Updated Fighter Grades Post-UFC on ESPN+ 28

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Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on ESPN+ 28 in Brasilia, Brazil. Grades are updated with each fight and can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Veronica Macedo vs. Bea Malecki

Macedo: She looked great to start the fight, but she slowed down early and it was disappointing she only had about three minutes of cardio. Disappointing loss for her. Grade remains D-

Malecki: Her skill set is a question mark, but she is well conditioned. Having a gas tank was enough to win this fight. She will need to start faster if she’s to have a chance to beat better fighters.  Upgraded from F to D-


David Dvorak vs. Gustavo da Silva

Dvorak: He fared well in his UFC debut. He has a long winning streak and was certainly challenged in this bout, but he showed decent takedown defense and appears to be a solid around striker. This was a good victory and a good start for him in the UFC. Debut grade is C-

Silva: He dropped his opponent with a head kick in the opening round and had some flashes on the feet, but they were more moments as opposed to consistent attacks. It was inconsistency that cost him the bout.  Grade remains D+


Maryna Moroz vs. Mayra Bueno Silva

Moroz: Coming off a long layoff, her output was on point and she mixed in takedowns enough to decisively win rounds. She did well to show she’s a similar fighter to what she was before the elbow surgery. Grade remains C-

Silva: Her striking is impressive, but her inability to do anything on the mat is a major red flag. She’s not going to be successful in the UFC if she can’t get back to her feet if taken to the mat.  Downgraded from C to D+


Enrique Barzola vs. Rani Yahya

Barzola: He really struggled early on, but he took over in the third round and completely dominated. I like the fact that he finished strong, but the first 8-10 minutes of this bout was a real head scratcher for me. Grade remains C-

Yahya: He’s a crafty fighter that did a good job frustrating a solid opponent. He fell apart late and blew an opportunity to get the win. He’s 35 years old and is on the downside of his career. Grade remains C-


Alexey Kunchenko vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

Kunchenko: He doesn’t take enough risks. He’s consistent, but does nothing to change the course of a fight. Disappointing effort in a fight he could have won. Grade remains C-

Dos Santos: He’s an entertaining fighter, but lacks the consistent volume to really dominate fights. The late takedown was enough to earn the win, but he was rather fortunate to get his hand raised.   Downgraded from C to C-


Randa Markos vs. Amanda Ribas

Markos: This was the first fight in awhile for her that she seemed totally outclassed. She was beat up on the feet and on the ground. Back to the drawing board for Markos. Downgraded from C to C-

Ribas: She’s in excellent form now that she’s 3-0 to start her career in the UFC. She’s a skilled striker, can do damage in top control, and can threaten with submissions. She has an all-around game and I think she has the makings of a future top five strawweight fighter.  Upgraded from C to B-


Jussier Formiga vs. Brandon Moreno

Formiga: He just couldn’t get off his striking as well as he normally does. He’s still a wonderful scrambler, but he met his match in this fight and wasn’t completely dominant on the ground like he normally is. Perhaps, a bit of the changing of the guard in the flyweight division.   Downgraded from A- to B

Moreno: A standout performance from the Mexican fighter as he went toe to toe with one of the division’s best fighters. He had moments on the feet and also was able to secure takedowns and do some damage on the mat. This was the biggest win of his career and he seems primed for a potential title shot.  Upgraded from C to B


John Makdessi vs. Francisco Trinaldo

Makdessi: He was lethargic and never got into this fight. Poor performance. Downgraded from C to C-

Trinaldo: A solid performance from Trinaldo as he out struck a very good technical striker. Grade remains C


Nikita Krylov vs. Johnny Walker

Krylov: A solid fifteen-minute performance from Krylov. This was his first decision victory and he did it with such a solid gameplan. Nice work from him against a dangerous fighter. Upgraded from C- to C

Walker: The cat is out of the bag and it isn’t pretty. If Walker can’t get an early finish, he just doesn’t have the ability to compete even with mid-level light heavyweights. Downgraded from C to D+


Damir Hadzovic vs. Renato Moicano

Hadzovic: He was in over his head in this bout and thus completely dominated. Hasdzovic is serviceable in the UFC, but he’s not going to beat fighters in the upper half of the lightweight division.  Grade remains D+

Moicano: In his first fight at lightweight, he looked impressive. It was a dominant performance and a quick finish. Nicely done. Expect a top fifteen opponent next. Debut grade at lightweight is B-


Gilbert Burns vs. Demian Maia

Burns: He had a major advantage on the feet in this fight and he was able to put away an historically durable opponent in Demian Maia.  Upgraded from C to B-

Maia: The book is out on the Brazilian welterweight. If a fighter can force Maia to strike, then then Maia will struggle. Maia is 42 years old and I can’t imagine he fights much longer. Downgraded from B- to C+


Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira

Lee: He had some moments in the wrestling exchanges, but it was always playing with fire to grapple with Oliveira. It ultimately cost Lee the bout and it will be awhile before Lee can potentially get in title contention again. Grade remains B+

Oliveira: His striking was crisp and as usual his grappling was as good as anybody’s in the sport. He’s dangerous at any point during a fight and he showed that again earning a finish. It’s time for Do Bronx to move into the top ten. Upgraded from B+ to A-

Written by Jay Primetown

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