November 2, 2019
Madison Square Garden, New York City
ESPN+ PPV, ESPN 2, ESPN+
UFC 244 Live Report
UFC 244 early prelim results (ESPN+)
Hakeem Dawodu vs. Julio Arce (Featherweight)
Round 1: Dawodu is attacking his opponent’s lead leg, here in the early going. Arce seems to be feeling the kicks. Arce connects with a left hook, his leg appears to be okay. Arce connects with a 1-2; Dawodu initiates a clinch and lands a low kick as Arce breaks the grip. They’re back in the clinch, both fighters are exchanging knees but Dawodu looks to have a bit more power on his. (10-9 Dawodu) Arce looks the worse of the two, he has some swelling around his eyes but aside from that he appears to be okay, the leg looks to be a non-issue.
Round 2: Arce is a bit off with a high kick, Dawodu returns fire with a low kick. They’re exchanging at close range, both fighters are landing grazing shots, but nothing serious. Dawodu forces the fight against the fence, but only briefly. Arce scores with a trip after a nearly minute-long boxing exchange. Dawodu was scoring frequently with a jab. Down on the mat, Arce transitions to the back, he has two hooks, but Dawodu spins into the guard and stands up from there. Back on the feet, Dawodu is proving to be the far more technical striker, but Arce is making things interesting with his unorthodox style, still feels like Dawodu is a step ahead though. (10-9 Dawodu) This round is going to be a hard one to score; the takedown was nice but Dawodu climbed right back to his feet. He was a step ahead on the feet as well.
Round 3: Dawodu scores with a counter right early in round three. He forces the fight against the fence, and from there he is working with a clinch. Arce is returning uppercuts with his back against the fence. Arce reverses the position, and from there they separate from the fence. Dawodu continues to lead all of the striking exchanges, Arce is using a diverse array of strikes but his accuracy is low. Arce is landing in the final seconds of the round, Dawodu is landing as well but Arce is stringing them together. (10-9 Dawodu) (30-27 Dawodu) Dawodu started to slow down towards the end of the round, but some of that could have been in the name of self-preservation. Overall this was a very good fight and both guys should benefit from the effort.
Result: Hakeem Dawodu def. Julio Arce via Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Final Notes: I can see why somebody could have scored the fight for Arce, mostly due to his output. But with that being said I think the right man got the win. It was not his best performance, but it was a good one considering how good Julio Arce has looked at times.
Lyman Good vs. Chance Rencountre (Welterweight)
Favorite: Good -130
Round 1: Good connects with a left hand to break the ice. Rencountre has won two straight, while Good is coming off a submission loss to Damian Maia. Rencountre moves in, only to eat a left hook from Lyman Good. Good connects with an inside low kick. Rencountre is getting outpaced here. Rencountre clinches but Good breaks his grip, and connects with a quick jab. Rencountre shoots for a single leg, Good retains his footing and backs against the cage. Rencountre connects with an elbow as he allows Good off the cage. Good appears to be slowing down just a bit, hard to say if its fatigue or if he’s just settling into the fight. Rencountre clinches again, but Good is landing some big shots! Good connects with a series of uppercuts, and left and right hooks. Rencountre is taking all of them though, and the question is going to be whether or not Good can keep his pace. (10-9 Good) Good was absolutely the hammer in this round. Rencountre did not get much offense in, he attempted to wrestle at times, but Good powered out of the attempts and continued landing power shots.
Round 2: Good is looking crisp in round two, just as he did in round one. His strikes are tight and powerful. Rencountre does not have an answer yet, his chin is the only thing keeping him in this fight. Rencountre scores with a jab, one of several shots in a combination, but Good counters with a jab and right straight of his own. Good connects with a quick left hook, Rencountre was just standing in place and waiting for it. Rencountre scores with an uppercut to the body, Good is backing up a bit more at this point in the round, which is allowing his opponent to land more so than he was before. Rencountre scores with a big left hook, but Good is coming right back at him. Good connects with a right hand in the final moments of the round. Great round for the former Bellator Welterweight Champion. (10-9 Good) Lyman Good’s corner is asking him if he can put weight on his right foot, so it would seem he is dealing with some sort of injury.
Round 3: Rencountre opens the round with a hook to the body. Good’s movement will be something to watch for in this round. Good scores with a hook to the body and a straight right hand to the face. Rencountre is starting to look like a horror movie victim as this fight progresses. Good connects with a high kick! Rencountre goes down despite getting his guard up! Good follows him to the mat and finishes him off with a couple of punches, before the ref steps in! Great work by Lyman Good!
Turns out that it was not the high kick that put Rencountre down, but instead it with a follow up right hook.
Result: Lyman Good def. Chance Rencountre via TKO (Punches) Round 3, 2:03
Final Notes: In my opinion, this was the best performance of Lyman Good’s UFC career. He’s largely been an afterthought in the UFC due to a few losses and a slew of injuries, but that will change if he keeps performing like this.
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia (Flyweight/Catchweight*)
*Jennifer Maia missed weight, weighing in at 127.2 LBS.
Favorite: Chookagian -160
Round 1: Chookagian is controlling the action early on, she has a notable height and reach advantage. So far Maia is having a hard time with the reach. Chookagian is landing with straight punches and low kicks, mostly as Maia tries closing the distance. Maia connects with a left hand as Chookagian backs away from an exchange. It feels like Maia needs to change something up. She shoots for a takedown, but Chookagian defends and backs against the fence. Maia is looking for a takedown, but Chookagian is making is difficult. Chookagian connects to the body, and then just misses with a high kick! (10-9 Chookagian)
Round 2: Chookagian continues to manage the distance well here in round two. Maia is landing a bit more frequently, but Chookagian is doing a good job of avoiding the power hand. Chookagian counters Maia with a low kick. Chookagian lands with a 1-2, and then she circles away from Maia’s return shot, scoring with a low kick in the process. (10-9 Chookagian) It’s so obvious what Maia needs to do, but Chookagian is just that good. Maia is trying to close the distance, but Chookagian is making her pay every time.
Round 3: Maia is showing a lot more aggression here in round three. She rushes forward with punches and secures her first takedown of the night. She is working from half guard, but she really is not doing much. Maia is landing short shots from the top position. Chookagian rolls for an ankle lock just as the round ends. (10-9 Maia) (29-28 Chookagian)
Result: Katlyn Chookagian def. Jennifer Maia via Unanimous Decision
UFC 244 prelims ESPN 2
Andrei Arlovski vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (Heavyweight)
Favorite: Rozenstruik -160
Round 1: Rezenstruik connects early with a jab, and Arlovski is wobbled! They’re exchanging some big shots, Arlovski looks to be in trouble here. Arlovski rushes forward with a right hook, but Rozenstruik counters with a left hand of his own! Arlovski is down and out! No need for any follow-up shots!
Result: Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Andrei Arlovski via KO (Left-Hook) Round 1, 0:29
Final Notes: It’s always unfortunate to see a guy like Arlovski lose like this. But with that being said I think it’s safe to say that we have a new contender on the rise in the heavyweight division.
(11)Brad Tavares vs. (13)Edmen Shahbazyan (Middleweight)
Favorite: Shahbazyan -155
Round 1: Both fighters are showing lots of caution in the early portion of the round. Shahbazyan connects with a straight right and Tavares is down! Tavares is hurt here, he is looking to avoid the kill shot but Shahbazyan is staying on him. Shahbazyan paws at Tavares and then scores with a high kick! Tavares is down and this fight is over! Wow! The fight started off very tedious, Shahbazyan was favoring a jab, but not much was happening for either fighter. But once Shahbazyan landed that straight right hand, everything else he threw was laser-accurate. Just a fantastic performance by Shahmazyan, especially when taking into account the durability often displayed by Brad Tavares.
Result: Edmen Shahbazyan def. Brad Tavares via KO (Head-kick) Round 1, 2:27
Makwan Amirkhani vs. (12)Shane Burgos (Featherweight)
Favorite: Burgos -250
Round 1: Amirkhani is looking for a takedown right out of the gate. He forces the fight against the fence and scores with a takedown. Burgos recovers guard, we’ll see what he can do from his back. Burgos is bleeding from above his left eye, I believe the cut is from a shot that Amirkhani landed just before the takedown. Burgos has nearly climbed back to his feet, but Amirkhani takes his back and slams him back down. Amirkhani attempted another takedown, but Burgos grabbed the fence to maintain his footing. Amirkhani repositions and takes Burgos down again. He’s attacking with a guillotine, and it looks tight. Burgos is scrambling, Amirkhani is looking to reposition, but Burgos pops free. Amirkhani connects with a left hook and shoots, but Burgos defends with just over one minute left in the round. Burgos connects with a slick right hand. Amirkhani shoots, his shot is slow, sort of an ankle pick, and Burgos steps right out of it. Burgos connects to the body as the round ends. (10-9 Amirkhani) Amirkhani appeared to slow down a but once Burgos got back to his feet, after the guillotine attempt. Burgos was not very aggressive on the feet though, so Amirkhani may have been able to recover a bit. Clear round for Amirkhani.
Round 2: Burgos is stringing punches together, he’s attacking the head and body. Amirkhani connects with a quick right hand and then shoots. He puts Burgos against the fence, and from there he uses a body lock to drag Murgos down. He nearly has the back, but Burgos is able to defend it and climb back to his feet. Amirkhani still has a body lock though, he attempts a trip but Burgos ends up on top. They scramble through and clinch against the fence. Amirkhani lands a grazing front kick to the face, but Burgos still looks fresh. Amirkhani shoots, but Burgos sprawls. Amirkhani has a leg, and he’s looking to drive through with the takedown, but in the meantime, he is taking shots to the body. They scramble, and Burgos lands a big hammerfist from the top, as he drops down into Amirkhani’s guard. (10-9 Burgos) Very good round and I’ll say the same about the fight. Amirkhani appears to be fading, while Burgos looks like he is primed for a great third round.
Round 3: Amirkhani opens the third round with a straight right hand. Burgos attacks with a right hand and Amirkhani is down! Burgos follows him, he’s attacking with ground and pound, Amirkhani is in serious trouble here! Burgos is allowing Amirkhani back to his feet. Burgos connects with a high kick, but Amirkhani eats it. Burgos connects with a right hand, Amirkhani returns a weak left hand! He shoots, but Burgos sprawls and beckons him back to his feet. Amirkhani attempts a few straight punches and then shoots, only for Burgos to sprawl again. Burgos is landing some serious punches from the top, he transitions to side control, and he is landing punches to the body from that position. Amirkhani scrambles out of danger, but Burgos again beckons him back to his feet. This is a great showing by Burgos, but man it feels like Amirkhani has been compromised for minutes, but he just keeps hanging on. Burgos connects to the body, and then with a straight right hand! Amirkhani stumbles, and this fight is over!
Result: Shane Burgos def. Makwan Amirkhani via TKO (Punches) Round 3, 4:32
Final Notes: Shane Burgos looked great after the tough first round. I know I should not feel this way, but it felt like Burgos was enjoying beating on Amirkhani in the third round, and because of that, he allowed Amirkhani off the hook several times. Either way though he looked great, and cardio continues to be an issue for Amirkhani.
(7)Corey Anderson vs. (11)Johnny Walker (Light-heavyweight)
Favorite: Walker -160
Round 1: Walker connects with a low kick to get things started. Walker shoots, Walker defends though and puts Anderson against the fence. Anderson secures a clinch and separates from the fence. Anderson connects with a big right hand and then a left! Walker is down! He scrambles back to his feet but Anderson takes him right back down! They scramble again but Anderson is staying on him! Anderson puts Walker down again with a right hand and this fight is over! Wow! This is a fight you will need to see to really comprehend… so much movement, so many shots, such a great performance! I think Corey Anderson has finally moved the needle!
Result: Corey Anderson def. Johnny Walker via KO (Straight Right) Round 1, 2:07
Final Notes: Well I don’t think many people saw this coming, at least not in this fashion. Corey Anderson deserves a title shot in my opinion.
UFC 244 main card ESPN+ PPV
(11)Gregor Gillespie vs. (10)Kevin Lee (Lightweight)
Favorite: Gillespie -150
Round 1: We’re seeing lots of jabs from both fighters early on. Gillespie just misses with an uppercut, both fighters are showing some decent defense early on. Lee looks considerably larger than Gillespie here. Gillespie lands a quick jab, something he’s made a habit of here tonight. Gillespie scores with a right hand, but Lee returns fire with a shot to the midsection. Lee scores with a right hand, knocking Gillespie off balance. He follows it up with a high kick and Gillespie is out cold! Wow! What a kick!
Result: Kevin Lee def. Gregor Gillespie via KO (Head-kick) Round 1, 2:47
Final Notes: Lee looked alot bigger and faster throughout the entire fight. Gillespie was content to strike, but he was clearly at a power disadvantage. Lee will move forward with a nice win. Gillespie should look at featherweight in my opinion, but only time will tell.
(8)Blagoy Ivanov vs. (5)Derrick Lewis (Heavyweight)
Favorite: Ivanov -125
Round 1: Lewis is looking to land kicks to the midsection to get things going. He attempts one, and Ivanov catches it. Ivanov takes him down from there and drops into side control. He is looking to isolate an arm. Lewis scrambles to his feet, and connects with several big shots! Ivanov secures a body lock, but Lewis forces him against the fence. Lewis scores with a takedown, but Ivanov immediately climbs back to his feet. Lewis is controlling the action against the fence, and from there he scores with a big elbow. Ivanov attempts a hip toss, but Lewis avoids it. Lewis connects with several shots forcing Ivanov to back away from his range. Ivanov lands a punch to the body as the round comes to a close. Hard round to score… (10-9 Lewis) Really could go either way, but Lewis was in control for most of the round in some way or another. Ivanov had his moments though, including the takedown.
Round 2: Ivanov opens the round with a right hand. They clinch and Lewis attempts a trip, but Ivanov avoids it. Lewis lands a low kick, and then several shots to the head of Ivanov! Ivanov secures a body lock, and he takes Lewis down from there. Ivanov is looking for a keylock, but Lewis powers out of it! He climbs to his feet and he’s chasing Ivanov across the cage! Lewis is throwing some BIG shots here! Ivanov lands a jab and closes the distance, securing a clinch in the process. Ivanov lands several shots from the clinch, but Lewis returns a big knee! Ivanov separated but eats several hard shots while doing so! Ivanov has a chin… he forces Lewis against the fence in the final moments of the round. He completes a hip toss putting Lewis down in the final moments of the round! What a fight! (10-9 Ivanov) So hard to score… Both guys are having some major moments, and for a heavyweight fight, the pace is pretty insane.
Round 3: They’re clinched early in the round. Ivanov attempts a trip but Lewis avoids it. Lewis clinches and scores with a knee. From there he attempts a takedown, but Ivanov sprawls. They scramble back to the feet and Lewis uncorks a shot or two, before Ivanov secures another clinch. Lewis is opening up in the final seconds of the round, this fight is going to be nearly impossible to score. The third round was much slower than the first two, but it was still a great fight. (10-9 Ivanov) (29-28 Ivanov)
Result: Derrick Lewis def. Blagoy Ivanov via Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Final Notes: It was a very close fight and easily could have gone either way. Lewis delivered more damage, but Ivanov did more of what usually scores you points in MMA. Either way, it was a great fight between two very game heavyweight fighters.
(9)Stephen Thompson vs. (14)Vicente Luque (Welterweight)
Round 1: Luque is landing the occasional low kick early in the round. Thompson scores with a sidekick. Luque returns fire with a nice right hand, Thompson answers with a straight left hand. Luque opens up with a flurry of punches, several hard shots landed! Luque is making sure that Thompson does not get into a rhythm. Thompson scores with a jab. Luque is pressuring and landing. (10-9 Luque) A Lot more happened than my coverage would lead you to believe. But it was a difficult round to watch and cover… Luque pressured alot and it kept Thompson from setting up much of anything. Thompson appeared out of his element at several points, but Luque did not appear overly confident at any point.
Round 2: Thompson is scoring with jabs and straight rights in the early part of the round. Luque lands a right hand, knocking Thompson off balance. Thompson scores with a jab and then exits the strike zone, forcing Luque to swing in the air. Luque appears a bit less composed in this round. Thompson scores with a sidekick to the chest, knocking Luque down! Luque scores with a quick right hand! Thompson connects with a spinning back kick to the body! Luque connects with a jab, only to eat a sidekick in return. Thompson is backing Luque against the fence! Luque lands a kick to the midsection but the tide has absolutely turned against him. Thompson appears to be firmly in control going into the third round. (10-9 Thompson)
Round 3: Thompson scores with a sidekick and Luque is down! Thompson allows him to get up, and from there he drops him again with a straight right hand! He follows Luque down and lands several good shots. Luque scrambles and we’re back on the feet. Luque connects with a kick to the body, but his pace his slowed to a snails. Luque connects with a grazing right hand, but he just doesnt have enough left to put much on his shots. Thompson is landing at will in the final seconds of the round. Great performance by Thompson, he showed that he is still amongst the best in the division. Luque looked good in round one, but overall he was outclassed tonight by a superior fighter. (10-8 Thompson)
Result: Stephen Thompson def. Vicente Luque via Unanimous Decision
(10/WW)Darren Till vs. (4)Kelvin Gastelum (Middleweight)
Favorite: Gastelum -230
Round 1: They clinch to get things started. Gastelum has underhooks, he’s controlling the action against the fence. Till lands a solid low kick. Gastelum secures underhooks and forces Till back against the fence. Gastelum is looking for a toss, but Till is defending. Till lands a low kick with just over a minute left in the round. Gastelum charges forward with a body hook, straight right combination. But Till avoids most of it. Till counters, a low kick with a big left hand as the round comes to a close. (10-9 Till) Weird round. I scored it for Till largely based on his low kicks being the most effective tool by either fighter. Gastelum does not seem to have an answer for them.
Round 2: Long feeling out process to start the round… Till scores with a heavy low kick. Gastelum moves inside, and directly into a straight right hand. Gastelum rakes Till in the eye and we are going to see a break in the action. Till lands a pair of low kicks as we get back to the action. Gastelum lunges in, but Till clinches him. Gastelum is working against the fence, looking for a takedown, but Till is defending so far. Gastelum has landed several low kicks over the last minute or so, but nothing he’s doing seems to be affecting Till’s game. Till scores with a straight left, as he avoids a Gastelum low kick. (10-9 Till) The first round was close, but the second was a lot clearer. Till was landing straight punches and low kicks, which seemed to keep Gastelum off his game. Gastelum likely needs a finish to earn a win tonight, because Till is looking very good and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Round 3: Till opens up with a low kick. Gastelum shoots, but Till defends and shakes him off. Gastelum lands a left hand during a brief clinch, but he doesnt follow up. Till scores with a spinning back elbow, it was hard to tell how accurate it was though, may have just grazed Gastelum. Till catches one of Gastelum’s kick and trips him to the mat, only to let him back up. Till lands a knee as they clinch, but Gastelum backs away to avoid any more damage. Gastelum shoots and completes a takedown! Till stands up though without much effort. Gastelum is probably thirty seconds away from losing this fight. Gastelum scores with another takedown, but again Till pops right back up. (10-9 Till) (30-27 Till)
Result: Darren Till def. Kelvin Gastelum via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 27-30)
Final notes: The 30-27 score for Gastelum is asinine. With that being said it was a closer fight than it seemed, but Till absolutely deserved the decision.
(7)Nate Diaz vs. (3)Jorge Masvidal (Welterweight)
Favorite: Masvidal -160
Round 1: Diaz opens up with a heavy 1-2! Masvidal clinches and puts Diaz against the fence. Masvidal connects with a big elbow! Diaz is hurt! Masvidal connects with a high-kick and Diaz is down! Masvidal is landing shots from the top. Diaz is struggling to get to his feet. The ref stands the fighters up and we are back in the center. Diaz grabs a leg, he’s looking for a takedown. Masvidal connects with an elbow as they separate. Diaz connects with a pair of wide hooks! Diaz lands again, this time with a shot to the body and a straight right hand as the round ends! Great round. Masvidal did more damage and nearly earned a finish. Diaz appears to be back in the fight, though he likely lost round one. (10-9 Masvidal)
Round 2: Masvidal connects with a kick to the body to break the ice. Diaz lands to the body, but Masvidal returns a quick right hand to the head. Diaz backs Masvidal up with a 1-2, but Masvidal returns fire with a right hand. Diaz drops to his back, but Masvidal beckons him back to his feet. Masvidal connects with a huge right hook, but Diaz doesn’t even flinch… Masvidal is controlling the action against the fence, he connects with a knee to the midsection and two crisp left hooks. Diaz backs away, Masvidal charges forward and connects with several solid knees. Masvidal secures a body lock and takes Diaz down, with just under one minute left in the round. Masvidal takes the back, with no hooks, just a body lock. Diaz is standing, and he rolls onto his back, but Masvidal follows him. Diaz is looking for a heel-hook but Masvidal scrambles out of it as the round ends. (10-9 Masvidal)
Round 3: Diaz attacks the body, backing Masvidal up with several good shots. Masvidal connects with a straight right hand, it had quite a bit of heat on it. He follows it up with a kick to the midsection. Masvidal lands another big left hand… this is turning it a one-sided fight very quickly. Masvidal lands again, this time with a jab. Diaz returns fire with several well placed straight punches. Masvidal connects with a big right hook… Diaz is an absolute mess here. Diaz secures underhooks, he’s looking for a takedown but Masvidal is not giving anything up. Diaz attempts a trip, but Masvidal keeps his balance. Diaz rolls for a leg, but Masvidal rolls with him and takes top control. (10-9 Masvidal)
They’ve stopped the fight before round 4… The doctor has decided that Nate Diaz has cuts that will prevent him from continuing. Interesting way for the BMF bout to come to a close…
Result: Jorge Masvidal def. Nate Diaz via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) Round 3, 5:00
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