Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC on ESPN+ 1

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Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on ESPN+ 1 in Brooklyn, New York. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Chance Rencountre vs. Kyle Stewart

Rencountre: His wrestling game is underrated and it showed in this bout as he was able to control his opponent with relative ease. A first round victory is a good start to the year. Upgraded from D- to D

Stewart: He was tentative on the feet and did a poor job defending the submission attempt and was forced to quickly tap. Disappointing result for him and with back to back stoppage losses, he’s likely on his way out of the UFC. Downgraded from D to F


Belal Muhammad vs. Geoff Neal

Muhammad: He’s a decent striker, a decent wrestler, and has good conditioning, but lacks the power to alter fights in this division. He was out classed by a better fighter. Downgraded from C to C-

Neal: While he didn’t get the finish, he showed his striking holds up against the middle of this division. Neal is a very good striker with variety and knockout caliber. He’s on the verge of the division’s top 15. Upgraded from C to C+


Dennis Bermudez vs. Te Edwards

Bermudez: He put in a workman like shift where he was able to secure takedowns rather easily as the fight wore on as he beat up his exhausted opponent for the final victory of his career. Bermudez retired after the fight concluded.

Edwards: A really disappointing performance as he ran out of steam just minutes into his fight. After two poor performances, one has to wonder if he has a future at this level of the sport. Downgraded from D+ to D


Mario Bautista vs. Cory Sandhagen
Bautista: He was completely outmatched against a fighter who is surging up the bantamweight ladder. He had some positions briefly on the mat, but it didn’t last long as he was submitted in the opening round. Debut grade is D-

Sandhagen: He earned his third victory and third straight finish in the UFC with a dominant all-around display. Sandhagen is surging in this weight class and is deserving of a major step up in competition. Upgraded from C- to C


Alonzo Menifield vs. Vinicius Moreira

Menifield: This matchup was perfect for the Texan in his debut. He’s a big power puncher and was tasked with fighting a fighter that was slow on the feet providing a perfect target for him. He got the first round knockout and can now move on to a more competitive fight. Grade remains D+

Moreira: He’s not a good enough athlete to contend with fighters currently in the UFC. Grade remains D-


Joanne Calderwood vs. Ariane Lipski

Calderwood: Another strong performance by Calderwood who did a good job keeping a dangerous striker at distance and then mixed in some grappling to runaway with a decision. She’s likely two wins away from a chance at the flyweight title. Upgraded from C+ to B

Lipski: She has rarely been pushed in her career and when forced to in this fight she didn’t have the conditioning to threaten her opponent. Lipski is talented, but she needs more time before challenging the division’s top fighters. Downgraded from B- to C+

Donald Cerrone vs. Alexander Hernandez

Cerrone: He was tremendous in this bout. He was so comfortable standing with Hernandez and landed with such variety on the feet mixing punches and kicks. Even as Cerrone ages, he continues to find new wrinkles and keep improving. At 155, he’s still very much a top 15 fighter. Upgraded from B- to B

Hernandez: He certainly left it in there in the cage, but he got a lesson from a grizzled veteran that can still very much compete at the highest levels of MMA. How Hernandez recovers from this defeat will determine just how far he can go in the UFC. Downgraded from B- to C+


Karl Roberson vs. Glover Teixeira

Roberson: His elbows are vicious and he was seconds away from winning the fight. Unfortunately, once he didn’t finish, Teixeira exposed him in the other areas of MMA. Roberson is talented, but limited. Downgraded from C- to D+

Teixeira: He was nearly unconscious from the elbows against the cage, but recovered beautifully to secure a takedown and from there it was a completely different fight. Big win for Teixeira to get back in the win column. Grade remains C+


Rachael Ostovich vs. Paige VanZant

Ostovich: She was able to secure takedowns throughout the fight, but once in a scramble situation she allowed her opponent the opportunity to capitalize and was forced to submit. Downgraded from D+ to D

VanZant: She struggled to defend takedowns, but once in a situation where she had opportunity on the mat, that’s where she excels. She found Ostovich’s back and was able to close the show. Grade remains D+


Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz

Benavidez: He’s not at his peak as a fighter, but he’s very good and can compete both in the stand up and wrestling with the division’s best. Upgraded from B to B+

Ortiz: He had a really good second round and put himself in a dog fight with one of the best fighters in this division. He showed he can compete at this level, despite not getting the job done. Grade remains B-


Gregor Gillespie vs. Yancy Medeiros

Gillespie: His tenacious wrestling approach is one of the best in all of MMA. He mauled a solid opponent in Yancy Medeiros and is well on his way to the top ten in the lightweight division. Upgraded from B to B+

Medeiros: A terrible matchup for the Hawaiian as he had no answers for the takedown attempts of his opponent. He landed only one significant strike in this fight. Downgraded from B- to C+


Allen Crowder vs. Greg Hardy

Crowder: He was able to survive the early storm and find his way into the fight. He didn’t offer much offensively, but the disqualification gave him a victory in a fight he was down heavily in. Upgraded from F to D-

Hardy: He didn’t earn the quick finish, but showed some decent improvements such as getting back to his feet when taken to the mat and using a jab in the second round. Certainly have to slow the brakes of the hype train, but there’s still a lot to be excited about. Downgraded from C to D+


Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw

Cejudo: After winning a razor close decision over Demetrious Johnson, the Olympic Gold Medalist clipped the bantamweight champion in the opening sequences and never looked back as he finished Dillashaw for a huge victory. Cejudo put on muscle for this fight and it was put to good use. Look for Cejudo to rematch Dillashaw and attempt to take his bantamweight title from him. Upgraded from A+ to A++

Dillashaw: Cutting to 125 pounds was no easy task. While it may be a convenient excuse for him losing this bout, there certainly seems to be a pattern of difficult weight cuts and reduced durability. That said, Dillashaw has been dropped in several previous fights and was exposed by the speed of his opponent. Dillashaw has had a great career, but the durability factor is real and I think he’s now on the decline. Downgraded from A+ to A

Written by Jay Primetown

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