Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 244 in New York City. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Julio Arce vs. Hakeem Dawodu

Arce: Too willing to fight off his back foot and therefore was out landed at nearly a two to one clip in this bout. Poor fight from Arce. Downgraded from C to C-

Dawodu: It took him some time to get acclimated in the UFC, but he is now on a four fight winning streak and surging in the division.  Upgraded from C- to C

 

Lyman Good vs. Chance Rencountre

Good: He battered his opponent throughout the fight and was rewarded with a late finish. Solid win for Good in a fight he should have won, but not so that decisively.  Grade remains C-

Rencountre: Unable to secure takedowns, he struggled in this bout as he was at a significant disadvantage on the feet. This was definitely a barometer stick fight for Rencountre and he didn’t pass the test.  Downgraded from D+ to D

 

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia

Chookagian: She landed a good assortment of head kicks and stuffed enough takedown attempts to get a deserved win. In a shallow division, she may very well get an opportunity at a title fight. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Maia: In a close fight, Maia’s output slowed down in round three costing her an opportunity to steal a decision. Maia came into this bout overweight and it may have been the difference. Grade remains C+

 

Andrei Arlovski vs. Jair Rozenstruik

Arlovski: He does well when he can survive the early storm, but the storm took him out in this box with a beautiful counterstrike. Arlovski is a solid gatekeeper to the top half of the division. That’s where he stands at this point of the divisional landscape.  Downgraded from C- to D+

Rozenstruik: In three UFC fights, he has three finishes. He has looked very good on the feet and this was certainly his biggest test to date. Can he have success against fighters still in their prime fighting years? That remains to be seen, but UFC 244 was a good one for him. Upgraded from D+ to C-

 

Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Brad Tavares

Shahbazyan: This was a real coming out party for the Glendale Fight Club fighter. He looked great on the feet and landed a beautiful head kick to put away his top 15 opponent. Still undefeated, he appears to be a breakout star in this division.   Upgraded from C- to C+

Tavares: He’s had a solid career, but he’s too methodical and was exposed by the longer, quicker fighter. It appears Tavares is now on the downside of his career. Downgraded from C+ to C

 

Makwan Amirkhani vs. Shane Burgos

Amirkhani: He did well early grappling with Burgos, but once he started to slow down it was a much different fight and he was put away in the third round. This was always going to be a tough fight for Mr. Finland. Grade remains C-

Burgos: Like in most of his fights, he came on strong in the second round and showed he was another level than Amirkhani  He continues to put in solid performances and has solidified himself in the division’s top fifteen. Grade remains C+

 

Corey Anderson vs. Johnny Walker

Anderson: He felt disrespected by all the publicity Walker had been receiving. He turned that into motivation as he put in a dominant display cracking Johnny Walker and battering him until the referee stepped in to stop the bout. Anderson put himself in prime position as a real contender for a chance to face Jon Jones.  Upgraded from B to B+

Walker: This was by far the most difficult opponent he has been tasked to face and he failed the test. He was clipped on the feet and never truly recovered. This will certainly set him back. Downgraded from C+ to C

 

Gregor Gillespie vs. Kevin Lee

Gillespie: The size different was evident in this one, but as importantly he will regret that he never shot in and attempted a takedown. A wrestler as good as Gillespie should always be looking to grapple. By not doing that, he was at a disadvantage on the feet and absorbed one of the cleanest headkick knockouts in UFC history. How Gillespie does the rest of his career after a loss like this is tough to determine.  Downgraded from B+ to B-

Lee: He took on a much hyped prospect and knocked him out in devastating fashion. It’s a tremendous victory for the Motown Phenom and once that solidifies his spot in lightweight top ten. Grade remains B+

 

Blagoy Ivanov vs. Derrick Lewis

Ivanov: He had success on the ground, but struggled to keep Lewis grounded going for submissions as opposed to sustained control. Ivanov’s lack of punching power was a real issue as he did stay busy, but to the judges it looked like his strikes were having little impact. In a split decision bout, that was the difference. Grade remains C+

Lewis: He was very lucky to walk away with a win in this bout. He had some big moments on the feet, but he was taken to the mat too easily. His gas tank has gotten a little better, but it’s still a liability. Lewis is a scary opponent, but one top fighters are generally able to figure out.  Downgraded from B- to C+

 

Vicente Luque vs. Stephen Thompson

Luque: He decided to throw in the pocket with one of the sport’s most accurate and technical strikers. It was a poor decision that resulted in him getting beat up for fifteen minutes. Grade remains C-

Thompson: After some struggles in some recent fights, this was a more vintage Thompson performance as he sliced and diced his opponent on the way to a dominant decision. Upgraded from B to B+

 

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till

Gastelum: He struggled with the length of his opponent throughout this fight. This was a rather lackluster performance without much conviction. Perhaps he took his opponently lightly or it was a flat performance. Either way, it was a loss and takes him out of the title picture for the time being. Downgraded from A to A-

Till:  In his first bout at middleweight, he utilized reach well to keep Gastelum at bay. He wasn’t too strong in this bout, but it was enough to get a win. I believe this was a one off victory and if that they were matched again, it would be a much different fight. Upgraded from B to B+

 

Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal

Diaz: He was cut open early in this fight and it got worse as the fight wore on. He was getting beat up and there was no moment where it seemed like he could turn the tide. Diaz certainly would have kept fighting for five rounds, but with the fight in not much doubt, I can’t help but side with the doctor to end it without further damage. Downgraded from B+ to B

Masvidal:  In a much hyped bout, Masvidal dominated this fight from start to finish forcing the doctor to step in and stop the bout. It was a career defining win for Masvidal who is likely on the verge of a title shot. Upgraded from B+ to A-


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