UFC 244 in tweets
UFC’s 500th event was one of the best in recent memory — as we witnessed the crowning of the “BMF” Champion at Madison Square Garden. Kicking off the main card was Gregor Gillespie against Kevin Lee, who was returning to 155lbs after an unsuccessful welterweight debut against Rafael Dos Anjos earlier in the year. Lee was sporting another staph Infection which led to questions about his cardio against such a pressure heavy fighter like Gillespie. After a nervy opening two minutes where the jabs were on show, Lee landed a right hand followed by a vicious head kick which folded Gillespie as he came crashing down to the ground. There was immediate concern for Gregor, but everyone was glad to see him make it back to his feet as Kevin Lee earned the biggest win of his career.
Next up was a pair of heavyweights, as “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis squared off against Blagoy Ivanov. After five consecutive KO’s carrying over from the prelims to the main card, this was the fight which many gave no chance of going past the first round. But, we witnessed a more methodical Lewis who was clearly preserving energy as the fight went on. Ivanov completed three takedowns during the 15 minutes, but Lewis often exploded out of the position to then land heavy on the break. Derrick was landing the more significant shots, placing two cuts on the face of the Bulgarian. As the fight went to the judges scorecards, no-one was quite certain which way the fight was going to go. And it was Lewis who returned from injury with a split decision victory on the scorecards to set up a big fight at the start of 2020.
A pivotal welterweight matchup was on deck next as Stephen Thompson went up against Vicente Luque. From the off, Thompson was keen to enforce his kick boxing style on the durable Luque. Vicente started quick and aggressive and was putting it on Wonderboy who was out to prove that he still belonged with the divisions elite. As the fight wore on, Thompson started to get into his groove and was finding his timing with more regularity. Luque’s face was a bloody mess and he was having trouble seeing through his left eye. Wonderboy reached 90 significant strikes as the fight struck 15 minutes and we went to the judges scorecards. We witnessed a striking clinic from Stephen Thompson and the scorecards echoed that as he strolled towards an unanimous decision victory.
The co-main event was then upon us, as Darren Till was making his Middleweight debut against former title challenger Kelvin Gastelum. Till made the 186lbs limit with ease, whereas Gastelum sparked controversy as he appeared to lean on his trainer when weighing in helping him make 184lbs. This was always going to be a cautious fight and it certainly was a chess match. Both men were looking to land the left hand which has been so devastating in previous fights. During the first, Darren was clearly the bigger man and was using that to his advantage. Kelvin struggled to really land anything and was having trouble with his right leg due to kicks from Till. Kelvin secured two takedowns in the last round which left an impression on the judges for the last five minutes. The general consensus was that Till had done enough to edge the fight and despite one judge giving all three rounds to Kelvin, Darren was the winner on the other 2 cards, seeing out a split decision win.
Finally, it was time to determine the BMF of the UFC as Jorge Masvidal faced off against Nate Diaz at Welterweight in the night’s main event. The anticipation was building inside the Garden as Bruce Buffer went through the standard introductions. It was finally here. As the first round started, Masvidal threatened to start with another flying attack but Nate saw it coming. The gameplan for Jorge was to target the body, where Diaz has had problems before and he was landing with success. “Gamebred” landed a short elbow in the clinch which opened 2 massive cuts on the face of Diaz. The second round was where Masvidal really started to pile on the pressure and floored Diaz with a body kick and a kick to the face but Nate played guard on the floor and saw out the round.
At the end of the third round, the doctor was in the cage to check the cuts on Diaz’s face, and despite his best efforts to convince him he was fit to fight, the doctor deemed him unable to continue and left the entire MSG crowd fuming. Chants of ‘Bulls**t’ echoed across The Garden partnered with thousands of boos. The 2 fighters were left disappointed as the championship rounds were on course to be the best of the fight. With the call from the doctor, that was it and Jorge Masvidal was crowned the inaugural BMF champion.
Check out fellow pro’s reactions to a great night of action.
Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz
F**k 😡 #UFC244
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) November 3, 2019
NEVER EVER EVER FIGHT IN NEW YORK. Same exact doctor looked me in the eye and told me I had a broken leg. I knew I didn’t and knew I could continue. MSG…amazing history and venue…NY…horrible commission. #ufc244
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) November 3, 2019
Darren Till vs Kelvin Gastelum
— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) November 3, 2019
Stephen Thompson vs Vicente Luque
@WonderboyMMA is the essence of what it means to be a lifelong martial artist! Got to love his performance tonight!
— Aiemann Zahabi (@Aiemannzahabi) November 3, 2019
Derrick Lewis vs Blagoy Ivanov
That is most complete fight Lewis has put together!!! He scary with cardio. How tough is Ivanov. Crazy power. Close fight I edge Derrick
— Anthony Rocco Martin (@TonyRoccoMartin) November 3, 2019
Kevin Lee vs Gregor Gillespie
Out cold 😲. https://t.co/hdxULGiqCM
— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) November 3, 2019
Check out the full main card results below
Jorge Masvidal bt Nate Diaz via TKO (doctor stoppage) Round 3 – 5:00
Darren Till bt Kelvin Gastelum via Decision (split) (27-30, 29-28, 30-27)
Stephen Thompson bt Vicente Luque via Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
Derrick Lewis bt Blagoy Ivanov via Decision (split) (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Kevin Lee bt Gregor Gillespie via KO (head kick) Round 1 – 2:47
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