Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC on ESPN+ 11

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Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on ESPN+ 11 in Stockholm, Sweden. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Joe Alvarez vs. Danilo Belluardo

Alvarez: At well over six feet tall, he’s a brutal matchup for many lightweights. Despite being taken down in both the first and second round he’s dangerous off the mat. Able to reverse positions on the mat, he was excellent offensively with excellent elbows and punches. Good performance from him. Upgraded from D to D+

Belluardo: He did good to get Alvarez to the mat, but he didn’t do enough there to hurt or slow down on Alvarez. On the feet, he didn’t appear to be UFC level. Debut grade is D-


Devin Clark vs. Darko Stosic

Clark: He’s vulnerable to power striking on the feet, but he overcame some adversity in this fight to pick up the pace in round three to earn a decision in what was a pretty close fight.  Grade remains D

Stosic: His power is dangerous and he did a very good job of stuffing Clark’s takedowns in this bout, but his lack of output is a major concern if he can’t get an early finish. Grade remains D


Bea Malecki vs. Eduarda Santana

Malecki: She didn’t look comfortable in her debut. She struggled in the striking and was taken to the mat rather easily. The lone time she reversed position, the fight changed and she was able to secure the submission. With that said, it was an advantageous win but her future prospects in the UFC seem bleak. Debut grade is F

Santana: She was getting the better of the striking and had no issue getting Malecki to the mat. She lost position on the mat. It cost her the bout in a fight she was well ahead in. Debut grade is F


Frank Camacho vs. Nick Hein

Camacho: He was at his best in this bout. His striking was calculated, effective, and with high volume. He out classed his opponent and is setup nicely to continue upward in the lightweight division. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Hein: He was fairly accurate with his striking, but he just couldn’t keep up with the volume of his opponent. Tough bout for Hein.  Grade remains D+


Stevie Ray vs. Leonardo Santos

Ray: He has been on a downward trajectory and being floored in the opening round by a jiu jitsu specialist doesn’t make it any better.   Downgraded from D+ to D

Santos: Coming back from a long absence is not easy, but Santos did it as well as anybody flooring his opponent in the opening round. At 39 years old, I don’t know how much Santos has left in the tank, but this buys him time.  Grade remains C


Tonya Evinger vs. Lina Lansberg

Evinger: The beatings she took in her last few fights seem to have caught up with her. She didn’t have much for Lansberg and was beat up on the mat. Downgraded from C+ to D+

Lansberg: She was able to nullify Evinger’s takedown attempts for the most part and land lots of elbows to runaway with a decision. This was a strong performance from the Swedish fighter who was prepared for this bout. Upgraded from D+ to C-


Rostem Akman vs. Sergey Khandozhko

Akman: His pace in this fight was good and he was on the front foot the majority of the fight. His output waned a bit in the third round and he was hurt by a few clean shots by his opponent. Despite the loss, it was a solid debut.  Debut grade is D+

Khandozhko: He likes space to operate, but his opponent was aggressive and didn’t allow it. Even still he was able to land some major strikes in this fight and find a way to win. Good win for him. Debut grade is D+


Sung Jin Bo vs. Daniel Teymur

Bo: He had a major size advantage over Teymur in this fight, but was unable to land anything of major significance in this fight. Not a good debut. Debut grade is D

Teymur: He was better standing and in the grappling in this fight, but the big improvement was his conditioning. He was able to put forth a better effort and not slow down significantly. It allowed him to win the third round and pull away. Upgraded from D to D+


Christos Giagos vs. Damir Hadzovic

Giagos: After a poor run in the UFC, a performance that included six takedowns and doubling up on significant strikes was not the expectation in this fight. Giagos was up big after two rounds and needed just to survive in round three to get his hand raised. We will need to see if this was a one-off performance or the sign of something good for the American. Grade remains D+

Hadzovic: His inability to defend a takedown was a major problem in this bout. He was taken to the mat six times. He had a good third round, but it was too late to change the result. He needs to improve his takedown defense if he’s going to move up in the deep lightweight division. Downgraded from C- to D+


Makwan Amirkhani vs. Chris Fishgold

Amirkhani: While his striking game hasn’t changed much, he’s major made improvements to submission grappling and was able to secure an anaconda choke for a submission victory over a solid opponent in Chris Fishgold. Grade remains C-

Fishgold: He certainly got the better of the striking, but was too aggressive in this bout which put him in a vulnerable position against his opponent and it cost him the bout. Downgraded from C to C-


Jimi Manuwa vs. Aleksandar Rakic

Manuwa: At his advanced age, he cannot the power strikes that he once could. He’s had a good run in the UFC, but he’s certainly regressing quickly. Downgraded from C- to D

Rakic: He’s a dangerous opponent that continues to finish opponents and do so with relative ease. This was a great opportunity against a known veteran in Manuwa and he made the most of it with a beautiful head kick knockout. Upgraded from C- to C


Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Smith

Gustafsson: He’s not the same fighter that gave Jon Jones all he could handle, but he should have beaten Anthony Smith. He took control of the fight in round three, but an ill-advised takedown attempt backfired and he had no answer once he was flattened out and was forced to tap. Gustafsson announced his retirement after the fight which put to end a tremendous career. Final grade is B

Smith: The American started out well in this fight as he showed little fear against the long-time contender. He landed the bigger, more impactful strikes in this fight. After a poor round three, it seemed the tide had turned. Smith took advantage of a poor takedown attempt by his opponent and in stunning fashion submitted Gustafsson for easily the biggest win of his career. Smith now has a series of quality wins at light heavyweight and has proven he’s in the mix in this division. Upgraded from B to B+

Written by Jay Primetown

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