UFC 244 results, takeaways: Even BMFs have rules, top prospects fail to break through

The main event of UFC 244 was a fan-friendly clash for the BMF title, capping off what was an incredible fight card full of violent stoppages and memorable moments. But the lasting memory of the event for many fans will be the ringside doctor waiving off the fight between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal due to a nasty series of cuts around Diaz's eye.

That's not the only thing fans remember. In the immediate aftermath of the event, let's take a look at three big takeaways coming out of the event.

Can't get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.

1. Even bad motherf-----s are at the mercy of the rules. Despite the marketing magic behind Diaz, Masvidal and the BMF championship, the fight was still a sanctioned contest and subject to all the rules and regulations of any other. That meant fans had to keep the possibility of the exact type of situation they saw on Saturday in the back of their heads.

This isn't WWE, there's no special stipulations able to be put in place when fans want to see the anti-establishment bad boys throw down outside the usual restrictions. At least there's some satisfaction to the stoppage coming as a result of violence dished out by Masvidal. An eye-poke no contest would have been a far less satisfying result, but a BMF fight ending because one man was bleeding takes some of the shine off the concept.

2. Diaz and Masvidal should absolutely run it back ... later. Masvidal and Diaz should fight again. Mostly because it seems near impossible a fight between the two would produce anything less than a highly entertaining fight. But the rematch should not be the next thing in Masvidal's future. Almost every second of this go-round was won by Masvidal. Diaz had moments, but Masvidal always answered back and answered back hard.

Karmaru Usman vs. Colby Covington is going down at UFC 245 next month and there's no more interesting challenger for the winner -- especially if it's Covington -- than Masvidal. You're also not going to get Masvidal at much more "peak value" than he has after knocking out Darren Till and Ben Askren and then dominating Nate Diaz.

Masvidal should be lined up for a title shot. Then, win or lose, the UFC can pull the trigger on a BMF rematch.

3. There are levels to this game. Corey Anderson said it before -- and after -- his fight with Johnny Walker and it's very true. Walker tried to take a big jump up in competition only to get knocked out by Anderson. Similarly, Gregor Gillespie tried to make a jump in level of competition and was brutally put to sleep by Kevin Lee.

These are necessary lumps for an up-and-coming fighter. The hype builds and fans and media start getting ahead of things and talking future title shots. But first come the not-so-glorious step up fights where the prospects have to prove their mettle against opponents in fights that aren't always sexy on paper. Lee was 1-3 in his last four coming into the Gillespie fight, but those losses came to top-tier talent. He was serving as the very definition of a gatekeeper and Gillespie didn't have the key.

Anderson was riding a three-fight winning streak before he met Walker, but nobody was hyping him up as a future title challenger the way they were with Walker. Anderson had put in his time in the cage and proven himself as a capable, top 10 level fighter. Walker had three lightning-quick knockouts, but behind the flash there wasn't much depth to his resume and he got exposed.

It's not the end for Walker and Gillespie, but their next few fights will be when we'll see what they really have to give.

Our Latest Stories