News

UFC 244: Masvidal vs Diaz – Preview & Picks

November 2nd will see the UFC’s annual return to The Big Apple – New York. The MMA Leader always promises a stacked night of fights at Madison Square Garden, and it appears that UFC 244 will deliver on all cylinders. The event also marks an important milestone in the companies’ history – their 500th live event.

In the main event, a historic fight is set to go down. Two of MMA’s realist fighters will square off in a 5 round welterweight bout. Jorge Masvidal & Nate Diaz will face off to see who is – truly – the baddest-mother-f***er in MMA.

We’ll run you through the main card and late prelims, from top-to-bottom:

Jorge Masvidal (34-13) vs Nate Diaz (20-11) – for BMF championship (welterweight bout)

Jorge Masvidal, left, squares off with Nate Diaz at a news conference for the UFC 244 mixed martial arts event, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in New York. Masvidal is scheduled to fight Diaz Saturday, November 2 at Madison Square Garden. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

Despite the best efforts of USADA, the fight between east coast and west coast gangsters – Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz – will go ahead as the main event of UFC 244.

Riding the hottest streak of his UFC career, Jorge Masvidal looks to make it 3-0 in 2019. With wins over Darren Till and Ben Askren (the latter being the quickest KO in UFC history), ‘Gamebred‘ is on the fast-track to a UFC title shot and a chance to be crowned MMA’s BMF. Masvidal feels that he will be prepared for the fight in every way and holds his opponent in high regards.

Veteran of MMA and self-proclaimed BMF, Nate Diaz returned to competition at UFC 241, picking up a unanimous decision victory. With lightning-fast hands and a solid BJJ game, Diaz will also look to get to the welterweight title in 2020. Diaz re-entered this bout after his situation with USADA was taken care of.

In what’s being called the most-anticipated fight of 2019, neither man is expected to stand down. Expect a war that is set to go down in history.

Kelvin Gastelum (15-4-1 NC) vs Darren Till (17-2-1) – middleweight bout

Following a devastating title loss to Israel Adesanya, Kelvin Gastelum makes his return to the Octagon. Standing in his way is former welterweight title challenger – Darren ‘The Gorilla‘ Till.

Mexican-American Kelvin Gastelum successfully transitioned to the middleweight division permanently in 2016, only suffering two losses since then. Gastelum is looking to rebound off of his interim title loss at UFC 236. Despite those two losses in the past 3 years, the top-5 contender remains as one of 185lbs’ hardest hitters.

Similar to Gastelum, Liverpool’s Darren Till will make the move from 170lbs to 185lbs. The Scouser is also coming off of a loss and is looking to re-invent himself at a higher weight class. Till is a multiple time Muay Thai world-champion and packs one hell of a punch inside the cage.

As of the time of writing, Gastelum is favoured in the co-main event bout. Despite this, Till has the support of his massive UK fan-base.

Stephen Thompson (14-4-1) vs Vicente Luque (17-6-1) – welterweight bout

Up-and-coming prospect Vicente Luque gets a chance to crack the top-10 of the welterweight division, when he takes on striking phenom Stephen ‘Wonderboy‘ Thompson.

A staple of the welterweight division’s finest, ‘Wonderboy‘ Thompson looks to rebound off of his first KO/TKO loss. Holding an outstanding amateur kickboxing record of 58-0, the Carolina-native is regarded as one of the UFC’s greatest strikers. He has had 7 knockouts in his professional MMA career.

With wins over Bryan Barbarena, Derrick Krantz & Mike Perry in 2019, Vicente Luque has silently climbed his way into title contention. The Brazilian has had 12 fights in the UFC, winning 10 of them. A win for Luque places him firmly inside the title picture of 2020.

Both fighters are expected to keep the fight on the feet. Expect a terrific fight between two technical strikers.

Derrick Lewis (21-7-1 NC) vs Blagoy Ivanov (18-2-1 NC) – heavyweight bout

Bulgarian contender Blagoy Ivanov looks to earn his third straight win when he takes on former title challenger Derrick Lewis.

Derrick ‘The Black Beast‘ Lewis enters this fight on a 2-fight skid. This will be his second time fighting at Madison Square Garden, having unsuccessfully challenged for the heavyweight title at UFC 230. Lewis made a name for himself off of his tremendous KO power.

Currently on a 2-fight win-streak, Blagoy Ivanov is on the fast-track to UFC contention. A win over the #5 heavyweight contender is sure to place the Bulgarian into the 2020’s title picture. Ivanov has the advantage in terms of endurance, having gone 5 rounds with Junior dos Santos.

Both men have paths to victory. The oddsmakers are favouring Ivanov (at the time of writing), but aren’t ruling out a win for ‘The Black Beast‘.

Kevin Lee (17-5) vs Gregor Gillespie (13-0) – lightweight bout

Following a failed stint at 170lbs, Kevin Lee returns to lightweight to take on undefeated prospect Gregor Gillespie.

Heralded as one of 155lbs’ best grapplers, ‘The Motown Phenom”s game plans usually revolve around his high-level wrestling. Lee has dropped two straight fights and is looking to re-invent himself. The contender favours himself in this matchup, saying he sees holes in Gillespie’s game.

An NCAA Division 1 wrestler, Gregor ‘The Gift‘ Gillespie has worked his way into contendership in the UFC. The New-Yorker has won all but one of his promotional fights via stoppage (3 KO/TKO, 3 submissions). Gillespie is coming off of a TKO win over Yancy Medeiros.

Both fighters have a large cult following and are being picked to win by their respective fan-bases.

Corey Anderson (12-4) vs Johnny Walker (17-3) – light-heavyweight bout

Both Corey Anderson and Johnny Walker look to move one step closer to a title shot when they square off in the featured prelim.

Corey Anderson has long been lurking at the top of the UFC’s light-heavyweight division. He’s currently riding the longest win-streak of his short career, at three. The wins came over Patrick Cummins, Illir Latifi & Glover Teixeira.

In the past 15 months, DWTNCS Brazil star Johnny Walker has risen to superstardom. With 3 KO/TKO wins under his belt in the UFC, he proved that he is one of 205lbs’ most explosive fighters. His three UFC wins are over Khalil Rountree Jr., Justin Ledet & Misha Cirkunov.

Most MMA fans have picked Walker in this matchup, but Anderson’s fan-base have been very supportive of the wrestler.

Shane Burgos (12-1) vs Makwan Amirkhani (15-3) – featherweight bout

#12 ranked featherweight contender Shane Burgos looks to defend his ranking, when he takes on Finnish sensation Makwan Amirkhani.

New York-native Shane Burgos amassed an impressive 10-0 record, before losing his first fight to Calvin Kattar at UFC 220. Since that loss, Burgos has gone on to win twice more, most recently over Cub Swanson. At just 28 years old, the Bronx prospect has won two Fight of The Night bonuses.

Fighting twice a year for the first time since 2015, Makwan Amirkhani intends on nabbing the UFC featherweight ranking that belongs to his opponent. The Iranian-born contender, who fights out of SBG Ireland, has a total of 10 submission wins. ‘Mr. Finland’ has received Performance of The Night bonuses for his 8-second KO over Andy Ogle & submission win of Chris Fishgold.

With a potential spot in the top-10 on the line, expect both men’s all-action styles to show.

Brad Tavares (17-5) vs Edmen Shahbazyan (10-0) – middleweight bout

Hawaiian contender Brad Tavares returns from a 16-month layoff to welcome prospect Edmen Shahbazyan to the elite of the 185lb division.

After his 5-fight win-streak was snapped by now-champion Israel Adesanya, Brad Tavares took a hiatus from MMA, out of the ordinary. Now, he returns to the Octagon in MSG. Tavares holds wins over such contenders as Krzysztof Jotko, Elias Theodorou, Nate Marquardt & Lorenz Larkin.

Only 3 fights deep into his UFC career, Edmen Shahbazyan has made a name for himself. Another alumni of DWTNCS, the Glendale fighter holds wins over fellow prospects Darren Stewart, Charles Byrd and Jack Marshman. 8 of his 10 wins have come via KO/TKO.

At only 20 years old, Edmen Shahbazyan has a large fan-base, as does Tavares. Expect both fighters to come out strong, trying to impose their gameplans.

Andrei Arlovski (28-18-2 NC) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (8-0) – heavyweight bout

MMA legend Andrei Arlovski returns to the cage for the 49th time in his professional career. Opposing him will be Suriname’s Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

As one of MMA most war-tried veterans, ‘Pitbull‘ Arlovski has had over 30 fights under the ZUFFA banner. Earlier this year, he snapped an unfortunate losing streak (0-3, 1 NC) with an impressive victory over Ben Rothwell. 17 of his 28 wins have come via KO/TKO.

In the 2 UFC fights, ‘Bigi Boy‘ has only amassed over 6 minutes of Octagon time. Rozenstruik last defeated Allen Crowder via KO, in only 9 seconds – which places among the quickest in the history of the promotion. The Dutch kickboxer possesses knockout power in both hands.

While most have chosen Rozenstruik to take the win, some have picked Arlovski to get his 29th pro win.

***

Staff Predictions

Some of our writers at Planet MMA will give their picks for the fights listed above:

Jake Davis – Senior Blogger

Nate Diaz def. Jorge Masvidal via decision – to win BMF title

Kelvin Gastelum def. Darren Till via TKO (R2)

Stephen ‘Wonderboy‘ Thompson def. Vicente Luque via decision

Blagoy Ivanov def. Derrick Lewis via decision

Gregor Gillespie def. Kevin Lee via decision

Johnny Walker def. Corey Anderson via KO (R2)

Shane Burgos def. Makwan Amirkhani via decision

Edmen Shahbazyan def. Brad Tavares via TKO (R3)

Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Andrei Arlovski via TKO (R1)

Cauley Quilty – Blogger and Website Manager

Nate Diaz def. Jorge Masvidal via decision – to win BMF title

Darren Till def. Kelvin Gastelum via TKO (R2)

Vicente Luque def. Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson via TKO (R3)

Blagoy Ivanov def. Derrick Lewis via decision

Gregor Gillespie def. Kevin Lee via submission (R2)

Johnny Walker def. Corey Anderson via TKO (R2)

Shane Burgos def. Makwan Amirkhani via decision

Edmen Shahbazyan def. Brad Tavares via decision

Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Andrei Arlovski via KO (R3)

Hayden – Junior Blogger

Jorge Masvidal def. Nate Diaz via KO (R3) – to win BMF title

Darren Till def. Kelvin Gastelum via TKO (R2)

Stephen ‘Wonderboy‘ Thompson def. Vicente Luque via decision

Derrick Lewis def. Blagoy Ivanov via KO (R2)

Kevin Lee def. Gregor Gillespie via submission (R3)

Johnny Walker def. Corey Anderson via KO (R1)

Shane Burgos def. Makwan Amirkhani via decision

Edmen Shahbazyan def. Brad Tavares via submission (R2)

Andrei Arlovski def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via decision

Zack Walker – Junior Blogger

Nate Diaz def. Jorge Masvidal via decision – to win BMF title

Kelvin Gastelum def. Darren Till via KO (R2)

Stephen ‘Wonderboy‘ Thompson def. Vicente Luque via decision

Blagoy Ivanov def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (R2)

Kevin Lee def. Gregor Gillespie via decision

Johnny Walker def. Corey Anderson via KO (R1)

Makwan Amirkhani def. Shane Burgos via submission (R2)

Brad Tavares def. Edmen Shahbazyan via decision

Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Andrei Arlovski via decision

Fernando – Junior Blogger

Nate Diaz def. Jorge Masvidal via submission (R3) – to win BMF title

Darren Till def. Kelvin Gastelum via KO (R2)

Stephen ‘Wonderboy‘ Thompson def. Vicente Luque via decision

Derrick Lewis def. Blagoy Ivanov via TKO (R2)

Gregor Gillespie def. Kevin Lee via decision

Johnny Walker def. Corey Anderson via KO (R2)

Shane Burgos def. Makwan Amirkhani via decision

Edmen Shahbazyan def. Brad Tavares via submission (R3)

Andrei Arlovski def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via decision

***

We, at Planet MMA, are all very excited to see the UFC’s return to the world’s most famous arena. Who do you think will walk away with the victories? Make sure to tell us in the comments and on our Twitter page, @ThePlanetMMA!

For all the latest MMA news and original content, visit planetmma.com.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top