Friday, October 23, 2020

UFC 244 Predictions: Masvidal vs. Diaz

UFC 244 is upon us. The event will be held inside Madison Square Garden in New York City tomorrow night (Nov. 2). Headlining the card will be a welterweight clash between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz. They’ll collide for the one-time-only BMF championship. The co-main event will see middleweight action between Kelvin Gastelum and Darren Till.

MMA News continues to keep you posted on the latest UFC 244 updates. Earlier today, we covered the weigh-ins, which you can see the results for here. Myself, Ed Carbajal, and Andrew Ravens have once again linked up to provide main card predictions for UFC 244.

Take a look at the bouts set for the main card:

  • Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz
  • Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till
  • Stephen Thompson vs. Vicente Luque
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Blagoy Ivanov
  • Kevin Lee vs. Gregor Gillespie

Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz

Fernando Quiles Jr.: I believe this will be a fight where Nate Diaz takes his time and eventually takes over. Jorge Masvidal has gone five rounds in the past so his cardio isn’t an issue, but no one is going to outlast a Diaz brother in that department. I see Masvidal having a solid opening round, but Diaz will use his grappling and then his standup to get the better of “Gamebred” en route to a unanimous decision win. (Prediction: Nate Diaz)

Ed Carbajal: Diaz is the underdog for some reason, and it is likely due to Masvidal doing more media and coming off of two finishes in a row. Diaz was also absent for a while before he made his return against Anthony Pettis and created this whole BMF match. Both men have proven hard to finish and it’s because of that, hard to call. For a five-round fight, Diaz may have the advantage to pull off a win. (Prediction: Nate Diaz)

Andrew Ravens: This should be one heck of a fight. I liked the fact that the UFC was willing to give these two guys the top billing of this card and then add in the BMF title, which was a nice touch. It made sense for this fight to main event the card at such a historic arena. Although Diaz looked great over Anthony Pettis in his previous outing, Masvidal is a championship level talent, who should win this fight. He’s in his prime and on a mad dash towards the title. I have Masvidal winning by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Jorge Masvidal)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Nate Diaz

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till

Fernando Quiles Jr.: This is a tough fight for Darren Till, but a win could help wash away the memories of his losses to Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal in a big way. The key here is for Till to keep his distance as Kelvin Gastelum’s boxing is crisp. Gastelum could also threaten with takedown attempts. I believe after the opening frame, Gastelum will start putting combinations together and hurting Till. Whether it’s via finish or decision, I think Gastelum takes it. (Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum)

Ed Carbajal: Till had some trouble getting to New York City and while he is making his middleweight debut, he still has to hit a number. The new weight class might benefit him, but Gastelum has proven to be a monster in his own right in the middleweight division. Things might not work out for Till against someone like Gastelum. (Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum)

Andrew Ravens: Both guys are looking for a rebound win here as they both enter coming off a loss in their previous outing. This is a real defining moment for Till, who has dropped his previous two bouts. Gastelum was right there for a title shot while Till has struggled as of late. I actually have Gastelum winning by unanimous decision but there are some real questions for Till going forward as the UFC didn’t make it easy for him with this pairing. (Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Kelvin Gastelum

Stephen Thompson vs. Vicente Luque

Fernando Quiles Jr.: This is a solid test for Vicente Luque, who is coming off a controversial decision win over Mike Perry. “Platinum” showed that Luque certainly has his openings. I think this will be a problem against a striker as technical as Stephen Thompson. I can see Thompson frustrating Luque in the standup for three rounds. (Prediction: Stephen Thompson)

Ed Carbajal: Thompson was winning his last fight until he made an error that had him suffer a knockout. He’s taken the appropriate time off and has faced some great opponents. Luque could finish him similarly to how Pettis did but Thompson likely has made the adjustment to win. (Prediction: Stephen Thompson)

Andrew Ravens: I questioned this fight booking when it was first made and still do. Although Luque, who is not a huge name yet, hardcore fans know that he’s someone to keep an eye on considering he’s on a six-fight winning streak. Thompson is on a losing streak and Luque is going to be a tough task to get past in this fight. I actually have Luque getting the split decision nod in a close fight. (Prediction: Vicente Luque)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Stephen Thompson

Derrick Lewis vs. Blagoy Ivanov

Fernando Quiles Jr.: While Derrick Lewis always threatens with one-punch knockout power, there’s not much else “The Black Beast” can fall back on. I think Blagoy Ivanov will avoid the big shot and by the time Lewis realizes he can’t get the KO, he’ll be too tired to be effective with his wrestling. I’ve got Ivanov winning via unanimous decision. (Prediction: Blagoy Ivanov)

Ed Carbajal: Lewis is entertaining and has the power to finish any heavyweight he faces. However, back issues have plagued him, leaving fans wondering which version of Lewis is showing up on fight night. Ivanov is a former WSOF heavyweight Champion and has the durability to handle any version of Lewis. It might not be a knockout type of fight, but Ivanov will likely pull off a decision. (Prediction: Blagoy Ivanov)

Andrew Ravens: This could be a fight that should end early but goes the distance. These two have that potential based on their recent fights. Ivanov should win here as he has found his groove under the UFC banner after dropping his promotional debut. Lewis doesn’t seem to be the same fighter. Whether that’s because of injury remains to be seen. Ivanov wins by decision. (Prediction: Blagoy Ivanov)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Blagoy Ivanov

Kevin Lee vs. Gregor Gillespie

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Kevin Lee is certainly aware of the dangers that Gregor Gillespie presents if you go by his pre-fight comments. Gillespie has looked like an absolute stud in the wrestling department. While Lee can hold his own, I can see Gillespie’s pressure tiring him out. I think Gillespie wears Lee down with the grappling on his way to a unanimous decision victory. (Prediction: Gregor Gillespie)

Ed Carbajal: Lee’s best fight was when he faced Tony Ferguson. Granted, he lost by submission but he still brought a tough fight to the former interim champ. Gillespie is undefeated and with Lee fighting so hard to make 155, Gillespie might be able to pull off a win here. (Prediction: Gregor Gillespie)

Andrew Ravens: This could be a fight that turns things around for Lee, who has struggled as of late. It’s a fight that is flying under the radar on this stacked card but with this fight serving as the opener of the main card, it has the potential to be one of the better bouts of the night. Gillespie has looked impressive but I’m not confident that he’s a top guy yet in the division. Lee picks up a one-sided decision win. (Prediction: Kevin Lee)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Gregor Gillespie

That’ll do it for the UFC 244 predictions. Do you agree with the MMA News staffers? Who do you think will emerge victorious on the main card? Give us your predictions in the comments below and be sure to stick with us for live coverage of UFC 244.

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