Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 234

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Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Wuliji Buren vs. Jonathan Martinez

Buren: He had opportunities where he had Martinez in trouble on the mat, but his dominant positions were continuously reversed. Once reversed, he was controlled on the mat. Buren blew a real opportunity to get a win in the UFC. Grade remains F

Martinez: He certainly won this bout, but how easily he was taken to the mat and put in dangerous positions was alarming to say the least. His prospects to do well against better competition is limited. Downgraded from D to D-


Callan Potter vs. Jalin Turner

Potter: He was too willing to strike with the American and it cost him dearly as he took a brutal combination from Turner and was sent sailing to the mat in the opening round. He doesn’t have the dynamic attack necessary to be competitive in the UFC. Grade remains D-

Turner: He’s a very dangerous striker and showed so again as he quickly finished Potter. As he faces better competition, he’ll need to show how well he can defend a takedown to determine just how far he can go in the lightweight division. Grade remains D+


Teruto Ishihara vs. Kyung Ho Kang

Ishihara: He had an opportunity here as Kang was willing to engage him in a fire fight, but as soon as the bout went to the mat he was completely outmatched. He has now lost five of his last six bouts in the UFC and is on the verge of being cut from the promotion. Grade remains D

Kang: He surprised most fight fans with his willingness to throw punch for punch with Ishihara, but he was more technical and was able to land with more variety on the feet. His ground game is still his bread and butter. That grappling prowess will determine just how far he can go in the UFC. Grade remains C-


Kai Kara-France vs. Raulian Paiva

Kara-France: He did well to land on the feet as he did land the bigger punches in the bout. He was limited by damage he took to his lead leg, but he still did enough in the striking exchanges to get the win. Grade remains C

Paiva: He was too hittable on the feet as he struggled to avoid the hands of his opponent. He did show a good chin and his combination work was strong as his volume picked up in the second half of the fight. Debut grade is C-


Austin Arnett vs. Shane Young

Arnett: He had success with his jab and cause some damage with the continuing use of it. However, he was way too hittable on the feet and struggled with the volume striking of his opponent. He didn’t have an ability to change the course of the fight. Grade remains D-

Young: Yes, he can be hit and beat up, but he just keeps throwing punches and sometimes that’s enough to win a fight. Grade remains D


Dong Hyun Ma vs. Devonte Smith

Ma: He never got into a comfort zone in this fight. He struggled to land any strikes and it was just a matter of when he was going to be finished. Downgraded from D to D-

Smith: This was a walk in the park for him. He dominated the striking exchanges, took no damage, and won by finish. He’s a dangerous striker and one to keep an eye on in the lightweight division. Grade remains C-


Sam Alvey vs. Jim Crute

Alvey: He has now been knocked out in his past two fights. Alvey is a gatekeeper at this point and should not be considered for fights beyond that. Downgraded from D+ to D

Crute: He got a knockout victory over a known quantity. This was a fight he should have won and he did so convincingly. It allows him the opportunity to get fights with the middle tier of fighters in the division. Grade remains D+


Montana de la Rosa vs. Nadia Kassem

De La Rosa: She continues to look like a good prospect as her grappling and submission ability are advanced for this weight class. Upgraded from C- to C

Kassem: She was running through quicksand the entire fight. She just didn’t have the tactical game plan or the technical ability to compete with de la Rosa. Downgraded from D+ to D-


Ricky Simon vs. Rani Yahya

Simon: He dominated this fight dropping Yahya twice and securing four takedowns to earn the biggest win of his career. A top 15 position in the rankings could be upcoming for the American. Upgraded from C to C+

Yahya: He struggled with the physicality of his opponent. He surprisingly landed some strikes on the feet, but faced a stronger, more powerful fighter that he couldn’t beat. Grade remains C-


Marcos Rosa vs. Lando Vannata

Rosa: It was his debut fight and he didn’t do any favors for himself. He only landed three significant strikes and was finished prior the end of the first round. The jury is still out on Rosa, but it doesn’t look good. Debut grade is D-

Vannata: This was a good opportunity for Vannata and he capitalized with a quick finish to get himself back in the win column. Grade remains C-


Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva

Adesanya: He didn’t get the finish, but “The Last Stylebender” was one of the few fighters who could stand and trade with the legendary striker. In the end, he was able to provide fans with his showmanship and get the result. What’s next for Adesanya will depend on just how long middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will remained sidelined. Grade remains A-

Silva: He showed flashes in this matchup of the dominant fighter he used to be. Silva’s rare combination of lethal striking and showmanship are hard to match. He made this bout much more competitive than it probably should have been. That’s enough for Silva to see that he’s capable of fighting a few more times in the UFC. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Written by Jay Primetown

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