MMA Gradebook: Rating Every Fight From UFC 238

By Kevin Wilson Jun 10, 2019
If you’re like us and watch an absurd amount of mixed martial arts each week, you probably wish there were some sort of rating system so you’re not forced to sit through a boring fight waiting for something to happen. In order to help, we rate the fights on major cards for your convenience. If you happen to miss an event, check back here for ratings so you can pick and choose which bouts to watch and which to skip.

Fights are ranked on the scale shown below, based on competitiveness, the skill and technique on display, excitement, and the story and drama of the contest. Wherever possible, the fights are described without spoiling the outcomes. Here's the MMA Gradebook for UFC 238.

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Joanne Calderwood

The No. 2 ranked Chookagian takes on the No. 6 ranked Calderwood in a fight that could decide who takes on the winner of tonight’s title fight. This was a closely contested striking bout as expected but there were a few key takedowns mixed in throughout. Overall this was a great fight to kick off the card. [3.0]

Eddie Wineland vs. Grigory Popov

Former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Wineland returns to the Octagon for just his fourth fight in three years to take on the debuting Popov in this prelim bout. Fantastic fight with multiple momentum shifts and near finishes. Both men were willing to stand and trade in the pocket which resulted in one of the best fights of the night. [4.0]

Bevon Lewis vs. Darren Stewart

Exciting young prospect Lewis steps inside the Octagon for the second time to take on Stewart, who desperately needs this win to avoid going 2-5 in the UFC. This was supposed to be a sleeper “Fight of the Night” contender, but both men were hesitant to pull the trigger which resulted in a boring fight. Color commentator Daniel Cormier said it best during the broadcast: “Both men are just playing patty-cake.” [1.0]

Xiaonan Yan vs. Angela Hill

Chinese prospect Yan is looking to go 4-0 in the UFC with a win over Hill, who stepped up and took this fight on just a month’s notice. This was an action-packed striking match with both women throwing lots of volume but it wasn’t super close. [2.5]

Ricardo Lamas vs. Calvin Kattar

Two top 15 featherweights kick off the ESPN prelims in a fight that many believe could steal the show. Lamas is heading towards the end of his career but he is still dangerous enough to finish anyone in the division. Kattar is 3-1 since joining the UFC and a win over Lamas would solidify his spot as a contender. Quick fight and a fantastic performance by the winner earns this 3.5 stars.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Alexa Grasso

Kowalkiewicz returns to the Octagon desperate for a victory after losing her last two fights, but Grasso is one of the fastest rising prospects in the division and no easy matchup. Although the fight was rather one-sided, both women showed incredible heart and the winner looked much improved from her last fight. Both women were content with standing and trading and the result was one of the best fights of the night. [3.5]

Aljamain Sterling vs. Pedro Munhoz

Sterling and Munhoz return to the Octagon for the second time this year in yet another fight that could decide who gets the winner of tonight’s bantamweight title fight. The trend tonight has been high-paced striking affairs and this fight was no different. Both men looked fantastic but the winner put on the best performance of his career and should be in line for the next shot at the title. [4.0]

Tatiana Suarez vs. Nina Ansaroff

Just when you thought the title eliminating fights were over we get yet another to top off the prelims, Suarez is ranked No. 2 while Ansaroff is No. 3 and a convincing win for either could earn them a shot at Jessica Andrade’s newly-won title. This was a very one-sided and rather boring fight but the winner showed she will be fighting for a title sooner than later. [2.0]

Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov

The heavyweight division Is desperate for new contenders and a win for either man would project them to contender status whether they deserve it or not. These days, heavyweight fights are either boring stare-offs or crazy slugfests and this one was somewhere in-between. [2.0]

Jimmie Rivera vs. Petr Yan

If the winner of Sterling vs. Munhoz doesn't get the next title shot then they will almost certainly take on the winner of this fight to decide who takes on the winner of tonight’s title fight. This fight was much closer than odds suggested but I honestly expected more out of these two. This was still a great fight with decent back-and-forth action on the feet but for some reason, I was still a bit disappointed in this one. The winner certainly made a case for himself to get the next title shot but so did other men on this card so only time will tell which direction the UFC goes. [3.0]

Tony Ferguson vs. Donald Cerrone

Ferguson returns to the Octagon after a string of weird injuries and personal problems to take on the always active “Cowboy” and you guessed it, the winner could earn himself a title shot with a convincing win. This was one of the most exciting fights of the year and was on its way to a 5-star rating but the weird and anticlimactic finish held it back. Either way this was still one of the best fights of the year and hopefully, we see these two run it back sometime in the future. [4.0]

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Eye

Shevchenko returns to the Octagon for her first title defense to take on Eye, who is on a three-fight winning streak. After a boring first round, the action picked up in the second and delivered one of the greatest knockouts in WMMA history. [4.0]

Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes

Henry Cejudo returns to the Octagon for the first time since his shocking victory over T.J. Dillashaw to take on the rising and underrated Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight title. Our run of highly-rated main events continues as both men put on one of the best title fights in bantamweight history. I wanted to see this fight hit the ground a bit more but overall this was one of the best fights of the year and the comeback from the winner will be talked about for years to come. [4.5]


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