MMA Gradebook: Rating Every Fight From UFC on ESPN 2

By Kevin Wilson Apr 1, 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 at Sherdog 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 here, based on competitiveness, the skill and technique on display, excitement, and the story and drama of the contest. However, just because a fight is one-sided doesn't mean it receives a bad rating. Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega, for example, would have scored high for Holloway’s showcase of technique and the overall drama despite it being a one-sided domination. With that out of the way, let's get into this week’s bouts.

Alex Perez vs. Mark De La Rosa

A dominant performance from Perez who controlled the fight from bell to bell on the feet and on the ground. It wasn’t the most action-packed fight and I would have liked to see Perez pull the trigger more so this gets an average rating. [2.0]

Maryna Moroz vs. Sabina Mazo

Good fight by both women that saw Moroz edge out a unanimous decision victory. Moroz dominated the first two rounds but Mazo rallied in the third and landed some beautiful knees and kicks to the body that won her the round and made the fight more interesting. Moroz is now a respectable 4-3 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship after losing her previous two bouts. [2.5]

Casey Kenney vs. Ray Borg

One of the best back-and-forth grappling matches of the year so far, even if it was marred somewhat by former flyweight Borg somehow badly missing the bantamweight limit. UFC newcomer Kenney won the fight via unanimous decision, although most of the media scored it as a win for Borg. Nonetheless, this was an impressive performance by someone making his UFC debut against a former title challenger. [3.0]

Kevin Holland vs. Gerald Meerschaert

Weird scorecards all around tonight, and this fight was no different. Holland clearly had the advantage on the feet but Meerschaert landed 6 takedowns to keep the fight interesting. Despite the takedowns, Meerschaert couldn’t take advantage of the dominant positions, kept getting reversed and allowed Holland to take home a split decision victory. [2.75]

Kevin Aguilar vs. Enrique Barzola

Very close fight on the feet, but Aguilar defended all eight of Barzola’s takedowns which is probably what won him the unanimous decision. Aguilar threw a ridiculous amount of strikes for a three-round fight and only landed 23 percent of them, but it was still enough to edge out the victory. [2.5]

Desmond Green vs. Ross Pearson

Fantastic knockout and overall performance by Green, who desperately needed a win after losing three of his last four. The barrage of ground-and-pound wasn’t the most exciting knockout so this gets an average rating. [2.25]

Sodiq Yusuff vs. Sheymon Moraes

Great action from bell to bell and an impressive display of technique by both men earns this fight an above average rating. The young Yusuff landed 19 more significant strikes than Moraes and dropped him in the third to secure the unanimous decision victory. Yusuff is now 2-0 in the UFC and is a bright prospect to keep your eye on in the future. [3.25]

Paul Craig vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu

This fight would have received an average rating but the amazing mounted triangle finish by Craig in the last 30 seconds of the fight earns this a 3.5. Craig extended his improbable streak of fights ending within the last minute to three straight, this time after once again being behind for most of the fight. Craig also suffered multiple blatant eye pokes throughout the fight making this comeback even more impressive.

Michelle Waterson vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Great back-and-forth fight on the feet, but Waterson’s grappling is what allowed her to take home a unanimous decision victory. In her victory over Cortney Casey in her last outing, the “Karate Hottie” proved to be more of a wrestling hottie. Many expected Waterson to grapple early and often but she had more success striking than expected and used her grappling to seal the victory after a close fight on the feet. Waterson has now won three in a row and should be one more good win away from a title shot. [2.75]

Josh Emmett vs. Michael Johnson 2.75

After a fairly boring fight that saw both men miss an inordinate amount of strikes, Emmett loaded up on an overhand right with less than a minute to go and knocked Johnson out cold. This was one of the best knockouts of the year so far but overall the fight wasn’t great so this gets a 2.75.

Jack Hermansson vs. David Branch

Hermansson continued to impress by submitting Branch with an arm-in guillotine in just 49 seconds. Hermansson is now 6-2 in the UFC with five of those wins coming by knockout or submission. Hermansson will certainly jump into the Top 15 with this win and he is an interesting prospect to watch out for in a division loaded with stars. [3.5]

Justin Gaethje vs. Edson Barboza 3.5

I honestly wanted to see this fight play out more but it was still an amazing performance by Gaethje who has now finished his last two fights by knockout in the first round. This win should project Gaethje into the Top 5 and brings him one step closer to a title shot.
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