Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC on ESPN+3

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on ESPN+ 3 in Prague, Czech Republic. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Joel Alvarez vs. Damir Ismagulov

Alvarez: Despite being very long for the weight class, he doesn’t use his size well and is very hittable. He was out classed in this fight. Grade remains D

Ismagulov: He continues to show his technical prowess on the feet and has been dominant in all six rounds he has seen in the UFC. I’d like to see him be a bit more ruthless and earn a finish, but that’s the only criticism of him at this point. Grade remains C+

Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Rustam Khabilov

Diego Ferreira: An excellent performance that saw him put out a tremendous striking output and he did well to get back to his feet each time his opponent defended a takedown. Good win for the Texas based fighter. Grade remains C+

Khabilov: He struggled with the pace of his opponent and never seemed to get into a comfortable position in this fight. His inability to hold Ferreira down to the mat was his undoing. Downgraded from C+ to C

Ismail Naurdiev vs. Michel Prazeres

Naurdiev: He made the most of his debut out working a good fighter and earning a decision. He’ll need to work on his conditioning but his kicking game and more importantly his wrestling game seemed up to snuff. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Prazeres: He couldn’t secure the early takedown and ran out of gas quickly. Considering his record in the UFC against more established competition, this was a very bad loss for Prazeres. Downgraded from C- to D+

Damir Hadzovic vs. Marco Polo Reyes

Hadzovic: Tasked with fighting a dangerous striker, he struck with him just enough to get him into engage in the grappling. On the mat, he was dominant beating up his opponent and then finding a choke for the win. He’s now won three out of his last four fights in the UFC and has established himself in the division. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Reyes: He’s dangerous on the feet, but opponents know he is limited beyond that. His grappling abilities were exposed in this bout. Downgraded from C- to D+

Veronica Macedo vs. Gillian Robertson

Macedo: She had some success on the feet, but got too comfortable on the mat and was submitted by a submission specialist. Grade remains D

Robertson: While she did ultimately get the victory, she’s too reliant on submissions and puts herself in bad situations in order to get a chance to sink in a choke or armbar. Grade remains D+

Chris Fishgold vs. Daniel Teymur

Fishgold: His pace and tenacity are a real problem for most fighters. He doesn’t relent and continues to throw punches and go for takedown attempts. He’s a classic case of his motor allowing him to reach a higher level than his traditional skill set suggests. Upgraded from C- to C

Teymur: After entering the UFC with a good amount of fanfare, he has lost three straight fights. His striking has become predictable and he’s lost his sense of confidence. Expect him to be fighting outside of the UFC in his next bout. Downgraded from D+ to D

Dwight Grant vs. Carlo Pedersoli Jr.

He found himself in a competitive fight, but towards the end of the opening round he saw in opening from Pedersoli’s overextension in his kicks and floored him with a counter right to get the finish in the final second of round one for his first ever win in the UFC. Upgraded from D to D+

Pedersoli: He has the size and stature to be competitive, but he’s too loose in his striking and it opens up major holes in his defense which his opponent exposed in this bout. He needs to tighten up his defense if he’s going to move up the UFC ladder. Downgraded from D+ to D

Klidson Abreu vs. Magomed Ankalaev

It was his UFC debut and on short notice, but he did not appear in top shape. This was a bad matchup and he was thoroughly out classed in this bout. He’ll need to do much better in his next fight to stick around in the promotion. Debut grade is D-

Ankalaev: He’s starting to find a rhythm in the UFC. He dominated this fight from start to finish and now has two wins in the Octagon. He’s one of the best prospects in the division and is deserving of a more established opponent in his next bout. Grade remains C

John Dodson vs. Petr Yan

Dodson: For someone with as much experience as he has, he spent too much time arguing with the referee and not enough countering his opponent’s constant aggression. He was out classed in this fight as age perhaps is starting to show for him. Grade remains B

Yan: In the biggest fight of his career thus far, he had a good fighter on the back foot the entire fight. His pressure striking is as good as there is in the sport as he battered Dodson over three rounds. Yan has shown me enough that he can compete with the division’s elite and it’s just a matter of time before he’s booked for a shot at the title. Upgraded from B to A-

Liz Carmouche vs. Lucie Pudilova

She knows who she is and what her limitations as a fight are. She does well to use her strength and put opponents on the mat. In top position she is strong. When she is on her back there are certainly limitations and she took some damage because of it. This was a tough fight, but she certainly did enough to get her hand raised. Downgraded from B- to C+

Pudilova: She’s really long for the division and that causes problems for her opponents. She needs to be better off her back, but she’s good in the attack and is making improvements. Only 24 years of age, her time is coming. Grade remains C

Michel Oleksiejczuk vs. Gian Villante

Oleksiejczuk: He’s now started his UFC career with wins over Khalil Rountree and Gian Villante. That’s a pretty good start for the Polish fighter who is now just a win away from breaking into the top 15. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Villante: Wear and tear is certainly becoming an issue for Villante. He hasn’t had a decisive win in the promotion since December 2016. He’ll turn 34 this summer and is on the downside of his career. At this point, he should just be put in fun fights against other aging fighters. Downgraded from D+ to D

Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Stefan Struve

Lima: The fighter he is in round one is not the same as he is later in his fights. He tires out after five minutes and can be completely overmatched after that. It was the normal script in his fight with Stefan Struve. Grade remains D

Struve: He had to deal with nearly a full round of top pressure from his opponent. His reward was a tired opponent in round two who he was able to expose and submit to earn the victory. Grade remains D+

Jan Blachowicz vs. Thiago Santos

Blachowicz: He utilized a smart game plan through two rounds and really appeared to have the momentum heading into the third round. Instead, he changed his approach and got too aggressive. He was caught on the counter coming in to attack and was quickly finished. Grade remains B-

Santos: He’s a ruthless striker that takes no prisoners. With his knockout of Blachowicz, he now sits at 11 knockouts in his UFC career trailing only Vitor Belfort (12) for the most knockouts in the history of the promotion. He can be a bit inactive at times on the feet, but like most of the sport’s great power strikers, it is the short bursts which are the ones that finish fights. Santos is now in title contention and likely a win away from fighting for the belt. Upgraded from B- to B+

Written by Jay Primetown

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