UFC 244 ‘Masvidal vs. Diaz’ – Play By Play Updates & LIVE Results

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Kevin Lee defeated Gregor Gillespie via KO in Round 1

Kicking off the main card is a vital lightweight fight between the former title contender Kevin Lee (17-5) and the undefeated rising sensation Gregor Gillespie (13-0). Kevin Lee has his back against the cage after losing two straight fights and going 2-3 in his last five fights. Gillespie since his 2016 UFC debut has picked up six straight wins and now has a chance to make a splash against a big name like Lee.

They start the action right away without even touching gloves. Lee gets into a low stance to avoid any take downs from Gillespie. They both trade jabs and Gillespie shoots for a takedown, but Lee stuff it with ease. Gillespie resorts to striking and lands a perfectly timed uppercut that stuns Lee. The fight quickly turns into a boxing match with both of them landing crisp jabs and right hands. Lee is displaying some damage under his nose and eye but continues to fire at Gillespie. A head kick from Lee misses. The action gets heated up and its still just the first round. Gillespie gets right back to throwing some more jabs. Lee slips and throws his over hand right that connects and tilts Gillespie’s head to the right where Lee’s brutal left head kick is waiting. As it connects Gillespie’s lights go out in an instant as he drops against the cage at 2:47 secs. ‘The Motown Phenom’ becomes the first fighter to ever defeat Gillespie and gets back to the winning column.

Derrick Lewis defeated Blagoy Ivanov via Split Decision

Derrick Lewis fresh off his knee surgery displayed a much improved and focused version of himself. His cardio and conditioning was on point as he cruised his way landing power shots in every round against Ivanov. As the first round began, Lewis walked down Ivanov looking to put pressure and quickly find an opening to land his trademark over hand right. Lewis unleashes a kick which Ivanov catches and takes him down immediately, steps up to side control and wraps up a crucifix position. But Lewis is prepared and explodes to get back on the feet. More power shots from Lewis but Ivanov is undeterred the first round comes to conclusion.

As the rounds progressed, Ivanov looked to take the fight to the ground and keep Lewis there to wear him out. But ‘The Black Beast’ was hard to contain and the moment he got back up started throwing hammers at Ivanov’s head. For a moment, Ivanov was rattled but he quickly recovered displaying his toughness and durability. The second and third round were absolutely a slug fest to watch as Lewis tagged Ivanov with everything he had and the Bulgarian eating it all. Ivanov managed to retaliate but it was just not enough in the judge’s eyes despite his three take downs.

Stephen Thompson defeated Vicente Luque via Unanimous Decision

After suffering two back-to-back losses, #9 ranked welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson got to trade blows with #14 ranked Vicente Luque in a fight that could very well determine his future course depending on the outcome. But the former title contender put on a classic display of kickboxing against a very game and tough Luque who was willing to stand with the elite striker.

Thompson in his usual side stance brought A-Game as he landed accurate jabs and kicks from every angle. While Luque was relentless in his aggression he was unable to implement his game plan and take Thompson to the deep waters. Thompson effortless controlled the distance but as Luque moved forward and landed some heavy shots on him the tide began to shift in the later moments of the first round. From the second round, Thompson relied on his technical kickboxing as he threw Luque’s timing off and set up some devastating combinations that bloodied Luque. A well times side kick threw Luque flying to the mat. By the end of the second round, Luque’s face was bloodied up and his pace began to slow down.

In the third round, Thompson was all over Luque as he moved from one point to another like blazing wind. A nasty shot dropped Luque to the ground and Thompson followed him to continue the assault but unable to finish him, asked the referee to stand Luque up. Up until the last second, it was a banging affair between the two. Luque had some strong moments in the fight but they were just not enough for him to land any damaging blows. In the end, judges scored the fight in favour of Thompson who is now back to the win column.

Darren Till defeated Kelvin Gastelum via Split Decision

The co-main event was the proving ground for Darren Till who was in a must-win situation and making his middleweight move after losing two straight knockout losses. It was a catch-22 situation where his loss could derail his stand in the middle weight division and going back to welter weight could result in another lethal weight cut.

But Till proved he could hang in with the very best and he did it with a dominant performance. The fight could have been a stand up war but soon turned into a clinch game from the first round with Gastelum & Till both vying for the upper hand. When not in clinch, Till used his leg kicks to keep Gastelum at bay and as the fight progressed, those leg kicks created a lasting impression on Gastelum’s thigh. In the second round, Till upped the ante and used his reach to give Gastelum some problems in exchanges. Gastelum struggled landing big shots on Till who was circling away from him. In the third round, Till connected with his best blow that caught Gastelum’s attention who began retaliating with powerful left hooks. By the end of the third round, Till had done enough to steer ahead and grab the victory in his middleweight debut.

The BMF title is on the line in the main event and The Rock cage side ready to wrap it around the winner of Masvidal vs. Nate. Noting their splendid victories earlier this year, this fight was expected to be an all out stand up war. The fight started off with a great start as both the welter weights walked straight to each other looking to pressurize right away. Diaz got the better of it and quickly set the pace with a series of punches.

Once they were locked in the clinch, Masvidal blasted Nate with a nasty elbow and as Nate wobbled a leg kick landed right on the forehead to drop Nate on the mate. For a moment it seemed Masvidal was close to finish the fight, but knowing how tough Nate was the ending never really came. Diaz turned the heat up late in the first round with a bunch of punches that connected on Masvidal.

Diaz continued to out pour the pressure in the second round, but Masvidal over powered him and made him pay once again with a devasting counter right hand. The cut above Nate’s right eye was causing him problems, but the Stockton native was very much in the fight. Diaz just refused to go back down and Masvidal was doing all he can to put him away. Leg kicks, body shots and heavy blows kept coming at Nate in the third round. The scar tissue had gone worse and cut deepened at the end of third round. Just before the championship rounds started, the ringside doctor came into look at the cut. Diaz nodded he was ready to go, but the doctor disagreed informing the referee to stop the fight.

Sohail Syed

Sohail Syed

Writer, Fitness Trainer, Boxing & Kickboxing Coach, Marketing & Branding Professional with 10+ years of experience.

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