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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 Fight Night 164:
Cortez made her UFC debut against Brazil’s Melo in the opener. The fight started with fireworks, as both women were content with wildly trading in the pocket. However, the action slowed tremendously in the following rounds, as Cortez relied on her grappling and dominated Melo in the clinch and on the ground.
Padua stepped into the Octagon for the first time literally on hours’ notice to take on one of the most exciting prospects in the sport: the aptly named “Violence Queen.” The fight started hot and quickly devolved into a one-sided beatdown. Lipski landed 175 total strikes, though just 31 of them were recorded as significant. Nonetheless, Lipski destroyed Padua and remains an interesting talent to monitor.
Just five years ago, Barao was one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. He now owns a 2-8 record over his last 10 appearances -- a tailspin that includes five losses in a row. Though he failed to author a finish, Silva de Andrade controlled the former champion from bell to bell and put together the best performance of his career. Barao did not go down without a fight and ended up landing more total strikes. However, Silva de Andrade’s shots were much more significant, and he took home an easy unanimous decision.
“Rude Boy” stepped inside the Octagon for the second time in 2019 and took on Alves, who holds a submission win over top welterweight contender Colby Covington. Alves easily won the first round with his clinch work and grappling, but a sloppy entry into full guard in the second resulted in his being caught in a triangle choke from which there was no escape. Brown improved to 6-3 with four finishes in the UFC.
The ageless Trinaldo climbed inside the Octagon for the 20th time to take on Green, whose retirement lasted less than a year.
Two top-tier featherweight prospects battled on the undercard. Garagorri was a perfect 13-0, while the 24-year-old Ramos entered the cage at 13-2, with a 4-1 UFC record. The two traded some wild spinning attacks to start the first round, but Ramos clearly wanted the fight on the ground. On his second attempt, Ramos dragged down Garagorri, immediately took his back and locked up a standing rear-naked choke for the submission.
A welterweight affair slotting Krause opposite Moraes headlined the prelims. After putting together another outstanding performance, Krause landed a beautiful counter right hand with less than a minute to go in the third round that sent Moraes to the canvas and silenced the Brazilian crowd. Krause was out of competition for 15 months ahead of this appearance but now finds himself on a six-fight winning streak and in position to threaten the Top 15 at 170 pounds.
The main card kicked off with a middleweight showcase between Perez and Turman. Perez had gone 2-2 since joining the UFC in 2017, while Turman was in search of his first win after dropping his promotional debut earlier this year. The action was fairly even on the feet, but Turman’s grappling proved to be the deciding factor in the fight. The 23-year-old was awarded a unanimous decision and appears to have a bright future ahead of him.
Two Dana White’s Contender Series graduates made their UFC debuts in front of their home country. The theme of the event was easy unanimous decisions, and this fight was no different. Muniz was in charge from start to finish, his grappling skills providing the difference.
Gordon stepped up for his sternest test to date against the UFC’s all-time submissions leader. Oliveira was in no mood for a barnburner and starched the always-tough Gordon in just over a minute. “Do Bronx” already offered the most interesting and diverse skill set on the ground in the division outside of Khabib Nurmagomedov, and now, he has recorded back-to-back knockouts. Perhaps he will get a Top 5 opponent in his next assignment and a chance to prove he deserves to be included among the lightweight elite.
Rua in his 38th professional fight challenged Craig in the co-main event. Despite Craig never having gone to a decision and “Shogun” only having done so seven times, their encounter resulted in a split draw and an average fight.
Souza at times looked like he did not want to be in the cage, while Blachowicz was strangely hesitant to pull the trigger on anything impactful. Blachowicz settled for a split decision in the five-round headliner, then boldly called for a title shot against Jon Jones.