Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 204

Jimi ManuwaJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 204 in Manchester, England. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsBreaker.com. Adriano Martins vs. Leonardo Santos Martins: A rather lackluster performance from Martins, who fought timid on the feet for the first 10 minutes of the fight. Lengthy moments of inactivity ultimately lost him a decision on the scorecard against a fighter he should have beaten. Downgraded from B to C+ Santos: He made it an awkward fight against Martins, limiting Martins’ attack. He didn’t generate much offense in his own right but just enough to get the decision on the scorecards. Upgraded from C- to C Mike Perry vs. Danny Roberts Perry: A great performance by Perry, who showed fast hands, big time power and a tremendous chin. He’s an entertaining stand-up fighter that looks like he has the skill set to stick around in the UFC. Upgraded from D+ to C Roberts: He had his moments in this bout, but the power that Perry possessed hurt him throughout the fight. Ultimately, it was too much for Roberts as he was knocked out in the third round. Grade remains C- Marc Diakiese vs. Lukasz Sajewski Diakiese: A solid performance by Diakiese, as he was able to finish his opponent in the second round. He struggled early with defending takedowns which is very much a concern as he moves forward to face better competition. Downgraded from C+ to C Sajewski: Outside of some early takedowns, he had no answers for Diakiese’s array of strikes. He simply doesn’t have the weapons to hurt opponents on the feet, and that’s a real problem in the UFC. Grade remains D Leon Edwards vs. Albert Tumenov Edwards: He had previously shown a striking skill set, but where he fought best in this fight was in the grappling game. He really dominated Tumenov on the ground, finding a surprising submission win against the highly-regarded Russian. Upgraded from C- to C Tumenov: He’s a really creative striker with great hands, but his inability to defend takedowns and submissions on the ground is holding him back from being a Top 10 welterweight fighter. He was dominated on the mat by a fighter that is a limited grappler at best; not a good sign. Downgraded from B- to C Davey Grant vs. Damian Stasiak Grant: His inactivity may have cost him in this bout, as he struggled in the difficult situations to maintain position and grab control of this fight. He got stuck in a submission he never should have been in during round three and was forced to tap. Downgraded from D+ to D Stasiak: He made the most of his opportunity in the third round to find an armbar submission and beat the local fighter. He struggled in the stand-up, but his grappling is good enough to stick around in the bottom rungs of the bantamweight division in the UFC. Grade remains D Iuri Alcantara vs. Brad Pickett Alcantara: Complete domination by the Brazilian fighter. He landed heavy shots on the feet, following it up with more of the same on the ground before syncing in a choke to get the submission victory. This was his best performance in a couple years. Grade remains C+ Pickett: He was overwhelmed by his opponent in this fight and didn’t have an opportunity to catch his breath or composure to get back into the fight. As he’s gotten older, he’s become less resilient. Downgraded from C+ to C Mirsad Bektic vs. Russell Doane Bektic: This was a great opportunity to return to the Octagon after a long injury absence. He faced an overmatched opponent, who he was able to out strike on the feet and ultimately dominate on the ground. Bektic is a nightmare matchup for most opponents due to his suffocating wrestling ability and heavy ground and pound. Grade remains B+ Doane: He took this fight on short notice and was unable to give Bektic much of a contest. This fight was a blowout on paper as well as in reality. Grade remains C Daniel Omielanczuk vs. Stefan Struve Omielanczuk: In his first real step up in competition, Omielanczuk was not only out-struck but also struggled to defend takedowns. In top control, Struve had his way with his opponent eventually finding his back and working in a submission. Grade remains D Struve: Skill was never an issue for Struve, but his inability to remain healthy has been problematic. Struve was the better fighter in all facets as he earned a stoppage win to get back in the win column. Grade remains C- Jimi Manuwa vs. Ovince St. Preux Manuwa: Perhaps the most impressive win of the night was by the Englishman Manuwa. On the feet, his heavy hands and leg kicks particularly to the body slowed down his American opponent. Once St. Preux began to fade, Manuwa smelled blood and went for the finish knocking out the former light heavyweight title challenger for the biggest win of his career. Upgraded from C+ to B- St. Preux: He had Manuwa in a lot of trouble in the first round, as he was easily able to out-grapple him. When he struggled to secure a takedown in the second round, he was beaten up by the more powerful, skillful striker and knocked out. This was a bad loss for St. Preux, with his stock in the division dropping significantly. Downgraded from B to B- Vitor Belfort vs. Gegard Mousasi Belfort: He had a glimmer of hope early in the fight, but Mousasi easily defended to a neutral position. After that, it was smooth sailing for Mousasi, who did very well to get inside and not allow Belfort to attempt any leg kicks where he is very dangerous. Eventually, Belfort was hurt on the feet and had no answers as the referee was forced to step in and stop the fight. At this point, I can see Belfort fighting a final time or opting for retirement. Downgraded from B to B- Mousasi: He made the most of his opportunity to face a legendary fighter, putting on a great performance dominating Belfort. Mousasi has looked like a man possessed since being knocked out by Uriah Hall. I think he’s ready again to face a Top 5 opponent and see where he stacks up. Grade remains A- Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson Bisping: He controlled the majority of this fight, but he continues to struggle with power from opponents. He was dropped twice in this fight and nearly finished. Bisping’s resilience when hurt to continue to fight and find his way back into a fight is near the best in the sport. It will be interesting to see who the UFC puts in front of him next. Grade remains A- Henderson: He did a lot better than I thought he would. He not only had Bisping in a lot of trouble twice, but he fought a very solid round five and nearly stole the round to win the championship. At 46 years old, Henderson has had one of the best careers in the history of MMA and can be proud of his final performance inside the Octagon. Upgraded from C+ to B- in final fight before retirement.

Written by Jay Primetown

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