Updated Fighter Grades: Post-TUF 24 Finale

ElliottLinFighting4-300x200Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC’s TUF 24 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com   Devin Clark vs. Josh Stansbury Clark: He landed the better strikes on the feet and did well securing the lone takedown of the fight. Not the best performance by any stretch, but more than enough to earn the win. Grade remains D Stansbury: Struggled to land with consistency in this fight. His athleticism really came in to question here as he looked to be walking in quicksand at times. He may get one more opportunity in the UFC, but it’s tough to see him lasting in the organization beyond that. Downgraded from D to D-   Elvis Mutapcic vs. Anthony Smith Mutapcic: Did a good job in the first round getting the fight to the ground and landing ground and pound. When forced to fight a standing fight in the second round, he really struggled with Smith’s length and was picked apart. Learned a lot about Mutapcic in this fight and little of it was good. Downgraded from D+ to D Smith: He has excellent size for the division and a bevy of striking tools which make him an intriguing prospect. He took his time in this bout and landed a hellacious elbow that floored his opponent. Very good performance to get a finish over a tough opponent. Upgraded from D to D+   Kailin Curran vs. Jamie Moyle Curran: Didn’t do enough on the feet and really struggled to get her back off the cage as Moyle attempted to clinch. It’s difficult to see Curran getting another chance in the UFC after this loss. Grade remains D- Moyle: Fought a pretty smart fight making it physical with a fighter who wanted to strike at range. She also did a fine job of scoring in the thai clinch. I liked how she was able to find a takedown late in rounds to secure the scorecards. Nice performance and I’m looking forward to seeing more from her. Upgraded from D to D+   Dong Hyun Kim vs. Brendan O’Reilly Kim: Size differential was key in this fight as Dong Hyun Kim was able to use his strength to control the grappling in the first two rounds to cruise to a decision win. This was certainly a different approach than some of the slugfests he’s had in the past. Upgraded from D- to D O’Reilly: He wasn’t able to deal with Kim’s physicality and once Kim started to slow down, it was too late for him to get back into the fight to have a chance to win it. Grade remains D-   Rob Font vs. Matt Schnell Font: He was excellent in this bout. He showed off some grappling prowess which he hadn’t put on display so far in the UFC, however it was his striking that was once again the difference. The power difference in this fight was significant and he was able to put his opponent away in the first round. Upgraded from C to C+ Schnell: He was never able to get his feet grounded in this fight. He struggled with Font’s striking variety and power. He will drop to flyweight after this fight and then he can be properly assessed. Debut grade at flyweight C-   Ryan Hall vs. Gray Maynard Hall: He certainly added a nice array of leg kicks into his arsenal along with all of his unorthodox submission attempts. He had Maynard confused throughout the fight and won a deserved decision on the scorecards. Grade remains C- Maynard: His opponent was difficult to game plan for, but this was a real headscratcher from the former lightweight title challenger. He didn’t show any urgency at all when he was down on the scorecards. It’s clear he’s near the end of his career and it’s possible this is his last fight in the UFC. Grade remains D+   Ryan Benoit vs. Brandon Moreno Benoit: He has real power in his hands, but other than that doesn’t possess much technique on the feet and struggles to defend takedowns. He’s entertaining to watch, but the skill level just isn’t there to be competitive in the UFC. Grade remains D+ Moreno: Another really good performance from Moreno. He dominated the grappling exchanges in this fight and landed some big time strikes on the feet as well. He proved his win over Louis Smolka wasn’t a fluke. Grade remains C-   Alexis Davis vs. Sara McMann Davis: Had success in the first round working from the guard and threatening with elbow strikes. However, that didn’t work out in the second round when her opponent had an advanced position and she wasn’t able to defend the submission. Grade remains B McMann: Her striking was much improved in this fight including a very good overhand right. Her defensive grappling still needs work in regards to submissions, but her wrestling is right at the top of the division. If she wants to get a fight to the ground, she’ll be able to do so more often than not. Upgraded from B to B+   Jared Cannonier vs Ion Cutelaba Cannonier: Tremendous performance from the Alaskan fighter. He survived the early onslaught from his opponent and as he learned his opponent’s striking pattern he gained the upper hand in the fight. He landed heavy shots particularly in the final 10 minutes of the bout to earn a clear decision victory. This was easily the biggest win of his career. Upgraded from D+ to C- Cutelaba: He’s a lot of fun to watch with an all-out offensive attack, but his disregard for the defensive elements of the sport caught up with him in this fight. He took a lot of damage late in this fight. His chin is fantastic, but he’s only going to be able to take that kind of punishment for so long. Grade remains D+   Jake Ellenberger vs. Jorge Masvidal Ellenberger: He landed one decent shot early, but other than that he didn’t have much for Masvidal. The fight ended under strange circumstances, but it was clear that this fight was going to end at some point with Ellenberger on the losing side. Grade remains C+ Masvidal: He looked crisp in this bout landing nice combinations for as long as the fight lasted. This matchup was a great opportunity for him and he passed the test with flying colors. Grade remains B Joseph Benavidez vs. Henry Cejudo Benavidez: He landed with much more accuracy than Cejudo was able to do so in this bout and that was the difference on the judges’ scorecards. He had less success early in this fight and needed Cejudo to slow down before he was able to pour it on in the third round to get the win. Grade remains A Cejudo: He took it to Benavidez especially early in this fight. He showed some nice improvements to his overall striking game and fought a very competitive fight against an excellent fighter. I thought this fight was a draw despite the judges scoring it for Benavidez. Upgraded from A- to A   Tim Elliot vs. Demetrious Johnson Elliot: He certainly exceeded expectations in this fight. He troubled Demetrious Johnson with a submission attempt and even knocked him down once in this fight. He did struggle to defend takedowns, but he did well to defend submissions and make it to the scorecards in a losing effort. Upgraded from B- to B+ Johnson: He struggled a bit early on with Elliot’s size and unorthodox style, but found holes later in the fight to be able to control Elliot on the ground and easily pass to dominant positions. Perhaps not his best performance, but it was good to see him react positively to some adversity. Grade remains A++

Written by Jay Primetown

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