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 230: Daniel Cormier Successfully Defends Heavyweight Championship via Submission

On Saturday UFC put on their third show inside Madison Square Garden. This has become something of a tradition for the brand, with the MSG events being a supercard. Two years ago UFC made their New York City debut when Conor McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez in the the second round at UFC 205. Last year at UFC 217 George St. Pierre defeated Michael Bisping on a three title card. This time around it’s Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis for the Heavyweight Championship.

This card was something that was originally set to be a supercard, but didn’t become such a thing after many fights falling through. The biggest of fight cancelled was Nate Diaz versus Dustin Poirier in what could be considered a fan friendly fight. There was also another championship bout that was originally planned for this card, being Valentina Shevchenko versus Sijara Eubanks for the Flyweight Championship. This did not happen because Shevchenko was rebooked for a fight against Joanna Jędrzejczyk on the December Toronto card. Eubanks was given Roxanne Modafferi in a prelim bout on this card instead.

The main event of the evening was Daniel Cormier versus Derrick Lewis. Lewis is fighting in a miraculous turnaround time from his last bout at UFC 229 against Alexander Volkov. In that bought Lewis was seconds away from losing on the scorecards when he got a stoppage win on Volkov. Lewis received a spike in Instagram followers, around triple the amount he had before after giving an entertaining post fight interview. Cormier is coming off a summer victory against Stipe Miocic. He broke the Heavyweight fighter’s streak of title defenses with a first round knockout. Some say that Miocic deserved the rematch before others due to his dominance as a champion before his loss.

Below the main event was 11 other bouts. Starting off the PPV was Israel Adesanya versus Derek Brunson. Adesanya has put on dominant performances lately, with his last one coming at  The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale against Brad Tavares. In the co-main event slot for the evening was Chris Weidman versus Jacare Souza. Weidman fought on the 205 card two years ago and made his return to his home state with this bout. Before any of this happened, the evening began on UFC’s OTT service UFC Fight Pass with the Early Prelims.

  1. The first fight on the Early Prelims was slightly delayed since the second bout between Brian Kelleher versus Montel Jackson was cancelled. Opening the show was Marcus Rogerio de Lima versus Adam Wieczorek. Both heavyweights were on the ground for the majority of the first round. De Lima had top position most of the time and started to land strikes in the final 20 seconds. The second round was mostly stand-up, with de Lima landing more shots. By the end of the second round Wieczorek was wobbling around the place. The commentary team took a liking to de Lima’s leg kicks throughout the second. The final round went in the way of de Lima but did not have any noteworthy action. All three judges had it 30-27 for de Lima.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
De Lima 10 10 10 30
Wieczorek 9 9 9 27
  1. Continuing on with the UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims, Kurt Holobaugh had his second fight in his current run in the promotion. Holobaugh was a pickup from the Contender Series, but his fight from the series is no longer valid due to a drug test. Since then he has also lost a fight. He faces Shane Burgos who is coming off his first loss since coming into the UFC. Both fighters were absolutely swinging for the first two minutes of the bout. Holobaugh seemed to have the advantage in the stand-up field. Burgos got dropped two minutes in from a punch but seemed to recover quickly from it. When Holobaugh went to the ground to land more punches he found himself in an armbar that ended the bout. It was an amazing turn of events for Burgos.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Holobaugh
Burgos
  1. Finishing off the early prelims was Matt Frevola versus Lando Vannata. Frevola is a new UFC fighter who lost his debut fight after winning a Contender Series bout. Vannata hasn’t won in a long time, losing two fights and tying one since 2017. Both of these fighters were absolutely explosive in the first round. Frevola got dropped from a kick but recovered very quickly. He was also given some breathing room as the fight was paused for his mouthguard to be put back in. With under two minutes left in the first Vannata looked like he was in trouble when he got tagged with a right. In the final seconds of the round there was absolute chaos. Frevola landed an amazing flurry of strikes then tried for a Guillotine in the final moments. Vannata escaped the Guillotine before time ran out. Early in the second round Frevola got tagged hard with kicks, then dropped with a right moments later. Frevola showed an amazing chin, being able to recover and stay up despite being continually pelted. Frevola tried for a takedown in the final moments of round two but fell into a Guillotine. Lucky for him the time in the round ran out. In the third Vannata caught Frevola’s leg for a takedown but took 3 or so punches clean to the head on the way down. Frevola got a takedown of his own with just over a minute left, but Vannata got up very shortly after. The fight went the distance leaving the judges to decide. This could have went both ways, so it did. The judges scored it a draw (29-28, 28-28 & 28-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Frevola 10 9 10 29
Vannata 9 10 9 28
  1. Starting off the UFC Prelims on FS1 was Lyman Good versus Ben Saunders. This fight was close until Good landed uppercuts in a clinch that took Saunders out. This was a very quick finish that caught me off guard.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Good
Saunders
  1. After the quickest finish of the night, the next bout was Julio Arce versus Sheymon Moraes. In the first minute of the fight Arce got dropped hard by a right hook. He was able to recover on the ground and make his way back to his feet. Later in the round Arce mounted Moraes and kept trying for a Rear Naked Choke. In the second round Arce started bleeding heavily, which had the commentators worried. With just over a minute left in the second, Arce floored Moraes with a strike. Both of these guys were so bloodied that it was disgusting. The fight went the distance after a close strictly kickboxing final round. The judges gave Moraes the win via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Arce 9 10 9 28
Moraes 10 9 10 29
  1. The next bout was a rematch from The Ultimate Fighter. Sijara Eubanks fought Roxanne Modafferi for the second time in their careers. Eubanks did not make weight the day before, but this fight was still on. The first minute and a half of the first was striking where, while nobody was doing visible damage, Eubanks was more dominant. Eubanks landed a takedown, making most of the first round stay on the ground. Modafferi continued to look not that confident in stand up in the second round. Eubanks seemed to have more power in her strikes. Modafferi had decent ground game at the end of round 2 as both fighters were very tired. Modafferi looked the best striking-wise in the third because she landed much more shots. Eubanks ended up out-powering in the third similarly to how she did in the first, except with less power. The fight went to the judges who tallied it in favour of Eubanks Unanimously (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#4 Eubanks 10 9 10 29
#7 Modafferi 9 10 9 28
  1. Finishing off the preliminary card was Jason Knight versus Jordan Rinaldi. The first round was mostly on the ground with Rinaldi on top. While Knight had more significant strikes in the round, Rinaldi had control for the majority of the time. In the second round Rinaldi was dominating and trying for moves on the ground but Knight was able to defend. Rinaldi put in a Rear Naked Choke in the third round that Knight somehow found a way out of. The fight went the distance with both guys being very tired by the end. The judges gave the fight to Rinaldi by quite the margin (30-27, 30-25 & 30-26)

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Knight 9 9 8 26
Rinaldi 10 10 10 30
  1. The PPV portion of the show kicked off with Israel Adesanya versus Derek Brunson. Leading up to this fight the idea was that it would be the experienced kickboxer Adesanya versus Brunson who is the much better boxer. Very early on in the first round Brunson clinched up and went to the fence. Brunson got taken off the cage after grabbing Adesanya’s shorts twice. Adesanya flipped off Brunson while referee Herb Dean was talking to Brunson. There was the option to take away points because of this, but it didn’t happen. Adesanya guarded a takedown attempt well, but Brunson went to the cage on another attempt right after. Adesanya landed a flurry of kicks, knees and punches in the final minute that had Brunson in a defensive mode. Brunson got dropped over and over until the fight got stopped with ten seconds left. What gave Adesanya the win wasn’t his stellar kickboxing but rather his ability to keep the fight in his own wheelhouse. After this fight the newly signed fighter from ONE Championship Ben Askren was shown in the crowd.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#6 Brunson
#9 Adesanya
  1. In what feels like a main card bout that was swept under the promotional rug, Karl Roberson fought Jack Marshman. In the first round Roberson was moving and swinging faster than Marshman. Marshman got clipped mid-way through the round but stayed standing. Near the end of the round the commentary team pointed out that the volume of punches from Roberson had significantly dropped off. Through round two and three Marshman continued to get hit but at a much slower pace than round one. It was consistently the left hand that Roberson was landing. With two and a half minutes left Roberson landed a takedown. The final round ended with most people already considering Roberson the winner. Judges gave Roberson the win Unanimously (30-26, 30-26 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Roberson 10 10 10 30
Marshman 9 9 9 27
  1. The tenth fight of the evening was Dave Branch versus Jared Cannonier. Cannonier had quite the confident walkout. Branch got a pop from the crowd after being billed out of Brooklyn. Branch landed a takedown but didn’t stay on the ground for long. Cannonier was landing more strikes throughout the round and had decent ground defence. At the start of the second round Branch got absolutely floored by a right, and took a few more shots on the ground before the ref stopped it.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#7 Branch 9
Cannonier 10
  1. The co-main event of the evening was Chris Weidman facing Jacare Souza in a Middleweight bout. The crowd was wildly in favour of Weidman, but that’s no surprise because he is one to wear his home state on his sleeve. The fight was very neutral in the first round until Weidman landed a combo with his hands clean. After this moment it seemed like both guys started to open up much more. Souza started to throw and connect more in the second round. Souza was bleeding from the nose badly in the second. Souza slipped and fell after throwing a kick in the final minute of the second. Souza and Weidman were clinched against the cage until the final moments of the round when they went back to stand up. With over two minutes left Souza dropped Weidman with a strikes. You could tell from the moment Weidman was down that he was out. Souza stared at Weidman who was down, not throwing any extra punches because he assumed it was over. The referee didn’t end it and Weidman clutched Souza’s foot, so Souza did four more shots before the ref ended it. Souza looked disappointed that the referee did not end it. This was quite the comeback as Souza was down 2-0 heading into the third. The whole third round Souza was being more aggressive than the two before.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
#3 Weidman 10 10
#5 Souza 9 9
  1. Up next was the main event of the evening in Madison Square Garden. Double champion Daniel Cormier defended his Heavyweight championship against Derrick Lewis, who achieved stardom after his viral victory against Alexander Volkov. In the first minute of the fight Cormier landed a takedown. Lewis got up with over two minutes left in the first, still pinned against the cage by Cormier. Cormier landed a trip which brought Lewis back to the ground. They stayed on the ground until the first round ran out. Similar to the first, Cormier spent a minute closing a distance in the second and then landed a takedown. On the ground Cormier put in a Rear Naked Choke that made Lewis tap quickly. The commentary team knew almost immediately that it was over once it was put in. After the fight Cormier called out Brock Lesnar, telling him to bring his WWE Universal Championship if he faces him.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
© Cormier 10
#2 Lewis 9

UFC wraps up 2018 with two December PPV cards. The first of the two takes place in Toronto with Max Holloway and Brian Ortega in the main event. Also in another title fight is Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko fighting for the vacant UFC Flyweight Championship. UFC 232 is the company’s final event of the year, with Jon Jones returning to face Alexander Gustafsson in a Light Heavyweight Championship bout. Below them is also Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes fighting for the Featherweight Championship.

Next week UFC heads to Denver, Colorado for Fight Night #139. It’s the finale of UFC’s 25th Anniversary celebrations, with the event taking place in the same city that the first UFC event was held in. The main event is “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung versus Yair Rodriguez. The co-main event is equally entertaining as it has Donald Cerrone versus Mike Perry.