UFC is certainly making a card worthy of being held inside Madison Square Garden with UFC 244’s main card continuing to see big names and fights added to it.
Hosting its 500th live event at the prestigious arena, the UFC have brought in a host of names to make the event as special and memorable as possible.
Headlined by a thrilling contest between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, the card also features the likes of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Kelvin Gastelum, Darren Till, Derrick Lewis, Johnny Walker, Andrei Arlovski and exciting young star Edmen Shahbazyan.
Masvidal will make his first appearance in the Octagon since knocking out the previously unbeaten Ben Askren in just five seconds, the fastest in UFC history.
Similarly, Nate Diaz heads to MSG off the back of an impressive win as he returned after a three-year break to defeat former champion Anthony Pettis last month.
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Speaking after the announcement, Masvidal explained why this fight was such an intriguing opportunity.
“Ben Askren for example,” Masvidal said. “What’s the worst that could happen to me? He’s going to hug me up? No biggie. When I fight a guy like Nate, it speaks to my soul. I can think of some bad things happening to me.
“These fights speak to my soul. They motivate me to wake up. I don’t have to press the alarm button because I’m already awake.”
With the Stockton, Californian-native calling for an East vs. West clash after beating Pettis, breakdown in talks between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington opened the door for the two fan-favourites to meet in one of the most anticipated main events of the year.
“[Diaz and I] don’t do our work in the media age of talking s**t,” Masvidal said. “We’re just going to f*****g go in there and throw down. Maybe I’ll show up to a press conference, maybe I won’t. But you know I’ll be showing up Nov. 2 with bad intentions. That’s what the f**k you do know.”
One of Masvidal’s knockouts on his recent tear was against British fighter Darren Till, who will be in action in the events co-main, looking to avoid a third straight loss when he makes his middleweight debut against the entertaining Kelvin Gastelum.
Coming off a defeat to Israel Adesanya in an Interim Middleweight Championship bout, Gastelum will look to force his way back into the title picture with a win against the struggling Liverpudlian.
Elsewhere, Johnny Walker returns from a dislocated shoulder injury he suffered celebrating his knockout of Misha Cirkunov back at UFC 235.
Expected to be the biggest challenge to Jon Jones in the light heavyweight division, a win over Corey Anderson could advance the Brazilian to a title shot.
Veteran heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Andrei Arlovski add some power to the bottom of the card, whilst Stephen Thompson features in many’s early pick for fight of the night, as he gets set to face ‘The Slient Assasin’ Vicente Luque.
Despite the big names on the main card, one of the most exciting bouts comes from 21-year-old Edmen Shahbazyan.
The young star heads into the bout with a 10-0 record, with nine first-round finishes. In his toughest fight yet, Shahbazyan faces experienced campaigner Krzysztof Jotko
UFC 244 heads to Madison Square Garden on November 2 in what is set to be an unpredictable and explosive night of MMA.