Fights You Need To See Before: UFC 244
It’s Madison Square Garden fight week! There’s always hype when the octagon comes to New York and why shouldn’t there be? It’s an insane card with big names! I also think EA Sports will announce the 4th instalment of the UFC video game but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here to see what fights you need to see before UFC 244 arrives and that’s what we’re going to do.
Kevin Lee (17-5)
The last time Kevin Lee won a fight was in April 2018 and that’s the ginger you should watch. In the fight he defeated Edson Barboza which is a great name for Lee. Lee damaged Barboza to the point the doctors called the fight off. Don’t get me wrong, Lee was in trouble in the fight but the reason why you should watch this fight is to see how much Lee grinds for his wins.
Gregor Gillespie (13-0)
Gregor Gillespie is 13-0 and he’s 32. The Gift has only fought once this year and it was back in January where he won by knockout when he defeated Yancy Medeiros. The fight you should check out before he fights Lee on Saturday is his fight at UFC 210 against Andrew Holbrook. The fight lasted 21 seconds and it just shows how explosive the American fighter is.
Blagoy Ivanov (18-2)
Bulgarian fighter, Blagoy Ivanov has fought twice this year and both fights have been decision wins for Ivanov, this could be a big win if he defeats Derek Lewis but the fight you need to watch before UFC 244 is his fight against Tai Tuivasa that took place at UFC 238.
Derrick Lewis (21-7)
The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis is a former title contender, he did headline Madison Square Garden the last time UFC went there but now he’s on the main card. I definitely think the fight you should watch is his fight at UFC 229, when he fought Alexander Volkov. Volkov was winning the whole fight but in the last 15 seconds, Lewis turned the fight around and won by TKO. This shows just how resilient Lewis is inside the octagon.
Vincente Luque (17-6-1)
Vicente Luque is like a silent assassin, he comes out of no where and wins fights, his last loss being against Leon Edwards back in 2017. Luque’s last fight was back in August when he won via split decision against Mike Perry and that’s the fight you should watch, he infamously shattered Perry’s nose and it’s a great fight to watch!
Stephen Thompson (14-14-1)
I’m a big fan of Stephen Thomson, he’s a fantastic fighter and somebody that could’ve actually been fantastic in MMA but he’s 36 and that’s just not good for Thompson. Don’t get me wrong, Daniel Cormier is 40, Tony Ferguson is 35 but Thompson is 9th in the rankings and will need several wins for him to even get close to a title fight but if he keeps winning then why not? The fight you should watch for Thompson is his fight against Johnny Hendricks when he won in the opening round.
Kelvin Gastelum (15-4)
Many people forget Kelvin Gastelum is 28, he’s already beaten great names that include Michael Bisping, Jacare Souza and Johnny Hendricks. Gastelum has his hands full as he takes on new middleweight comer, Darren Till but before he fights Till, you should watch his fight against Michael Bisping. The fight lasted only one round and Gastelum won the fight.
Darren Till (17-2-1)
It’s hard to say what fight you should watch before UFC 244 for Darren Till, as he’s entering a new weight class but many people forget that he started his MMA career as a middleweight but those fights are hard to find. His most dominant performance was arguably his fight against Donald Cerrone, he won the fight in the first round and it was a very dominant performance from Liverpool’s own.
Jorge Masvidal (34-13)
I’m stuck between two fights here. You can either watch Jorge Masvidal’s fight against Ben Askren that lasts a whopping 5 seconds or his fight against Darren Till where not only he rebounded from a knockdown, he came back and knocked out Till. Either of those fights are fantastic and shows how good Masvidal is.
Nate Diaz (20-11)
I can’t explain just how good it is to see Nate Diaz back inside the octagon. He’s had fight of the night a total of 8 times, submission of the night 5 times and he won the 5th season of The Ultimate Fighter. There’s serval fights I can direct you to, his first fight against Conor McGregor or his most recent fight against Anthony Pettis. Personally, I’d go for the Pettis fight due to how recent it was and how good Diaz looked in that fight.