The best and worst from UFC 244: Masvidal vs. Diaz
UFC 244 was built as one of 2019’s biggest shows, and if there were any questions surrounding the drawing power of either Nate Diaz or Jorge Masvidal, they should probably disappear after reportedly drawing a $6.6m gate at Madison Square Garden.
The show turned out to be one of the year’s most entertaining, too – right up to the ending of the main event, which was shrouded in controversy following a questionable doctor’s stoppage. Prior to that, though, you’d be hard-pressed to call UFC 244 anything but a rousing success.
Here are the best and worst moments from UFC 244: Masvidal vs. Diaz.
#1 Best: Kevin Lee’s savage knockout
Coming into UFC 244 there were some question marks around exactly where Kevin Lee stood in the grand scheme of things. ‘The Motown Phenom’ was coming off two straight losses, and after a brief move to 170lbs, had dropped back to 155lbs to take on one of the most dangerous contenders out there in Gregor Gillespie. Most fans – me included – wondered how Lee would deal with Gillespie’s insane wrestling skill.
Well, it turns out that he didn’t need to worry about the wrestling. After exchanging jabs with Gillespie with both men landing, Lee clocked him with a right hand before switching his lights out with a head kick. And this wasn’t just any normal head kick – this was one of the best in UFC history, as Gillespie was knocked unconscious at the point of impact and fell backwards into the fence in a horrendous visual.
Prior to this Lee only had one stoppage via strikes on his UFC ledger – a 2016 victory over Jake Matthews – but it’s clear now that his striking might well be as dangerous as his grappling. At 27 years old and now training with Firas Zahabi, perhaps we haven’t yet seen the best from Lee – and that’s a scary thought for the rest of the 155lbs division.