UFC 244: Masvidal vs. Diaz Live Report

This Saturday night, UFC will hold UFC 244, a pay-per-view live from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA. The stacked card is headlined by Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz battling for the B.M.F Championship. Follow this article throughout the night for live results and updates.

The preliminary card begins at 6:30 PM EDT. For prerequisite reading, check the site’s UFC 244 preview article.

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

The first fight of the evening was Julio Arce returning to MSG to face Canadian prospect Hakeem Dawodu. Dawodu was landing good leg kicks early on. Dawodu put Arce in a clinch against the cage, but they separated shortly after. Arce landed a good left straight with two minutes to go which stunned Dawodu. Dawodu continued with his stellar kicks. Dawodu landed good knees in another standing clinch.

In the second round, the fighters went into a clinch after exchanging hard strikes. They separated after a minute or so. When Dawodu initiated another clinch with two minutes left, Arce got a trip takedown, taking top position. Arce took the back of Dawodu and then pursued a rear naked choke. Dawodu flipped over and took top position. Dawodu got up and landed some leg kicks before Arce got up. 

Dawodu put Arce up against the cage in the first minute of the final round. Arce shoved him off and they returned to striking. The same exchange happened again later in the round. Arce tried for a takedown in the final minute of the fight which Dawodu defended. The striking hit the highest gear in the final moments, as both fighters were landing good shots. The fight went the distance, with Hakeem Dawodu getting the victory via split decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). Dawodu was upset about his performance afterwards.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Arce 9 10 9 28
Dawodu 10 9 10 29

Bout 2: Lyman Good (20-5) vs. Chance Rencountre (14-3) (Welterweight)

The next fight saw up-and-coming welterweights in Lyman Good and Chance Rencountre face off. Good landed a jab right off the bat in the fight. He was landing the better strikes early on, especially leg kicks. Rencountre tried for a takedown in the third minute. Good got pinned against the cage but resisted takedown and eventually got back to striking. Rencountre clinched up again after Good landed some hard punches. Good kept tagging him, although Rencountre was absorbing the shots. Good landed a solid head kick in the closing ten seconds of the first round.

At the start of the second round, good capitalized off a failed flying knee attempt from Rencountre, coming in and landing a combination of punches. While Rencountre was landing some strikes, Good was pushing the pace of the fight throughout the second round.

Good continued to land good shots in the final round. Good landed a right which dropped Rencountre in the second minute of the third round. Only seconds later, the referee came in to end the fight. In nothing short of an impressive showcase, Lyman Good stopped Chance Rencountre in the third round.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Good 10 10
Rencountre 9 9

Bout 3: Katlyn Chookagian (12-2) (#1) vs. Jennifer Maia (17-5-1) (#5) (Catchweight 127 lbs).

Finishing off the early prelims was Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia. What was originally set to be a flyweight match was changed to catchweight after Maia missed weight. Chookagian had some solid strikes early on. Maia put Chookagian up against the cage with two minutes left in the first round.

The second round was another one where Chookagian was out-striking Maia.

Maia put Chookagian in a clinch in the first minute of the final round. She let go of the clinch, going back to stand-up. Maia finally landed a takedown with a minute left in the round. The fight went the distance, with Katlyn Chookagian getting the win (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Chookagian 10 10 10 30
Maia 9 9 9 27

Bout 8: Kevin Lee (17-5) (#10) vs. Gregor Gillespie (13-0) (#11) (Lightweight)

The main card started with a battle between Kevin Lee and undefeated Gregor Gillespie. Starting the fight, both fighters had close striking, mostly throwing jabs. With just over two minutes left in the round, Lee landed a punch and a head kick which absolutely shut Gillespie off. Kevin Lee got a vicious first round knockout victory, taking Gregor Gillespie’s undefeated record.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Lee
Gillespie

Bout 9: Derrick Lewis (21-7) (#5) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (18-2) (#8) (Heavyweight)

In a ranked heavyweight clash, Derrick Lewis faced Blagoy Ivanov. Early on, Ivanov caught a kick and brought Lewis to the ground. Lewis got up and landed some punches. They went into a standing clinch, then Lewis got a takedown. They stood up shortly after. The rest of the round had close striking from the fighters.

Ivanov landed a good right straight in the first minute of the second round. Ivanov landed a trip takedown after both fighters landed good punches. In top position, Ivanov put in a kimura. Lewis was in it deep, but escaped and got back up. He stormed Ivanov with punches, then had a stand-off. Ivanov came in for a clinch up against the cage again. Lewis landed a knee and punches exiting the clinch. Ivanov initiated another clinch after scoring a few strikes. Ivanov got a throw takedown and tried for a choke before the round ended.

The final round was mostly slow from both fighters until Lewis had a flurry of punches at the very end. Heading to the scorecards, it was Derrick Lewis who took a split decision victory (30-27 Lewis, 29-28 Ivanov & 29-28 Lewis).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Lewis 10 9 10 29
Ivanov 9 10 9 28

Bout 10: Stephen Thompson (14-4-1) (#9) vs. Vicente Luque (17-6-1) (#14) (Welterweight)

The next fight saw well-known Stephen Thompson face the red-hot Vicente Luque. The first round had very close striking from both fighters. Both fighters were very selective with their shots.

The second round was a continuation of the one before. It was clear that each fighter respected the other’s power. Thompson landed a sidekick to the head which dropped Luque. When he got back up and resumed, Luque got stunned by a punch. 

In the first minute of the third and final round, Luque was getting picked apart. Luque got knocked down by a punch, and then was forced to stand back up moments after. By the end of the fight, Luque was showing real damage on his face. The judges all had the fight heavily in favour of Stephen Thompson (30-26, 30-26 & 29-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Thompson 10 10 10 29
Luque 9 9 9 28

Bout 11: Kelvin Gastelum (16-4) (#4) vs. Darren Till (17-2-1) (Middleweight)

In the co-main event of the evening Darren Till moved up to middleweight to face Kelvin Gastelum. Many clinches happened in the first round, although each one didn’t seem to have much action in them.

Till constantly kept his distance from Gastelum, dipping in for a strike or two before backing up again. A pause came after Till was poked in the eye. They resumed quite quickly. The crowd started to boo with a minute left in the round. 

Till caught a kick early in the third round and landed a punch because of it. Gastelum tried for a double leg takedown but Till avoided it. Till was able to take down Gastelum by catching another kick, although he got up moments later. Gastelum finally landed a takedown in the final minute of the fight. Till got up within seconds and continued with stand-up. The fight went all 15 minutes, with Darren Till getting a split decision win (30-27 Gastelum, 29-28 Till & 30-27 Till).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Gastelum 9 9 9 27
Till 10 10 10 30

Bout 12: Jorge Masvidal (34-13) (#3) vs. Nate Diaz (20-11) (#7) (Welterweight)

In the main event of the evening, Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz battle for the B.M.F belt. Masvidal started the fight running similar to when he fought Ben Askren, but stopped himself before doing anything. Masvidal clinched up with Diaz against the cage after Diaz came forward with a few punches. Masvidal landed elbows while leaving clinch, and then dropped Diaz with a leg kick. Diaz was on his back on the ground. He got hit with some punches and become quite bloodied. Diaz did a front kick to Masvidal which he seemingly pretended to be hurt by. Diaz was eventually stood up by the referee. Diaz exploded forward with punches which Masvidal ate. Masvidal went into a clinch smiling. Diaz landed another left straight before the round ended.

Both fighters had good strikes in the opening minutes of the second round. Diaz got hurt by a right hand, dropping him for the second time in the fight. He stayed on his back after falling, but was told to stand up by the referee. To an extent it felt like Diaz was just absorbing damage in this round. Masvidal got the first takedown of the fight with a minute left in the round.

Masvidal landed a strong right straight in the first minute of the third round. Diaz had some good combinations at the start of the round, although he was the fighter circling the outside of the octagon. Just over halfway through the round both fighters were trading punches. After being in a standing clinch for some time, Masvidal took Diaz down and landed strikes from above.

Before the fourth round was about to start, a doctor came in to check on Diaz. After seeing the cuts on his head, the fight was waved off. Jorge Masvidal won the fight via doctor’s stoppage, and had the B.M.F belt put on him by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Masvidal 10 10 10
Diaz 9 9 9

 

UFC 244: Masvidal vs. Diaz Full Preview

Ever since mixed martial arts have been legalized in New York State, UFC has made an effort to do an annual large show at Madison Square Garden. The first time, it was Conor McGregor becoming a “Champ-Champ,” dethroning lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. The next year it was MMA legend Georges St-Pierre returning to win a belt off of Michael Bisping. Last year, Daniel Cormier built on his legacy, making his first heavyweight championship defense against Derrick Lewis. This year is a little different.

Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz will headline the show, although a belt with lineage won’t be on the line. Instead, a new belt is being introduced, and will be awarded to the “BMF (Baddest M*****F*****).” Along with the main event is also a stacked card, even down to the preliminary portion. Celebrating their 500th show, live from Madison Square Garden on Saturday, here’s a look at UFC 244.

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

The evening will begin on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 PM EDT with a battle of two featherweight prospects. Julio Arce and Hakeem Dawodu are both currently with a 3-1 record in the UFC. Dawodu most recently finished Yoshinori Horie with a head kick at UFC 240. Arce also finished his last fight with a head kick, defeating Julian Erosa in the third round. This will be Arce’s second appearance at Madison Square Garden.

Bout 2: Lyman Good (20-5) vs. Chance Rencountre (14-3) (Welterweight)

The welterweight division has a real pick-em bout between Lyman Good and Chance Rencountre on the prelims. While being the more experienced fighter, Good is returning from a loss to Demian Maia. Rencountre hasn’t faced anyone big like Maia yet, but is currently on a two-fight winning streak.

Bout 3: Katlyn Chookagian (12-2) vs. Jennifer Maia (17-5-1) (Catchweight 127 lbs)

While only being in the UFC for three years, Katlyn Chookagian has racked up an impressive promotional record of 5-2. She attempts to better that against Jennifer Maia, who is currently riding a victory against Roxanne Modafferi. Maia missed weight on Friday by one pound, causing the fight to be moved from flyweight to a catchweight bout.

Bout 4: Andrei Arlovski (28-18) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (8-0) (Heavyweight)

At 8 PM EDT, the broadcast will move to TSN 5 for four final preliminary bouts. The first of the four is between Andrei Arlovski and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Arlovski recently snapped a winless streak of four bouts by defeating Ben Rothwell. While experience weighs heavily on Arlovski’s side, he will have to try to snap the undefeated record of Rozenstruik. The Suriname fighter has won twice via stoppage since joining the UFC. More notably, Rozenstruik finished Allen Crowder in nine seconds in June.

Bout 5: Brad Tavares (17-5) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (10-0) (Middleweight)

Young and undefeated fighter Edmen Shahbazyan will see his biggest UFC challenge yet when he faces Brad Tavares on Saturday. Tavares is a UFC veteran who got into the promotion in 2010 by winning The Ultimate Fighter Season 11. To compare, Tavares has been in the UFC for six years more than Shahbazyan has been doing MMA. Tavares hasn’t fought in over a year, with his last fight being a decision loss against Israel Adesanya in July of 2018 (for reference, Adesanya has fought four times since then). Shahbazyan most recently finished Jack Marshman in just over a minute at UFC 239.

Bout 6: Shane Burgos (12-1) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (15-3) (Featherweight)

Two experienced UFC fighters in Shane Burgos and Makwan Amirkhani will face off on the prelims. Burgos is a New York fighter who competed on the MSG show last year as well. He most recently bested Cub Swanson in a split decision bout in May. Amirkhani has fought only half as many times as Burgos in the past three years, but is still a young and successful fighter. He defeated Chris Fishgold with an anaconda choke in June, sounding his return after a one year absence.

Bout 7: Corey Anderson (12-4) vs. Johnny Walker (17-3) (Light Heavyweight)

The preliminary card will finish off with Corey Anderson and Johnny Walker competing. Walker has become a famous name within the promotion due to his flashy KO victories. His most recent appearance, while being a cakewalk of a fight, sidelined him for some time. This was because his post-fight celebration which included falling on the canvas dislocated his shoulder. Anderson is a step up in competition for Walker. Anderson is on a three-fight winning streak, most recently beating Ilir Latifi. The majority of Anderson’s career has happened in the UFC, unlike Walker’s. Will Walker put on another memorable performance, or will Anderson out-wit the Brazilian’s dangerous flashes of offense?

Bout 8: Kevin Lee (17-5) vs. Gregor Gillespie (13-0) (Lightweight)

The main portion of the show will kick off at 10 PM EDT on pay-per-view. Starting the main card will be lightweight gatekeeper Kevin Lee facing undefeated Gregor Gillespie. Despite having a six-fight winning streak in the UFC and having never lost, Gillespie flies under the radar of many. It’s possible that a win over a name of Lee could finally give him attention. Lee is conditioned to fighting five round fights, having last done a three round fight in 2017. Lee is 2-3 in his last five, all up against fighters of a similar calibre.

Bout 9: Derrick Lewis (21-7) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (18-2) (Heavyweight)

While Derrick Lewis fights on the main card this year against Blagoy Ivanov, it’s a clear step down from main eventing, which he did in 2018. Lewis is on a two-fight losing streak, recently dropping to Junior dos Santos on the main event of a fight night card. Ivanov is considered an up-and-coming fighter within the division. He bounced back from his UFC debut loss by recently defeating Ben Rothwell and Tai Tuivasa.

Bout 10: Stephen Thompson (14-4-1) vs. Vicente Luque (17-6-1) (Welterweight)

Vincente Luque has been on the rise lately, defeating high level welterweights. Most recently, Luque got a split decision win over Mike Perry. He will look to add Stephen Thompson to his list of names on Saturday when they match up on the main card. Thompson has been absent since his knockout loss to Anthony Pettis. He also lost to Darren Till in the fight before then. He will aim to return to his winning ways against a seemingly unstoppable Luque.

Bout 11: Kelvin Gastelum (16-4) vs. Darren Till (17-2-1) (Middleweight)

Darren Till was an undefeated fighter a year ago that was near championship material. He was pushed into a fight against Tyron Woodley for the welterweight belt in 2018. The fight was one-sided, with Woodley ending Till’s championship hopes in under two rounds. Till then went against Jorge Masvidal in March, getting finished via punches in less time than his championship outing lasted. In hopes of finding success, Till moves down to middleweight for his fight against Kelvin Gastelum. The bout is no step down in competition, as Gastelum was the runner-up to face Robert Whittaker and unify the middleweight belts. He got bested by Israel Adesanya in April, losing via scorecards. Before then, Gastelum had wins over Michael Bisping and Jacare Souza.

Bout 12: Jorge Masvidal (34-13) vs. Nate Diaz (20-11) (Welterweight)

The main event of the show sees Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz face off in a five round competition. The winner receives the BMF Championship, a one-use belt to determine the “Baddest M*****F*****.”

Masvidal’s rise in popularity was quite out of left field. The welterweight has been in the game for longer than most people at this point, and has stayed at a mid-level or gatekeeper status for a long time. After a brutal victory over Darren Till in early 2019, Masvidal went viral with a flying knee knockout to Ben Askren. The knockout was brutal and online basically overshadowed the two championship bouts that happened that night as well.

The story of Nate Diaz lately is similar to his opponent. Diaz has been popular before, but his mid-2019 run could be described as a resurrection. After losing to Conor McGregor in 2016, Diaz disappeared until late 2018. He was scheduled to be on the 2018 MSG show, facing Dustin Poirier. That fell through after Poirier got injured, putting Diaz back on the bench. Diaz finally made his long-awaited return in the summer of 2019, defeating Anthony Pettis at UFC 241.

While it could be described as unexpected that these two fighters would headline one of the biggest cards of the year, their collision makes sense. Two fighters who are in the same division, both have charisma, both had a boom at a similar time, and are both considered real badasses.

UFC on ESPN 4: Dos Anjos vs. Edwards Preview

While UFC has made numerous appearances on ESPN’s internet streaming service “ESPN+,” on Saturday the promotion will be making only it’s fourth appearance on the network’s flagship channel. Main eventing UFC on ESPN 4 will be Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards. Dos Anjos will arguably play gatekeeper against Edwards, who is on a seven-fight winning streak. Before the main event is a dozen other MMA bouts.

Bout 1: Domingo Pilarte (8-1) vs. Felipe Colares (8-1) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the evening will be a string of three bantamweight bouts. With equal records, Domingo Pilarte and Felipe Colares will open the night. Pilarte impressed Dana White on the second season of the Contender Series, earning a contract which will begin off this weekend. Colares is hoping to bounce back from his debut in February when he lost via decision, giving him his first career loss.

Bout 2: Mario Bautista (6-1) vs. Jin Soo Son (9-3) (Bantamweight)

The second bout will be a battle of two fighters hoping to come back from a debut loss in the UFC. Mario Bautista got his first professional L back in January, losing to Cory Sandhagen. Jin Soo Son lost to Petr Yan in his respective debut. Soo Son trains out of Korean Zombie MMA, who’s top talent is of course “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. Mario Bautista trains at The MMA Lab. Prior to his UFC career, Soo Son was a veteran fighter in the JMMA promotion “DEEP.”

Bout 3: Ray Borg (11-3) vs. Gabriel Silva (7-0) (Bantamweight)

In the final men’s bantamweight fight of the night, Ray Borg will face the undefeated Gabriel Silva. Borg lost in March against Casey Kenney after struggling to find a fight throughout 2018. Kenney was actually the second replacement fighter for the bout, with Pingyuan Liu and Kyler Phillips being injured and pulled from the bout previously. Before then, Borg’s last fight was a championship loss to Demetrious Johnson. Gabriel Silva will defend his undefeated streak in his UFC debut. He got a quick round one win in his last fight in the LFA promotion.

Bout 4: Roxanne Modafferi (23-15) vs. Jennifer Maia (16-5-1) (Flyweight)

Roxanne Modafferi, one of women’s MMA’s biggest names, faces Jennifer Maia, who started her UFC run around this time last year. While Modafferi has fought since 2003, he UFC career started in only 2017, having a 2-2 record since. Similarily, Maia has a 50/50 win rate in the UFC, only fighting twice though. They’re both coming off of wins, both via decision.

Bout 5: Sam Alvey (33-12) vs. Klidson Abreu (14-3) (Light Heavyweight)

Entering his 18th UFC bout, Sam Alvey will face Klidson Abreu, who will only be experiencing his second walk to the octagon. Alvey will aim to break his two-fight losing streak, getting finished via punches two times in a row. Abreu will try to get his first victory in the UFC, losing to Magomed Ankalaev via decision in his first outing.

Bout 6: Raquel Pennington (9-7) vs. Irene Aldana (10-4) (Bantamweight)

Veteran UFC fighter Raquel Pennington will fight Irene Aldana in the next matchup. Pennington hasn’t won since 2016, losing to two high profile fighters in Amanda Nunes and Germain de Randamie, who have both main evented their last bouts. Meanwhile, Aldana sees herself attempting to improve to four wins in a row, turning her UFC career around after starting it off with two losses.

Bout 7: Alex Caceres (14-12) vs. Steven Peterson (17-8) (Featherweight)

The preliminary portion of the card will conclude with Alex Caceres and Steven Peterson. Throughout Caceres’ near decade long UFC career he has had a shaky record. He hopes to break even in his UFC career with a win, currently being 9-10 in the promotion. Peterson will also aim to break even, but with a much smaller record of 1-2 in the UFC so far.

Bout 8: Andrei Arlovski (27-18) vs. Ben Rothwell (36-11) (Heavyweight)

Both experienced fighters in the UFC, Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell find themselves in similar positions, attempting to snap losing streaks. Arlovski’s record has been 2-8 & 1 NC since the start of 2016. Arlovski hasn’t seen a victory in his last four fights, and has went to decision in his last seven. Rothwell is only on a two-fight losing streak, which ended his 2013-2016 run of victories, defeating names like Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett, all via stoppage.

Bout 9: Francisco Trinaldo (23-6) vs. Alexander Hernandez (10-2) (Lightweight)

Six months ago, Alexander Hernandez had a lot of eyes on him heading into a fight with Donald Cerrone. He was a big talker against “The Cowboy,” confident that he would win. The outcome ended up being anything but that, as Cerrone finished him in the second round with strikes. Hernandez makes his return after suffering his first UFC loss, facing Francisco Trinaldo. It’s another matchup of a younger Hernandez versus a veteran, although Cerrone was much more of a veteran than Trinaldo is. So far in 2019, Francisco Trinaldo has struggled to get a fight. He’s missed out on two different events so far due to opponents pulling out of getting injured. He hasn’t fought in just under 10 months, but his last fight was a victory over Evan Dunham.

Bout 10: James Vick (13-3) vs. Daniel Hooker (17-8) (Lightweight)

It has been seven months since Dan “The Hangman” Hooker has fought, and rightfully so. His recent loss to Edson Barboza was a beating of brutal proportions, even by MMA standards. He hung in the fight, but only by the smallest extent until it was ended. James Vick is on a two-fight losing streak. He lost a main event against Justin Gaethje last year, and wasn’t favoured in a decision against Paul Felder back in February. 

Bout 11: Greg Hardy (4-1) vs. Juan Adams (5-1) (Heavyweight)

Two very fresh heavyweights in Greg Hardy and Juan Adams battle on the main card. Controversy continues to follow Hardy through his UFC career, as many object to him fighting in the UFC due to his domestic violence case in 2014. He was found guilty of assault and communicating threats, with 18-months of probation and 60-days of jail. However, the sentence was dropped after the victim in the case didn’t appear in court during the appeal. Hardy avoided any punishment over the case. He has since come through the UFC series “Dana White’s Contender Series,” and has a 1-1 record in the promotion. Adams comes into the fight after facing his first career defeat to Arjan Bhullar. Before then he defeated Chris De La Rocha in his UFC debut. 

Bout 12: Alexey Oleinik (57-12-1) vs. Walt Harris (12-7) (Heavyweight)

In the co-main event slot is a heavyweight clash between Alexey Oleinik and Walt Harris. Harris is coming off his quickest victory ever, finishing Sergey Spivak in under a minute. He will face a much more experienced Oleinik, who is returning after a one round loss to Alistair Overeem. If you’re looking for a fight that will finish, it should be this one, as Oleinik has only went to decision eight times in his 70 fight career. Similarily, Edwards has only went to decision three times in his 20 fight career.

Bout 13: Rafael dos Anjos (29-11) vs. Leon Edwards (17-3) (Welterweight)

The main event of the show will be Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards. Anjos has had double the amount of professional bouts as Edwards, but his matchup with dos Anjos can be justified by his seven-fight winning streak. Dos Anjos defeated Kevin Lee in a four round battle back in May, which was a bounce back from two five round decision losses, losing to Kumaru Usman and Colby Covington. Edwards defeating dos Anjos would make it the highest profile victory of his career yet, with the biggest one besides that being a win against Donald Cerrone. Continued success in the welterweight division could lead Edwards to a bout with the Champion Kumaru Usman. If the fight were to be made, it would not only be a title shot, but also a chance for Edwards to avenge a loss from 2015.

Similar to many of UFC’s recent fight nights, the show will start at an earlier time than the usual PPV time (10PM E/7PM P). The main card will begin at 9 PM Eastern Time, with the preliminary card starting three hours prior to that.