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UFC 244: Diaz vs. Masvidal results and post-fight analysis

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Tim B takes a look at an MSG card with a couple of amazing knockouts and an unfortunate ending.

Wow, did Jorge Masvidal ever look like a world-beater in the UFC 244 main event tonight. He owned pretty much all of the 15 minutes of his main-event fight with Nate Diaz, badly hurting him early and opening a couple of big cuts above and below his eye. Diaz, being Diaz, battled on and had his moments for sure. But Masvidal seemed to hurt Diaz in every round, and it was definitely 3-0 going into the fourth.

But there wasn’t a fourth. A doctor called off the fight due to the cut above the eye. Which felt really odd because Diaz fought with it for two-and-a-half rounds and it didn’t seem to get any worse during that time.

Nonetheless, Jorge Masvidal took the BMF Title, and offered Nate a rematch right away. Diaz stated that his plan was to turn it on late, but he wasn’t given the chance. Diaz wants to do it again, and it was a hell of a spectacle, so I definitely want to see it again.

  • Darren Till vs. Kelvin Gastelum was quite dull. Neither seemed all that willing to throw down, and the crowd was booing multiple times. Till did chew up the front leg though, and held off Gastelum’s takedowns until late in the fight. Good win for him. And his post-fight interview was funny.
  • With that being said, there shouldn’t have been 30-27 scores either way. And why was Dominick Cruz calling Gastelum “Calvin” the whole time? Come on man.
  • Stephen Thompson proved that he’s definitely still a worthwhile and valid contender at welterweight. He took the best Vicente Luque had to offer and was much more aggressive than usual, pummeling Luque with straight lefts and lead right hooks. And of course, he mixed in his patented kicks. He could have maybe showed some more killer instinct, but a dominant decision win works too.
  • A lot of people seemed to really like Derrick Lewis and Blagoy Ivanov. I am not one of those people. Sure, when the action was sustained for more than a few seconds, it was fun. I liked Ivanov’s throws. But at least 10 of those 15 minutes was them staring at each other either at range or in the clinch. That’s not much fun to me. Lewis got the win, which I agree with. But I won’t be re-watching that again anytime soon.
  • Holy shit, Kevin Lee. I don’t swear in these posts very often, but that was one of the best knockouts ever. Not this year. EVER. Gregor Gillespie got absolutely destroyed by that kick. I didn’t think anything could top Edmen Shahbazyan’s head kick KO from earlier in the card. I was wrong.
  • I really thought Johnny Walker was going to put away Corey Anderson. Anderson is hittable and Walker finds ways to put people down. Instead, he reminded me of Yoel Romero fighting Rafael Feijao back in Strikeforce. Just moving around in a really odd manner, not throwing any strikes, and begging to get hit. Guess what? Walker got hit. And he got hit again and again and again. And he went down.
  • I understand why Corey Anderson was fired up. He’s been disrespected by a lot of media and fans. But where was the referee while Corey was yelling in Walker’s face? It was an extended thing, and I was half-expecting Walker to crack him in the grill since they were face-to-face. It was actually some good restraint on Walker’s part on my opinion.
  • Oh, and Crown Royal > Johnny Walker. It has come to pass.
  • Makwan Amirkhani came out like a house on fire and took the first round from Shane Burgos with great grappling and good striking. Unfortunately, that sapped his gas tank. Burgos had way better conditioning though, and he took over completely. The fight probably could have been stopped a minute or two before, as Amirkhani was basically out on his feet after a tremendous beating. Eventually though, Burgos put him away late in the third.
  • Edmen Shahbazyan definitely looks for real. After two quick KOs, it took a little longer to put away a much tougher opponent. Only two men had ever stopped Tavares before (Tim Boetsch and Robert Whittaker), but Shahbazyan hurt him with punches, then absolutely destroyed the Hawaiian fighter with a thudding head kick that HAS to win a performance bonus. Very impressive, and only 21? Wow.
  • Somehow, Jairzinho Rozenstruik landed the same punch on Andrei Arlovski that he KO’d Allen Crowder with - and it had the same effect. It doesn’t look like it’s all that powerful, but it was a walk-off KO in 29 seconds for one of the top prospects in the division.
  • Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia felt a lot longer than it was. The action was decent, but no one took complete control and it wasn’t exactly exhilerating. Also, it felt like the announcers ignored Maia’s offense early. Chookagian got the win, and rightly so - but we didn’t get good commentary on this one.
  • Lyman Good hits hard. Joe Rogan said it 15,000 times, and it’s true. Chance Recountre had just chances in their fight and landed some decent shots, but Good’s counters and combos were too much, picking him up a late TKO win.
  • The opener was okay, with Hakeem Dowadu pulling out a split decision over Julio Arce by landing the harder shots with more regularity.