If you are like us and watch an absurd amount of mixed martial arts each week, you probably wish there was some sort of rating system so you would not be 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 ones 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 is the MMA Gradebook for UFC 244:
We kick off the card with possibly the best opening fight of the year on paper. Both men are 3-1 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and whoever wins probably deserves a Top 15 opponent. The fight did not turn out to be the barnburner I expected, but we did get a technical back-and-forth scrap that had a little bit of everything. The fight mostly took place on the feet, but there were some fun grappling and clinch exchanges mixed throughout. Dawodu ended up taking home a split decision but told UFC commentator Joe Rogan that he was not happy with his performance. If that kind of performance does not make him happy, I cannot wait to see what is next.
The odds were dead even on this one, but Good ended up putting on the most dominant performance of his career and capped off his brilliant showing with a technical knockout late in the third round. The Team Tiger Schulmann product is now 3-2 in the UFC, with all of his wins coming by knockout.
This was a slow and methodical beatdown from Chookagain that was impressive but not all that exciting. Chookagain picked apart Maia from the outside for most of the fight and allowed her to land just 20 percent of her strikes in the process. Chookagain is now 6-2 in the UFC and could earn a title shot with this performance.
A 40-year-old knockout is usually unexpected but not with a 40-year-old Arlovski fighting.
This was an unreal performance from the 21-year-old Shahbazyan, who moves to a perfect 11-0. Tavares is one of the toughest veterans on the roster, and Shahbazyan smoked him in half a round. To put that in perspective, Tavares took current middleweight champion Israel Adesyana to a full five-round decision in 2018.
The first two rounds resulted in a boring grappling affair that Amirkhani dominated. However, he was severely gassed going into the third round, and it was only a matter of time before Burgos finished him. Burgos landed an obscene 72 significant strikes in the third round and finished Amirkhani with just seconds left in the fight. Skip the first two rounds and watch the third.
Everyone doubted Anderson coming into this bout, and the fan consensus was that Walker would starch him in the first round. Instead, Anderson did the starching, as it only took him two minutes to close out Walker. A short and wild fight, it was the perfect way to conclude the action-packed prelims.
Who would have thought that Lee and Gillespie would draw the highest rating of the night? This was one of the most terrifying knockouts in UFC history and, in my opinion, the highlight of the event.
After the best possible start to the main card, we were bound to get a not-so-special fight between Lewis and Ivanov. This fight went exactly as expected. They spent most of the fight clinched against the cage. Every minute or so, Lewis would explode with a wild combo and they would exchange in the pocket before going back to the clinch. The exchanges on the feet were fun, but there were not enough of them to give this higher than an average rating.
This was an unbelievable fight between two of the best welterweights in the world. The most impressive part was Thompson’s ability to change his game plan mid-fight and completely destroy Luque in the second and third rounds after losing the first. Just as we thought “Wonderboy” was out, he puts on the best performance of his career and throws his name back into the title picture.
After a fantastic night of fights, we end up finishing the card with two underwhelming performances. After Gastelum’s “Fight of the Year” contender with Adesyana earlier this year, I expected a high-paced but technical fight between the two. Instead, we got an underwhelming leg kick battle between two guys who are possibly fighting for a title shot. Till ended up taking home a split decision, but both men have a lot of work to do after performances like this.