski (244 lbs.) vs. Jair Rozenstruik (246.2 lbs.)

#1 Katlyn Chookagian (125.4 lbs.) vs. #5 Jennifer Maia (127.2 lbs.)*
Lyman Good (169.6 lbs.) vs. Chance Rencountre (170.8 lbs.)
Julio Arce (145.4 lbs.) vs. Hakeem Dawodu (145.8 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 244. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the event, relaying all of the action to you just as I see it. Tonight is the UFC’s 500th live event, and they’ve brought a very deep card with them. The main event is about as fan friendly a fight as you’ll get, the recently surging Jorge Masvidal battles the always entertaining Nate Diaz for the vanity BMF belt. Gimmickry aside it’s as close to a can’t miss match as you’re going to find. The co-main event is a relevant middleweight bout as former welterweight title challenger Darren Till moves up to take on battle tested Kelvin Gastelum. The main card also features a welterweight bout between former two time title challenger Stephen Thompson and under appreciated contender Vicente Luque, plus a lightweight scrap between Kevin Lee and undefeated Gregor Gillespie. Apart from the apparently mandatory heavyweight bout that main card is great on paper.

Moving further down the card a new light heavyweight contender could emerge between Corey Anderson and Johnny Walker, surging prospect Edmen Shabahzyan takes on UFC veteran Brad Tavares, though there’s yet another heavyweight fight to possibly drag things down. This card might not have the most name value outside of the main event, but this is a surprisingly deep card to the educated fan. Now let’s all just hope the action in practice matches the potential on paper.

UFC 244 comes to the world from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Dominick Cruz and Joe Rogan. We’re under the newer rules so you only need one hand down but it does have to be “weight bearing” to be considered downed, the language around scoring is more encouraging of 10-8’s, and there will be the use of instant replay for fight ending sequences if so desired.

While you’re here, give a listen to the latest 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast where we previewed this card.

Julio Arce has gone 3-1 in the UFC and is coming off of an impressive head kick KO win, he’s looking to derail the hype around his opponent and begin making the transition from prospect to contender. Hakeem Dawodu has also gone 3-1 in the UFC but is currently on a three fight winning streak, he’s trying to prove himself worthy of a step up in competition for his next bout. Dawodu is a slight -130 favorite to an even -100 comeback on Arce.

Featherweight Bout: Julio Arce (16-3, 145.4 lbs.) vs. Hakeem Dawodu (10-1-1, 145.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Dawodu is an inch taller and has three and a half inches of reach on Arce. Southpaw for Arce. Dawodu misses a couple of leg kicks. The “woo’s” have already started, just about 30 seconds into the first fight. That might be a record. Dawodu lands a leg kick. Something in one of the kicks Dawodu has landed have the lead leg of Arce compromised. Dawodu pushes into a clinch and they trade knees to the body. More knees and Arce with some uppercuts, Dawodu has had enough of the clinch and separates. Arce lands a body shot, Dawodu lands a leg kick. Arce cracks Dawodu with a left that stuns him but he remains upright. Dawodu lands a bit of a right. Dawodu is also working front kicks to the body, he’s got Arce backing towards the fence. Arce lands a straight left. Arce misses a high kick, Dawodu counters by kick it when it comes back to the canvas. Dawodu lands an inside leg kick. They clinch up in space, and trade knees to the body until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Dawodu but a close one

ROUND TWO: Arce back to circling and Dawodu is happy to try and corral him into the fence. Arce misses a high kick, eats a counter leg kick and they trade punches in close then clinch. Dawodu has a body lock, and his head position is clearly superior, which is allowing him to control Arce. Dawodu moves to a double collar position, and then they break. A few body kicks from Dawodu land. Straight right from Dawodu, Arce responds with a few punches of his own. Arce punches in close and they clinch again, then separate. Arce lands a jab, the prolonged punching exchanges seem to favor Arce but Dawodu is kicking well and trying to just snipe at him. Dawodu avoids a left, clinches up and Arce gets an outside trip into half guard. Dawodu gives up his back, Arce locks in a body triangle very quickly. Arce after the choke, but Dawodu is able to spin into him and get on top in full guard. Dawodu gets free of the guard and stands up, lands a couple of leg kicks. Arce, still on his seat, lands a few up kicks to the body. Dawodu with a bit of a leg kick as Arce regains his feet. Aborted spin attempt from Dawodu, Arce then lands a body kick to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arce, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Dawodu looks much flatter in terms of his footwork this round. Kicks from Dawodu, they clinch up and hit the fence. They break without incident. Both men miss a couple of punches, Arce digs to the body and head. Arce’s jab lands, Dawodu with a counter right. Body shots from Arce as they clinch and hit the fence. Arce staying busier but Dawodu has superior position at the moment. Both men working short blows in the clinch, then they separate. Dawodu with another front kick to the body. Another clinch and Dawodu finds himself on the fence. They jockey for position and trade blows then break. Another clinch and break. Dawodu lands a knee in close, Arce lands a counter left. One two from Arce lands. Another clinch, Arce tries a trip but can’t finish it and they break. Arce lands a one two, Dawodu responds with a right. Both men land in close, a little phone booth style fighting before they clinch up where the fight will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Arce as he seemed to land the better shots as the round went on but could go either way, 29-28 Arce overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Hakeem Dawodu via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

I don’t really agree, but can’t complain about it it was a close fight scoring wise. Dawodu on the mic, says it was a bad performance and plans to be back ten times better. He says he wanted a better showing than that for a show at MSG. Asked who he’d like next he wants a ranked opponent.

Lyman Good has gone 2-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss to Demian Maia and is hoping to avoid his first ever losing streak while getting back on the winning side of things. Chance Rencountre has gone 2-1 in the UFC and is on a two fight winning streak, he’s looking to extend that to three and prove he’s ready to take a step up in class sooner rather than later. The odds are close but favor Good at -130 to an even -100 for Rencountre.

Welterweight Bout: Lyman Good (20-5 1 NC, 169.6 lbs.) vs. Chance Rencountre (14-3, 170.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rencountre is two inches taller and has an inch of reach advantage. Southpaw for Rencountre. Good lands a counter right almost immediately. Both men looking for an angle to attack from. Inside leg kick from Good, Rencountre responds with a couple of punches. Both men land inside leg kicks. Good lands a right as Rencountre tries to close distance. Another right lands for Good, he’s firing straight punches so far and they’re getting to Rencountre before he can land anything of his own. Rencountre with a bit of a long left. Good slams home another inside leg kick. Good slips a few punches and lands a couple of counters. Rencountre pushes into a clinch but can’t get anything from it before they break. They trade lefts then Good lands another inside leg kick. Rencountre is after a single leg, they wind up clinched on the fence. Rencountre lands an elbow as they break. Good back to kicking and lands a right to the body. High kick from Good then a right, Rencountre is wobbled but he’s able to get a clinch and slow things down. Knees are traded, Good then lands a few uppercuts as they break. Good lands a couple of straight rights, he’s teeing off but Rencountre is still upright and gets another clinch. More punches from Good in the clinch, Rencountre lands a knee and they pushes free. Good lands a jab then a high kick but Rencountre’s chin holds up as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Good, possible 10-8

ROUND TWO: That last head kick from Good in the first opened up a small cut around the outside corner of Rencountre’s left eyebrow. Rencountre coming forward, misses a few punches and eats a counter right. One two from Good lands. Rencountre misses a flying knee and eats another couple of counters, this time he fires back with a left of his own to back Good off. Good lands a counter right. Inside leg kick from Good. A few punches land for Good, Rencountre isn’t moving his head much when he closes distance and he’s getting hit consistently because of it. Both men land lead hand blows, Good lands a couple of extra jabs. Rencountre misses a few punches, he’s just struggling with the timing and distance that Good is forcing on him. Good lands a counter left hook. Goods jab continues to land, and he lands a right as Rencountre tried to push in close. Rencountre lands a left to the body. Another left to the body from Rencountre. Good with another jab and he avoids a few counters. Both men land power hand punches, then Rencountre lands a left to the body. Good lands a couple of leg kicks. Good with another combination just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Good but another arguable 10-8, 20-18 Good overall

ROUND THREE: Good’s right foot might be injured. Rencountre is showing the hands, he lands a left. Good isn’t quite steady on his feet yet, that right foot is definitely compromised a bit. Good with a bit of a counter right and he avoids a clinch attempt. Jabs from Good now, he’s working to maintain distance. Good lands a counter right that definitely rattled Rencountre. Rencountre’s chin is something else, he’s still upright despite the damage he’s taken, and his nose is badly bleeding at the moment. Good with a high kick that’s partially blocked but still wobbles Rencountre, then fires up with punches and Rencountre falls which prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lyman Good via TKO, head kick and punches, at 2:03 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Good for his work this evening. Mic time for Good after one of the best performances of his career, he thanks Rencountre for the fight and puts over his toughness. He mentions the injury and says he trains to deal with adversity like this and puts over his coaches. He talks us through the finish to close his interview.

Here’s a look at the finish. Rencountre is able to mostly block the high kick but Good fires a straight right behind it that splits the guard and drops him. The ability to kick then follow up with the hands on the same side as the kick is a higher level striking tendency that Good shows off.

Katlyn Chookagian has gone 3-1 since returning to flyweight, she’s coming off of one of the higher quality wins of her career and is trying to make a case for herself as the next title contender. Jennifer Maia has gone 2-1 in the UFC but missed weight in her last bout as well as this one, likely necessitating a move up to bantamweight. Chookagian is your favorite at -160 to a +130 on Maia.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #1 Katlyn Chookagian (12-2, 125.4 lbs.) vs. #5 Jennifer Maia (17-5-1, 127.2 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chookagian is five inches taller and has four inches of reach over Maia. Both women trying to get the lead hand working early. Maia lands an inside leg kick. Both women land left hands. Maia falls a little short with a few punches, Chookagian lands a couple of jabs. Chookagian avoids a few more punches, Maia just doesn’t have a feel for the distance yet. Maia lands a bit of a left. Maia lands a left hook. Chookagian is in full on shadow boxing and kia-ing mode. Left hook lands for Chookagian. Maia catches a kick and gets a clinch. Maia has Chookagian on the fence, lands a couple of knees to the thigh. Bit of a right from Maia as they break. Chookagian lands a left uppercut. Chookagian lands a right to the body. Side kick to the face from Chookagian. Maia lands a right to counter a couple of body shots. Chookagian tries a high kick that’s partially blocked. A right from Chookagian then a left behind it closes out the first round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chookagian

ROUND TWO: Both women land rights to get the round going. Bit of a body kick from Maia as Chookagian misses punches. Maia lands an inside leg kick and they trade rights. Chookagian lands a bit of a head kick. Maia eats an uppercut but lands a counter punch. Chookagian lands a straight right. Both women miss punches, then a bit of a right from Maia. Chookagian’s accuracy has dropped this round. Maia lands a right. Another glancing right from Maia, Chookagian lands a leg kick. A lot of more missed offensive offerings from both women. Chookagian lands a leg kick and they split jabs. Right from Chookagian lands. Chookagian circles away from Maia, lands a side kick and that will basically close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Chookagian but a closer round, 20-18 Chookagian overall

ROUND THREE Chookagian lands a few leg kicks, Maia forces a clinch and drives her to the cage. Maia punches as they break the clinch. Chookagian lands a leg kick. Maia lands a right and is looking to close distance but isn’t cutting Chookagian off at all. A right from Maia lands but she can’t land anything to follow up. Chookagian lands a leg kick. Body kick from Maia. Chookagian lands a head kick but there’s not much on it. Maia lands a few short rights in close but again, very little power on them. Maia bulls forward, and gets a single leg takedown into half guard. A few short body shots lands, Maia is trying to set up a pass but Chookagian is blocking her. A brief flurry from Maia, Chookagian uses a leg lock attempt to sweep into 50/50 guard as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Maia I guess, 29-28 Chookagian overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Katlyn Chookagian via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Another forgettable win for Chookagian, but she should probably be next for Shevchenko. Mic time for Chookagian, she feels good about her performance and thinks she can feel the difference in her new training. She says the UFC wont give her the title fight but she’ll keep taking out everyone else if they wont.

That does it for Fight Pass action, to ESPN 2 for the rest of the prelims.

Andrei Arlovski just got his first win in five fights earlier this year, now he’s looking for a winning streak while staving off talk of retirement. Jairzinho Rozenstruik is undefeated including two wins in the UFC, he’s looking for the highest profile win of his career by taking out a former champion. The odds are with Rozenstruik at -145 to a +115 payout for an Arlovski win.

Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (28-18 2 NC, 244 lbs.) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (8-0, 246.2 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rozenstruik has an inch of height and reach over Arlovski. Both men feinting a bit with the hands early. Rozenstruik lands a jab and pushes into a firefight where both men land. Leg kick from Rozenstruik. Pull back check left hook from Rozenstruik face plants Arlovski and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jarizinho Rozenstruik via KO, punch, at :29 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Rozenstruik for his work this evening, and apologizes for the delay getting through security to the venue. Rozenstruick is definitely a prospect in a division that badly needs them, and he gets an interview. To open he says he’s very happy and that this is a moment like he’d see on TV as a little boy and he just had one of those then thanks the crowd. He talks us through the finish, and says he’s been training hard and puts over his coaches for setting him up for success.

This is a nearly text book check left hook from Rozenstruik, and Arlovski gets slept with it.

Brad Tavares just had a four fight winning streak snapped by now champion Israel Adesanya, he’s trying to avoid another losing streak and turn back a promising prospect. Edmen Shahbazyan is undefeated with three wins in the UFC, he’s hoping to continue building the hype around him and prove himself ready for the upper level of opposition. Shahbazyan is the favorite at -155 while a Tavares win would payout at +125.

Middleweight Bout: #13 Edmen Shahbazyan (10-0, 185 lbs.) vs. #11 Brad Tavares (17-5, 184.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Shahbazyan is an inch taller while the reach is identical, he’s also a full decade younger than Tavares. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men looking to establish the lead hand early. Shahbazyan slips away from a few punches. Tavares lands a calf kick, and eats a counter jab. Bit of a left hook from Tavers in close. Shahbazyan manages to evade a couple of power punches. Body kick from Tavares lands but is caught and he has to fight to get his leg back. Shahbazyan lands a left hook. Another calf kick from Tavares partially lands. Straight right from Shahbazyan drops Tavares, Tavares fights up and Shahbazyan is looking to finish. A head kick from Shahbazyan ends things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Edmen Shahbazyan via KO, head kick, at 2:27 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Shahbazyan for his work this evening. That was, by all logic, the toughest challenge of Shahbazyan’s career and he rolled through Tavares without real issue. Mic time for Shahbazyan, he puts over Tavares as a veteran of the UFC but feels that he’s the new breed of MMA and the new contender everyone should be wary of. He talks us through the finish, then when asked who he’d like next he says he’s ready for the top ten.

This is a thing of beauty. Straight right from Shahbazyan drops Tavares, then look at his finishing instincts. He doesn’t go crazy but never gives Tavares the space or time to truly recover, and the head kick finish is absolutely lovely.

Shane Burgos has gone an impressive 5-1 in the UFC and is currently on a two fight winning streak, he’s looking to prove himself ready to fight the upper echelon of fighters. Makwan Amirkhani is 2-1 in his last three fights and is on a two fight winning streak, he’s looking to recapture some of the hype that used to surround him. Burgos is your -250 favorite to +200 on Amirkhani.

Featherweight Bout: Makwan Amirkhani (15-3, 145.4 lbs.) vs. Shane Burgos (12-1, 145.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Burgos is an inch taller and has three and a half inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Amirkhani, who fails on a shot early. Amirkhani forces a clinch on the fence after landing a punch and he’s able to force a trip takedown into the guard of Burgos. Burgos is cut around the left eye though I can’t make out where it is more specifically. Burgos wall walks but Amirkhani has a rear waist lock. Amirkhani gets a mat return, Burgos back to his feet along the fence. More mat returns from Amirkhani but he’s not doing much with them just yet. Amirkhani is after the seated arm triangle choke. Burgos tries to roll, Amirkhani adjusts and is looking for an anaconda choke but loses the grip and they wind up back on the feet. Amirkhani backing up to the fence and Burgos is stalking him. Right from Amirkhani but he can’t finish the takedown he tries and Burgos makes him regain his feet. They trade rights then Amirkhani lands a left. More pressure from Burgos and he avoids a takedown attempt. Amirkhani looks tired already. A few punches land for Amirkhani. Burgos lands a couple of body shots then avoids a looping left. Hard right from Burgos to counter a flying knee attempt. A missed high kick from Burgos ends the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Amirkhani

ROUND TWO: Burgos back to pressuring. Amirkhani lands a jab. Burgos avoids a double leg attempt. Right from Burgos lands. Amirkhani lands a couple of punches but Burgos just keeps coming and lands to the body. Burgos lands an inside leg kick. A couple more body shots from Burgos as he’s getting Amirkhani to the fence. Burgos digs the body again and Amirkhani gets a clinch on the fence. Amirkhani is looking to get a takedown, he’s nearly got the back but Burgos has a tight whizzer to keep it a clinch. Burgos is landing short punches and palm strikes then he stuffs a lateral drop attempt but still can’t get free. More body shots from Burgos as they break. Burgos lands a kick to the body then a right to the body, Amirkhani is tiring. Burgos slips a punch and digs the body again. Failed single leg from Amirkhani, Burgos is looking to sprawl free while he’s holding it. Burgos hits the body while defending, and a few to the head as well. Amirkhani falls to his back and Burgos goes into his guard with a hammer fist. Full guard for Amirkhani, Burgos lands a few elbows as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Burgos, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Amirkhani opens with a flying knee, seems like a bad use of energy. Burgos still coming forward jabbing. Left from Burgos staggers Amirkhani and he’s all over him on the ground. Amirkhani gets full guard, Burgos unloads on him against the fence. Looks like Amirkhani will survive the flurry, so Burgos starts hitting the body again and looks to posture up. Burgos stands free and makes Amirkhani get up. Right from Burgos lands, Amirkhani is dead on the feet. Head kick from Burgos is partially blocked then a right along the fence. More body shots from Burgos and he sprawls away from a takedown attempt. Amirkhani is taking his sweet time getting up. Burgos lands another right. Amirkhani tries a single leg, they hit the fence and wind up clinched. Elbows from Burgos, Amirkhani is slumping down to his knees just holding the single leg. Burgos rolls him over and gets side control, he hammers the body with punches and gets a modified mounted crucifix. Amirkhani is able to scramble and Burgos stands free then makes him get up. Burgos pressuring again, lands an inside leg kick. More body shots form Burgos. Amirkhani lands a bit of a left, he’s wobbly but still trying. Burgos still walking him down landing to the body. A couple of rights from Burgos drop Amirkhani and this one is over.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Shane Burgos via TKO, punches, at 4:32 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Burgos for his work this evening. Mic time for Burgos, he says the game plan went well and he knew his cardio was superior and could take over. He puts over his team for getting him in this kind of shape. He talks us through the finish to close the interview.

What you see here is the end result of a brutal pace, hellacious body work, and relentless pressure from Burgos.

Corey Anderson is on a three fight winning streak, he’s looking to stop the latest hype train in the light heavyweight division and put himself in the title picture. Johnny Walker is unbeaten in his last nine fights including three first round finishes in the UFC, he’s looking to lay claim to a title shot by adding another highlight to his already impressive resume. The odds are with Walker at -170 while Anderson’s comeback sits at +140.

Light Heavyweight Bout: #7 Corey Anderson (12-4, 204.6 lbs.) vs. #11 Johnny Walker (17-3, 204.8 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Walker has three inches of height and reach on Anderson. A bit of circling to start, Walker feinting more. Anderson is doing a lot of backing up, he’s showing the jab a bit. Walker lands a leg kick. Walker evades a single leg attempt and they wind up clinched but Anderson’s back is to the fence. Anderson circles into open space and they break. Anderson lands a right that wobbles Walker, he follows up and Walker is down. More shots from Anderson as they’re clinched, he gets a takedown but Walker is trying to reverse. Walker is up in the clinch but he’s still wobbled. Uppercuts from Anderson and they swing wildly at each other then a straight right from Anderson buckles his knees and prompts the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Corey Anderson via TKO, punches, at 2:07 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Anderson for his work this evening. That is Anderson’s first finish since 2016 when he bested Sean O’Connell. Mic time for Anderson, he thanks God first and foremost then his family before saying people forgot about Walker’s weakness to the right hand but he didn’t. He talks us through the finish and mentions he’s been in the UFC for 14 fights and calls out the fans for booing him despite him fighting out of New York.

This is just part of the finish, Walker left his hands very extended and was vulnerable to the overhand right that Anderson landed to start all of this. After that he never allows Walker a chance to recover, easily the biggest win of Anderson’s career.

That will do it for preliminary action, on to PPV for the main card.

Apparently President Trump has arrived at the event.

Kevin Lee was once a rising contender at lightweight but has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights with losses to Tony Ferguson, Al Iaquinta, and an ill-fated sojourn to welterweight in his last fight where Rafael dos Anjos submitted him in the fourth round. Lee is back at lightweight now and hoping to find some of the magic that saw him rise to the title picture in 2017. Gregor Gillespie is undefeated including six fights in the UFC, he’s proven himself a rising contender in his own right and is now looking to take the next step up in competition. Gillespie is a slight -150 favorite to +120 for Lee.

Lightweight Bout: #11 Gregor Gillespie (13-0, 155.4 lbs.) vs. #10 Kevin Lee (17-5, 155.6 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lee is two inches taller and has six inches of reach advantage over Gillespie, and has a giant visible staph infection on his chest. Both men looking to jab early and establish themselves. Bit of a right from Gillespie. Jabs going back and forth, and Lee lands a right. More jabs back and forth. Both men still setting up stuff with jabs. Gillespie lands a right hook. Lee with a right and Gillespie then circles directly into a left high kick and he’s out before he hits the ground.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kevin Lee via KO, head kick, at 2:47 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Lee for his work this evening. Hard to overstate how necessary that win was for Lee to keep his career on track. Mic time for Lee, he notes he needed to make a statement and puts over Gillespie as the most decorated wrestler in the division. He took Gillespie seriously and puts him over again and then puts over his new team and wants to show everyone that he’s arrived. While talking us through the finish he isn’t ready to celebrate he just wants to win again and thanks Firas Zahabi then thanks Joe Rogan for prompting him to change things up.

Take a look at this, a right cross then Gillespie circles directly into the left head kick. Lovely stuff.

Derrick Lewis has gone 3-3 in his last six fights but finds himself on a two fight losing streak that includes a failed shot at the heavyweight title, now if Lewis wants to remain in the title picture he needs a win. Blagoy Ivanov has gone 2-1 in the UFC but is on a two fight winning streak and could get the biggest win of his career by taking out a former title challenger and one of the more recognizable names at heavyweight. Ivanov is a slight -125 favorite to -105 on Lewis’ comeback.

Heavyweight Bout: #8 Blagoy Ivanov (18-2 1 NC, 257.4 lbs.) vs. #5 Derrick Lewis (21-7 1 NC, 265 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lewis is four inches taller and has six inches of reach on Ivanov. Ivanov fighting southpaw. Circling now, which I imagine will take up the majority of the round. Lewis misses a couple of kicks. Ivanov catches a kick, Lewis grabs the fence but can’t stay upright and is down. Side control for Ivanov, he tries an americana but Lewis escapes and they swing wildly at each other then clinch. Ivanov has a body lock. Bit of a guillotine attempt from Ivanov as he falls down, and he’s back up in the clinch. More clinch fighting. A bit of close quarters punching from Lewis and they break. Ivanov lands a left to the body. More staring as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lewis

ROUND TWO: More circling. Bit of an inside leg kick from Lewis. Lewis with a bit of a flurry along the fence but he’s missing a lot and they clinch. Ivanov with an outside trip into side control. Ivanov is after the americana again, Lewis explodes to his feet and resumes swinging but mostly missing. Ivanov is bleeding from the right eye after that flurry, and pushes into a clinch. Left uppercuts from Ivanov. They break with a couple more punches from Lewis. Ivanov punches into a clinch and hits a judo toss then holds a front headlock as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lewis, 20-18 Lewis overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Both men are pretty gassed. Ivanov misses a couple of punches but he’s trying to pressure Lewis. A bit of a body punch from Ivanov. Ivanov punches into the clinch, lands a few body shots but can’t get a judo throw and that lets Lewis get free. Ivanov lands a left, avoids an uppercut and lands a left again. Lewis misses a right, they clinch and then Ivanov sprawls away from a takedown attempt and holds a front headlock. Lewis gets free, and gets wobbled by an Ivanov right as they clinch. They resume fighting in the clinch. Lewis separates, they swing a bit in close as the fight ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ivanov, 29-28 Lewis overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Derrick Lewis via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)

Mic time for Lewis, that fight sucked, who puts over his coaches then puts over President Trump and says Trump should turn things around in 2020. He said something I wont repeat in polite company to close his interview.

Stephen Thompson has twice fought for the welterweight title during his current streak of 1-3-1 and is coming off of the first KO loss of his career. Thompson is trying to halt a two fight losing streak and remain a relevant fighter in the division. Vicente Luque is currently on a six fight winning streak and has an impressive record of 10-2 in the UFC, he’s trying to gain the biggest win of his career and move himself into the title picture. Thompson is the -120 favorite to -110 for Luque.

Welterweight Bout: #14 Vicente Luque (17-6-1, 170.2 lbs.) vs. #9 Stephen Thompson (14-4-1, 170.4 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Thompson is an inch taller while Luque has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves, Thompson will do a lot of stance switching. Luque opens up with a few calf kicks, Thompson returns them. Luque misses a rush and eats a right hook. Thompson lands a jab and eats a leg kick. More leg kicks from Luque then a bit of a right. Thompson lands a left. Body kick from Thompson. Luque lands a right. Thompson lands a right, Luque pushes forward and they trade punches but Luque has him on the fence and is looking to exchange. Thompson quickly out of the clinch. There’s a single leg attempt from Thompson and then a right hand. Luque lands a leg kick. Thompson with another right, Luque is bleeding around the right eye. Both men land rights in close proximity. Counter left from Thompson. Punches then a body kick from Thompson. Thompson lands a right hook, and that will be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Luque

ROUND TWO: Thompson lands a side kick to the body. Luque lands a body kick but eats a counter combination. Jabs from Thompson then a right. Luque lands another kick but hes struggling now numerically. Right from Luque off balances Thompson for a second. A few punches from Thompson, then a left to the body. Thompson drops Luque for a second with a side kick to the face and is landing more punches. Coutner right from Thompson, Luque is off balance but lands a counter punch. Spinning heel kick from Thompson is blocked. Luque is finding a few counter punches, Thompson lands a spinning kick to the body. Thompson with a pull back right then a body kick. More circling and jabs from Thompson but Luque isn’t really having the same pop on his counters. Luque is getting pushed to the fence with disturbing east and Thompson with a flurry. Hook kick from Thompson is blocked. Thompson lands a right, and Luque’s face is a bit of a mess as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Thompson, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Thompson lands a side kick to the body. More jabs from Thompson as he’s circling and evading Luque. Thompson drops Luque with a side kick again, lets him up then drops him with a left. Thompson looking to tee off but Luque is still aware and Thompson decides not to risk the grappling. Luque is coming forward but running into punches and kicks to the body. More punches form Thompson, he’s backing Luque to the fence and lands on him before Luque gets free. Luque coming forward now but still struggling with the stick and move from Thompson. Bit of a right from Luque but he’s not in a position to follow up. More sniping jabs from Thompson, Luque tries a right but eats a counter body kick. A right from Thompson wobbles Luque and he’s battering him along the fence now. Spinning kick to the body from Thompson. More jabs and body kicks from Thompson, then a left. Luque blocks a head kick, stumbles on a wheel kick as the fight ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Thompson, 29-28 Thompson overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision (29-27 30-26 x2)

That last round should have been a 10-8 from me, my bad. Mic time for Thompson, he puts over Luque as a tough guy with a bright future. Thompson says he wasn’t discouraged by Luque’s toughness, thanks the fans and God as well.

Kelvin Gastelum has gone 2-2 in his last four fights but is coming off of a loss in the current Fight of the Year when he battled now champion Israel Adesanya to a decision in April. Gastelum is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and remain in the title orbit. Darren Till has lost his last two fights, failing to wrest the welterweight title from Tyron Woodley and then getting violently KO’d by Jorge Masvidal. Till is up at middleweight for the first time since 2014 for this fight and is hoping to reinvigorate his career with the move up in weight. Gastelum is a -230 favorite to +185 on Till’s comeback.

Middleweight Bout: #4 Kelvin Gastelum (15-4 1 NC, 184 lbs.) vs. Darren Till (17-2-1, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Till is three inches taller and has three inches of reach advantage. Both men southpaw. Gastelum pushing forward early, and they clinch up. Both men with knees as Gastelum gets Till on the fence. They jockey for position then separate without incident. Till lands a leg kick. Another clinch and they hit the fence. More positional jockeying, knees from Gastelum to the thigh and body. More knees from Gastelum, Till is kind of stuck here at the moment. Gastelum with some body shots and they break. Till lands a leg kick at distance. There’s a left from Till that lands. Till evades a couple of punches. They kind of feint into the clinch then break without incident. Bit of a left from Till, that’ll be the last exchange of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gastelum

ROUND TWO: Gastelum is pressuring forward again, lands a couple of leg kicks. Till fires a leg kick back. Gastelum with a flurry but Till evades. Till is having issues with his cup, he keeps adjusting it. A lot of circling from both men. Gastelum with a leg kick, Till fires a knee. They clinch up again, Gastelum lands an elbow as they break. Till gets poked in the eye trying to close distance so we’ve got time. Replay confirms the eye poke, but Till can continue so we’re back to fighting. Leg kick from Till but Gastelum’s pressure is getting to him. They clinch again and Gastelum gets Till to the fence. Till is able to get free but he’s fatiguing a bit. Leg kicks from Gastelum. Till avoids a double leg attempt and misses an elbow. Gstelum with another leg kick, that’ll be the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gastelum but a close one, 20-18 Gastelum

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Till catches a body kick and lands a left. Gastelum forces a clinch and drives Till to the fence. This time Till is able to force a break faster, and lands a bit of a left. Gastelum still marching forward but he can’t reliably get into punching distance long enough to really land much. Left from Gastelum in close then a jab. Gastelum with a bit of a left but there’s a low output from both men. Leg kicks from Gastelum. Till catches a kick and gets a takedown but can’t maintain the position. Gastelum lands a left. Till fails on a takedown. Gastelum digs the body in close. Another clinch, they break without incident. Double leg from Gastelum, Till back up but gave up the clinch doing so. Knees from Gastelum before they break. More circling and feinting. Gastelum lands a leg kick then a right to the body. One more double leg from Gastelum, Till back up and they trade in the clinch. Gastelum backs Till to the fence and they trade a bit as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Gastelu, 30-27 Gastelum overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Darren Till via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 30-27)

That fight kind of sucked. While I don’t agree that fight was so lackluster I can live with 30-27 for either man actually. Mic time for Till, he says he was coming back from a dark place after two devastating losses but he fought a bulldozer and won. He says he felt pretty good at the weight.

Jorge Masvidal is on a two fight winning streak and has two KO of the year contenders going for himself right now, in fact he’s coming off of the fastest KO in UFC history when he starched Ben Askren in just five seconds. Masvidal is looking for the highest profile win of his career against a bonafide star in the sport, as well as the ability to easily call his next shot be that for the title or another high profile attraction bout. Nate Diaz is 3-1 in his last four fights including a couple of incredibly high profile bouts with Conor McGregor, he’s coming off of a win over Anthony Pettis and could also essentially call his next bout with a win here. Masvidal is a slight -160 favorite to +130 for Diaz.

Welterweight Bout: #3 Jorge Masvidal (34-13, 169.6 lbs.) vs. #7 Nate Diaz (20-11, 170.4 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Diaz is an inch taller and has two inches of reach on Masvidal. Diaz is fighting southpaw. Masvidal fakes a running attack and Diaz avoids. Diaz coming forward looking to clinch and they hit the fence. Knees and elbows from Masvidal as they break then he lands a head kick that drops Diaz. Diaz looking to tie up on the mat, Masvidal lands punches and Diaz is all bloodied up at this point. Masvidal looking pass with punches, decides he doesn’t like the angle. Punches from Masviddal to the body but he’s not really looking to engage on the mat. A few up kicks from Diaz but things are stalling out a bit here and the ref stands them up. Diaz eats a body kick, looks for a single leg and they wind up on the fence. Knees and elbows again from Masvidal and they break. A few punches land for Diaz as he gets another clinch but Masvidal gets him on the fence. They break and Masvidal has a few punches blocked. Masvidal lands a right then evades Diaz. Diaz looking to goad a brawl, lands a straight left and they stare at each other as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Masvidal

ROUND TWO: Diaz has a pretty gnarly cut on his right eyebrow, not a fight ender just yet but it bears watching. Diaz comes out looking to press the action. Masvidal lands a couple of punches. Diaz looking to back Masvidal into the fence and swarm, Masvidal angles away. Body kick from Masvidal. Masvidal lands a right and a body kick. One two from Masvidal lands then a right staggers Diaz. Body kick from Masvidal and a left drops Diaz again but Diaz offers his guard but Masvidal demures and they’re back on the feet. More body kicks from Masvidal. Diaz punches into a clinch and we’re on the cage. A left from Masvidal lands as they break the clinch. Another clinch, Masvidal is working pretty diligently in these spots. Masvidal digs the body a few times as they break. A few punches from Masvidal and they’re clinched again. Diaz with a few arm punches to the body. Masvidal gets the back standing, dumps Diaz down with a rear waist lock and lands punches from the ride position. Diaz looks to roll under for a leg lock of some variety but Masvidal is rolling with him so far. Diaz up looking to roll, he does so but Masvidal scrambles to top position, Diaz after a heel hook but there’s nothing there as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8, 20-16 Masvidal

ROUND THREE: Circling to start, Masvidal doing a good job of evading. Masvidal lands a right and a body kick. Diaz lands a one two but Masvidal is killing him with body kicks. Diaz backing up along the fence, eats a couple of punches and we’re clinched again. They break, Diaz coming forward. Masvidal lands a right. Diaz lands a couple of punches, and we’ve got a fire fight then a body kick from Masvidal. Masvidal swings a right that lands. Another clinch, and they hit the fence. They jockey for position, Diaz is wiping at his eye a lot, that blood is becoming a problem. Masvidal with body shots and he gets a body lock. Diaz tries to roll under but Masvidal winds up on top landing blows from the guard. Diaz trying to get his guard in play, Masvidal content to punch him from the top position as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Masvidal, 30-25 Masvidal overall

ROUND FOUR: The doctor is in to double check the cut on Diaz, he’s gonna stop the fight due to that cut.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Jorge Masvidal via TKO, doctor stoppage due to cuts, at 5:00 of Round 3

That cut isn’t the longest you’ll ever see but it’s a bad spot and was getting worse. I know it’s a bit anti climactic but that’s a fight ending cut at this point. For as long as it lasted that was a lot of fun. Mic time for Masvidal, he says he’s disappointed about the stoppage and he says he’s happy to let Diaz have a rematch and is sad he couldn’t baptize him. Roberto Duran is in there with Masvidal, that’s cool. Masvidal puts over a lot of his training partners and coaches, then says he and Diaz will run it back so there’s no reason to boo. Asked about the strategy he says he wanted to take him out but Diaz is a dog and he just wanted to keep going.

Diaz on the mic now, he didn’t expect the fight to stop as he was just ready to get started. He says he had a hard time getting going but puts over Masvidal and promises to come back for him. Both men seem to want the rematch.

Here’s a clip of Diaz. Look at those cuts, they’ve just gotten larger during the fight and the one above his eye is trending to split lower into his eye lid. I can live with this stoppage, even if it’s not the best. Also, let’s not pretend this fight was all that competitive, Masvidal was beating him in every facet of the game.

Alright, despite the anti-climactic nature of the stoppage, UFC 244 has come to a close. Thank you all for being here, we’ll be breaking down all the action from this event and previewing next weeks event. I hope you’ll all be back next week for UFC Moscow, until then thanks for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC 244, Robert Winfree