Fighter Grades Post-UFC on ESPN+ 27

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on ESPN+ 27 in Norfolk, Virginia. Grades are updated with each fight and can be found on

Sean Brady vs. Ismail Naurdiev

Brady: He continues to look good in the UFC. He has a great motor and is a solid grappler. I like what I see from him and he’s ready for a step up in competition. Grade remains C-

Naurdiev: His striking is technical and he has ability, but his conditioning is a real question mark. When taken down he struggles to find his feet in a fight. In a grappler heavy division, this is going to be a problem for him.  Downgraded from C- to D+


Spike Carlyle vs. Aalon Cruz

Carlyle: It took him a minute to adjust to his long opponent, but the first elbow he landed hurt his opponent and he showed a tremendous ability to go into the next gear and finish his opponent. Impressive victory. Debut grade is C-

Cruz: He’s long and lanky. If he can keep opponents at distance, he can control fights. In this fight, he engaged at close range against the cage and it cost him dearly. Grade remains D+


TJ Brown vs. Jordan Griffin

Brown: His striking and offensive wrestling was dominant early in this fight. He was well ahead in this fight, but continued to leave his neck exposed allowing Griffin to find a submission. This is a bad loss for Brown who should have won this fight.  Debut grade is D

Griffin: He struggled badly in this fight, but ultimately found a way to win despite being behind in this fight. Grade remains D


Steve Garcia vs. Luis Pena

Garcia: Despite struggling to defend takedowns, he gave Luis Pena fits. He forced Pena into a different gameplan, but ultimately this fight wasn’t close. Debut grade is D

Pena: He took more damage than he should have given he dominated control in this fight, but he showed a new wrinkle to his game winning a fight with limited time on the feet. Grade remains C-


Sergey Spivak vs. Marcin Tybura

Spivak: He was lethargic and had no ability to stuff takedowns. Terrible performance.  Downgraded from D+ to D

Tybura: He was in a slump, but went to his grappling game and had success throughout the fight.  Grade remains D+


Brendan Allen vs. Tom Breese

Allen: He’s a tough, durable guy that did well to get Tom Breese to the mat. He was relentless in top control finding a way to a stoppage victory. Allen continues to progress in the UFC.  Upgraded from C- to C

Breese: Coming back from a two-year absence, he had no answers for Allen’s ground game. He was beat up on the mat and finished in the opening round. Downgraded from C to C-


Kyler Phillips vs. Gabriel Silva

Phillips: A nice combination of striking and grappling made for a positive UFC debut for Phillips. I’ll need to see more, but this was a good start.  Debut grade is D+

Silva: He faded in round two slowing down significantly. It was a blow out from that point as he had no answers for the high energy Phillips.  Downgraded from D+ to D


Grant Dawson vs. Derrick Minner

Dawson: He does put himself in some awkward positions, but tends to find ways out and then dominate fights. He has talent, but needs to be smarter with his strategy. Grade remains C-

Minner: He was dominated once this fight found a way to the ground. It’s going to be tough for Minner to stick in the UFC. Debut grade is D


Megan Anderson vs. Norma Dumont

Anderson: She looked she was in for a tough fight, but she showed her X Factor landing a flush right hand and earning a clean knockout victory. A rare walkoff knockout in the featherweight division. Upgraded from B- to B

Dumont: The UFC newcomer had moments early in this fight before absorbing a heavy right hand that knocked her out. I liked what I saw early in this bout and curious how she follows this performance up.  Debut grade is C-


Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba

Ankalaev: He was sharp in this fight from the onset. Despite the controversial stoppage, he looked by far the better fighter in this bout.  Upgraded from C to C+

Cutelaba: It was unfortunate that the referee stopped this fight early, but he came out of the gate with a poor start and it cost him. Grade remains C-


Zarah Fairn vs. Felicia Spencer

Fairn: She landed a couple punches early, but as soon as she was taken to the mat she was completely dominated by a superior fighter. This was a blow out. Debut grade is D+

Spencer: Another strong performance from the Canadian born fighter. She is a solid grappler with solid ground and pound. She’s a tough out for most fighters and a strong contender to get a shot at the title. Grade remains B+


Joseph Benavidez vs. Deveison Figueiredo

Benavidez: He was doing well in this fight until there was a headbutt which opened a huge cut. He absorbed a brutal right hand that put him out. This could be the last fight of Benavidez’s career.  Downgraded from A- to B+

Figueiredo:  He was very impressive with a knockout of an excellent fighter, but he missed weight. All he had to do was make weight and the championship would be his. A brutal mistake by the Brazilian.   Grade remains B+

Written by Jay Primetown

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