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UFC 244 live blog: Stephen Thompson vs. Vicente Luque

Stephen Thompson faces off with Vicente Luque ahead of their welterweight bout Saturday at UFC 244 in New York City
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 244 live blog for Stephen Thompson vs. Vicente Luque, a welterweight bout at Saturday’s UFC event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Thompson, who has lost three of his last four, faces Luque, who has won six straight fights, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 244 live blog below.

Round 1: Keith Peterson is officiating this bout. Luque comes out switching stances. He is firing away with leg kicks and landing. Thompson answering with his own, but he’s losing that battle so far. Luque marches in, but eats a couple of counter-punches for his troubles. Side kick to the chest by Thompson. Luque still having success with kicks to the inside and outside of Thompson’s lead leg. He doubles up on a right hand, cracking Thompson clean the second time. Jab by Thompson and there’s some redness at the bridge of Luque’s nose. Luque having trouble avoiding those counters. Straight right by Thomspon gets through. That seems to wake Luque up, he connects with a series of punches. Solid right hand causes Thompson to pause. Body kick by Luque. Thompson sneaks in with a right hand to the chin. Luque bleeding from his left eye. Lunging body kick by Luque. They stand in the pocket, both landing clean punches to the jaw. Thompson lands a right hand straight down the middle and Luque keeps pushing forward. 1-2 body kick combo by Thompson. Very busy first round for both fighters.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Luque.

Round 2: Luque looking for kicks to the leg and body, Thompson finding a home for the right hand over the top. Snapping left hand by Thompson connects. 1-2 by Thompson. Hard straight right by Luque. Thompson staying cool under pressure as Luque flurries. Another short hook catches Luque. There’s some blood around Thompson’s nose. High side kick sends Luque tumbling back. They touch gloves. Luque staggers as Thompson counter-punches, he recovers, but Thompson has him against the fence. Left hand down the middle lands for Thompson. Counter right by Thompson. He’s finding Thompson’s chin, Thompson standing right there with him. Spinning body kick by Thompson pushes Luque back. Thompson patiently picking Luque apart now. Jabs from Thompson are giving Luque a lot of problems. Luque backed up now and Thompson is teeing off. Left hook by Luque lands. He’s hanging in there, but this has been a big round for Thompson. Kick to the body by Thompson and a 1-2 combo lands cleanly to close out the round.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Thompson. Overall, 19-19.

Round 3: Thompson circling and firing his right hand as Luque pursues. He’s getting in and out with ease. Side kick knocks Luque down again. He’s up, but Thompson cracks him with a straight left. That’s a legit knockdown and Thompson is on top looking to finish with ground strikes. He lets Luque up. 1-2 up top, side kick to the body, everything is scoring for Thompson. He’s measuring Luque, who’s output has dropped dramatically. Luque is the aggressor but he cannot find an opening to attack. Good right hand over the top by Luque. Two minutes remaining. Luque with a 1-2. Thompson tagging Luque with his right. Luque gets past the ja to land another right. Thompson punches the body and slips a few punches. Another 1-2 by Thompson, visibly stagger by Luque. Thompson pouring on the pressure with a minute remaining. Ripping spin kick to the body by Thompson. Counter right by Thompson. He should take this one on the scorecards.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Thompson. Overall, 29-28 Thompson.

Official result: Stephen Thompson def. Vicente Luque via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)

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