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Jon Anik’s *Unofficial* Preview for UFC 244 Saturday Night

A Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. No matter what is taking place in that venue, you can always expect some fireworks. And with UFC 244 coming into town tomorrow night, there should certainly be some awesome moments inside the octagon. To hype you up for tomorrow evening’s festivities, Mr. Cat and Mr. Commenter welcomed MMA broadcaster Jon Anik on today’s Pardon My Take to talk about the card at hand. Of course, Anik is not permitted to make official picks for the fights since he’s on the call, but he still delivered some solid insight on what we should expect to see tomorrow night.

Mr. Cat: You mentioned BMF title (baddest motherfucker). Nate Diaz called out Masvidal after the last fight. I watched that one, when he said he “ain’t no West Coast gangster.” Nate Diaz is very fascinating to me because he seems like somewhat of a reluctant star, that he doesn’t actually care as much about the fight promo game. So do these guys hate each other, respect each other, where are they at?

Jon Anik: There is no hatred to be found. They couldn’t possibly respect each other anymore. And I think when your star power gets to a level of a Nate Diaz, the power of fighting you is a big thing, and Nate’s not gonna give that opportunity to anyone. You know, it means a huge payday, and in this case, it means a created title for Jorge Masvidal if he wins the fight.

Mr. Commenter: Give us one of the fights, one of the under cards, that has the potential for a quick knockout.

Jon Anik: Well, there’s a lot of power going both ways in the co-main event between Kelvin Gastelum and Darren Till. You’ve also got two elite strikers in a featured bout on PPV: Stephen Thompson and Vicente Luque. Vicente Luque is the fighter that nobody’s talking about. The dude has won six in a row, 10 of 11, 10 UFC wins, he’s finished the guy in nine of them, and he’s going to go after the karate guy Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who of course, has fought for the title in this Madison Square Garden before. We’ve got a lot of great fights and a very deep five card PPV to end the night.

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Mr. Cat: The thing I love about a big UFC fight card is the upsets. So what is the biggest underdog that you see is like a live underdog? Then you’re like, man, this guy, if he can fight his game, he is going to have a chance to win this thing?

Jon Anik: Well, it’s a good question. I can’t go too far down that line, obviously, because I’m calling it. But one thing I found interesting: Darren Till is moving up the middleweight in the co-main event. And this dude is a monster. I mean, just kicks like a mule, hits like a truck. I think this is the right weight class for him, as a lot of people do. He cut massive amounts of weight down to 170 pounds. And we’ve seen a lot of money come in on Kelvin Gastelum because of his UFC credentials. I think people are sleeping on Darren Till in the co-main event, even his opponent said to me on Tuesday he feels like people are sleeping on Darren Till. Unfortunately, my contract prevents me from going to the [betting] window, but if Till gets in that +200 range, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the sharps to pull the trig.

Our guy Robbie Fox has already pumped out some great preview content as well for tomorrow night’s event, but it’s always cool to see the perspective from a man who will have the best seat in the house as everything unfolds. Mr. Cat, Mr. Cat, and Anik also discussed Connor McGregor’s potential return to the sport as well, which is of course something that would catch the eye of many casual sports fans if that did indeed become a reality.