After Saturday night, Jorge Masvidal is both the “BMF” champion and a top candidate for 2019 “Fighter of the Year.”
Those are impressive credentials to be sure, but they aren’t enough to propel the Miami native any further than his current No. 4 position in our welterweight poll following his stoppage of bubble lister Nate Diaz in the UFC 244 headliner. In the near future, “Gambred” figures to be an interested observer at UFC 245, when top-ranked welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defends his crown against No. 3 Colby Covington in Las Vegas on Dec. 14.
While the UFC 244 main event didn’t prompt any movement at the top of the welterweight division, a new middleweight player emerged at Madison Square Garden. Former 170-pound title challenger Darren Till announced his presence to the rest of the division with a split verdict over Kelvin Gastelum in the evening’s co-feature. Till’s frame appears to be well suited to the new weight class, and he makes his debut at No. 6 in our 185-pound poll. Gastelum, meanwhile, falls from fifth to seventh.
Elsewhere, Kevin Lee returned to lightweight following a one-bout hiatus and walloped Gregor Gillespie via first-round knockout, ending the former NCAA All-American’s undefeated run through the sport. While Lee remains No. 6 at 155 pounds, Gillespie tumbles from seventh to 10th after the lopsided defeat. At women’s flyweight, Katlyn Chookagian won for the fourth time in five outings, taking a three-round verdict over former Invicta FC champ Jennifer Maia at UFC 244, while current Invicta titlist Vanessa Porto vanquished unranked Karina Rodriguez in a non-tile bout at Invicta FC 38. Maia, previously ranked No. 4, is supplanted by Porto at that spot, while Chookagian climbs to sixth. Maia, who also missed weight ahead of her fight, checks in at seventh.
Other winners at UFC 244 such as Corey Anderson (No. 5 light heavyweight) and Derrick Lewis (No. 6 heavyweight), are unable to rise any further in their respective polls.
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