Grading every UFC PPV of 2024, so far

Here's how we think each of the UFC PPV's have stacked up throughout 2024, so
Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Alex Pereira (red gloves) fights Jamahal Hill (blue gloves) during UFC 300 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Alex Pereira (red gloves) fights Jamahal Hill (blue gloves) during UFC 300 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 302 just concluded with Islam Makhachev retaining the lightweight title against Dustin Poirier, tying Khabib Nurmagomedov, Benson Henderson, and Frankie Edgar, for the most title defenses at lightweight. Though the event was devoid of a lot of finishes, it did have its moments with the main event fight and some of the fights on the prelims and early prelims.

2024 was the year the promotion showcased UFC 300, one of the best fight cards ever in combat sports history. The year also saw the UFC crown first-time champions from nations like Georgia, Spain, and South Africa in Dricus du Plessis and Ilia Topuria. Superstar Sean O'Malley made his first title defense this year as well.

Moreover, Brazilian flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja got the opportunity to headline a PPV in his home nation. With the recent PPV, UFC has completed six PPV events in 2024, with eight more to go. Let’s grade the six PPVs of 2024, from UFC 297 in Vancouver to UFC 302 in Newark, New Jersey.

UFC 297

UFC 297, the first PPV event of 2024, was headlined by Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis for the middleweight title. In a back-and-forth fight, du Plessis emerged victorious via split decision with three 48-47 scorecards, two in favor of the South African. In the co-main event, Raquel Pennington won the vacant bantamweight title over Mayra Bueno Silva via unanimous decision. Only one fight on the PPV card ended in a finish, Neil Magny’s upset victory over hometown favorite Mike Malott.

Apart from the main event and Magny’s fight, there were no entertaining fights. The main card opener between Movsar Evloev and Arnold Allen was lackluster with even Dana White complaining about it. Chris Curtis vs. Marc-André Barriault also didn’t entertain the crowds. The event had interesting fights in the early prelims but the PPV card of the event was average.

Grade B-

UFC 298

UFC 298, at Anaheim, California, was the first domestic PPV, headlined by a featherweight title clash between Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria which the latter won via brutal second-round knockout. In the co-main event, Robert Whittaker defeated Paulo Costa in an entertaining fight in which Costa almost knocked out Whittaker in the first round. Mark Zuckerberg was in attendance at the event as he even walked out with Volkanovski.

Apart from Ian Garry’s victory over Geoff Neal via split decision, UFC 298 was engaging. Merab Dvalishvili had a wonderful performance over Henry Cejudo and Anthony Hernandez submitted Roman Kopylov in the main card opener. The prelims and early prelims were good but the PPV card outshined them. The PPV card was great, from a technical and audience perspective.

Grade A-

UFC 299

Sean O’Malley’s first fight as champion was at UFC 299 in Miami, Florida. With UFC 300 a month away, UFC 299 looked in contention to outshine its successor. O’Malley had a masterclass striking performance in the main event, against Marlon Vera. In the co-main event, Dustin Poirer showed nerves of steel, knocking out rising contender Benoit Saint-Denis. In the featured bout of the PPV, Michael “Venom” Page announced his UFC debut in style, against Kevin Holland.

Jack Della Maddalena knocked out Gilbert Burns to enter the top of the welterweight rankings in the second fight of the PPV card and Petr Yan fought through injury to defeat Song Yadong in the PPV opener. All the fights on the PPV card had entertainment written all over it. The prelims and early prelims of the event also had scintillating performances. However, the performances of the big names on the PPV card were excellent.

Grade A+

UFC 300

UFC 300 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Nevada was once in a lifetime card. Alex Pereira’s first-round knockout of Jamahal Hill in the main event and Max Holloway’s fifth-round knockout of Justin Gaethje to win the BMF title is enough to know what kind of card it is. The strawweight title fight between Zhang Weili and Yan Xioanan was the least exciting fight on the PPV card but even that was a fun fight.

Arman Tsarukyan’s exciting victory over Charles Oliveira and Bo Nickal’s victory over Cody Brundage rounds of the PPV card. The fact that several former champions like Jiri Prochazka, Aljamain Sterling, Holly Holm, and others were on the prelims and early prelims is proof of the depth of the card. Nevertheless, the PPV card of the event was a massive entertaining affair and one of the best fight cards in a long time.

Grade A+

UFC 301

Coming after UFC 300 which had several big names, UFC 301 didn’t have much. The notable storyline before the event was Jose Aldo coming back from retirement. However, what they lacked in star power, they made up with performance. Aldo defeated Jonathan Martinez in a nice performance. Steve Erceg and Alexandre Pantoja engaged in an entertaining main-event fight that went the distance.

All the other fights on the PPV card ended in a finish. Anthony Smith and Michel Pereira grabbed first-round finishes over Vitor Petrino and Ihor Potieria, respectively. Caio Borralho scored a TKO victory over Paul Craig. There were impressive performances in the prelims and early prelims but the main card was a blockbuster. If the PPV card had one or two more big stars, it would have gotten a higher grade

Grade B+

UFC 302

Fight fans had high hopes on UFC 302 which it failed to deliver. Islam Makhachev’s fifth-round submission victory over Dustin Poirier and Kevin Holland’s submission victory over Michał Oleksiejczuk was the highlight of the PPV card. Paulo Costa and Sean Strickland failed to deliver an exciting fight, disappointing the fight fans. Donald Trump and several celebrities were also at the event.

However, except for Makhachev vs. Poirier, no fight had fight fans at the edge of their seats. To make matters worse, the prelims and early prelims were not that good either. In terms of excitement, UFC 302 was similar to UFC 297 where only the main event rose to the occasion. If not for the main event, it looked like an Apex fight night card.

Grade B-

UFC 303, the upcoming PPV, headlined by Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler will likely produce an exciting fight card, as is the norm of a McGregor PPV. UFC 304, the promotions visit to the UK, also has an exiciting fight card written all over it with Leon Edwards, Tom Aspinall, Arnold Allen, Muhammad Mokaev, Paddy Pimblett, and others.

UFC 305 will be in Australia with big names like Plessis, Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker, and Kai Kara-France. UFC 306 is a sure spectacle at the Las Vegas Sphere. UFC 308 in UAE and UFC 309 in New York will have fans at the edge of their seats as it always has.

The promotion will be looking to close out 2024 with a bang with UFC 310, the final PPV of the year. The details regarding UFC 307 is unknown and it has the biggest chance of being least exciting, particularly as it is between high-profile PPV events. Nonetheless, fight fans can hope for an exciting second half of 2024 with the UFC.


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