Stephen Thompson and Vicente Luque showed that there were welterweights other than Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz worth watching at UFC 244.
Thompson and Luque garnered “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their featured 170-pound clash at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. While Luque started well, utilizing consistent forward movement to pressure his adversary, it was “Wonderboy” who took control over the final 10 minutes with a versatile and precise offensive arsenal to capture a unanimous verdict.
Elsewhere, Kevin Lee received a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” check for a spectacular first-round knockout of Gregor Gillespie in a featured lightweight tilt. “The Motown Phenom” knocked Gillespie from the ranks of the unbeaten when he followed a right hand to the temple with a crushing left high kick that removed the former NCAA All-American from consciousness at the 2:47 mark of Round 1.
Finally, Corey Anderson captured the evening’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award on the strength of a quick finish of highly-touted light heavyweight prospect Johnny Walker in a preliminary matchup. A right hook from Anderson rocked the Brazilian early, and “Overtime” never let up from there, attacking with strikes on his reeling opponent until the contest was halted 2:07 into the opening stanza.