UFC 244: Jorge Masvidal is officially the UFC’s BMF

Jorge Masvidal wins BMF belt, beats Nate Diaz by doctor’s stoppage

Just like we all thought it would be, Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz’s battle for the newly-created “BMF” title was a whole load of fun while it lasted.

These two fan favourites went at it from the get-go.

Masvidal undoubtedly got the better of Diaz in the opening round, knocking his opponent down with a nasty elbow which also appeared to be the shot which opened one of two cuts on Diaz’s face. From there, Diaz spent most of the round on his back as Masvidal picked his punches on his grounded foe, going to the body and above. But Diaz is one of the toughest customers you’ll ever encounter in the Octagon and he recovered to land punches of his own as the round closed.

That brief spell of Diaz momentum continued. The Stockton native plodded forward and landed on Masvidal who attempted to circle away. That was until a crushing right hand from Masvidal led to knocking Diaz down for a second time. On this occasion, Masvidal was happy to let Diaz back up to resume the fight on the feet and convincingly win the rest of the round.

The third followed a similar trend. Masvidal was simply too quick and too powerful for Diaz. “Gamebred” landed some gruesome bodyshots – both kicks and digging left hooks – on Diaz to take the wind out of the Californian’s sails to clearly be 3-0 up in the contest.

Any hopes of Diaz staging a spectacular comeback were extinguished as the pair were set to do battle for the fourth round.

The cageside doctor inspected Diaz’s worsening cuts above and below his right eye and deemed it necessary to call the fight off – much to the chagrin of Diaz, Masvidal and the fans watching at Madison Square Garden and at home.

It wasn’t the way he wanted to happen, but Masvidal walked away with the BMF title around his waist. Though it was perhaps a premature stoppage, there is no doubting Masvidal seemed to have the edge in each striking exchange between the two. Masvidal was simply too quick and strong for Diaz in there, but there are plenty of calls for a second fight from both Diaz and Masvidal.

This caps off an amazing year for Masvidal, who won three (official) fights in the UFC and became a fan favourite in the process.

 

Darren Till makes successful middleweight debut, defeats Kelvin Gastelum

Despite plenty of adversity thrown his way, Darren Till made a triumphant return to the Octagon and debut at middleweight at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden.

Plenty of people questioned the decision to take on such a tough opponent in Kelvin Gastelum for Till’s return following two devastating defeats. However, with a smart gameplan and plenty of physicality, Till was able to take the split decision win.

The taller and rangier of the two, Till made it his mission to chew up Gastelum’s lead leg with kicks from the outside and that paid dividends from the outset.

If he wasn’t landing leg kicks, Till was lining up his piston-like left straight.

Gastelum tried and failed to take Till down after initiating the clinch in the opening two rounds, but Till easily rebuffed his opponent’s attempts.

However, he did manage to take the Liverpudlian down in the third round on a couple of occasions. But Till used that momentum to get back on his feet with relative ease.

After three rounds, Till was given the split decision win. Somehow, a judge gave Gastelum all three rounds which was baffling. Thankfully, ultimately the correct outcome was presented to Till.

 

UFC 244: Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz full results

Welterweight: Jorge Masvidal def. Nate Diaz by TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of round three
Middleweight: Darren Till def. Kelvin Gastelum by split decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Stephen Thompson def. Vicente Luque by unanimous decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis def. Blagoy Ivanov by split decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Kevin Lee def. Gregor Gillespie by KO (head kick) at 2:47 of round one
Light Heavyweight: Corey Anderson def. Johnny Walker by TKO (punches) at 2:07 of round one
Featherweight: Shane Burgos def. Makwan Amirkhani by TKO (punches) at 4:32 of round three
Middleweight: Edmen Shahbazyan def. Brad Tavares by KO (head kick) at 2:27 of round one
Heavyweight: Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Andrei Arlovski by KO (punch) at 0:29 of round one
Catchweight: Katlyn Chookagian def. Jennifer Maia by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Lyman Good def. Chance Rencountre by TKO (punches) at 2:03 of round three
Featherweight: Hakeem Dawodu def. Julio Arce Decision by split decision after three rounds

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.