Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC Fight Night 102

francis-ngannouJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 102 in Albany, New York Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsBreaker.com. JJ Aldrich vs. Juliana Lima Aldrich: Didn’t offer to threaten her opponent. Her striking technique is decent, but didn’t have the output or power to hurt Lima. It’s hard to see Aldrich having much success in the UFC unless something significant changes. Grade remains D+ Lima: Her ground is strong and is certainly in the top half of the division. It was good to see her improvements in the striking game and in particular in the clinch. This was a solid 15 minute performance; a fight she was never in trouble in. Grade remains C+ Keith Berish vs. Ryan Janes Berish: He was coming off a significant layoff, so perhaps there was ring rust. However, he doesn’t have the athleticism or the striking skill set to be able to compete in the UFC. I’d be surprised if he gets another opportunity in the UFC. Downgraded from D- to F Janes: Utilized his length well and kept a high pace in this bout to really wear Berish out. His poor striking defense will come back to haunt him against better strikers, but this wasn’t the matchup for that. Grade remains D- Marc Diakiese vs. Frankie Perez Diakiese: His striking wasn’t particularly crisp in this bout, but he showed off a strong offensive wrestling game to win a decision and keep an undefeated record. His ground game is a real question mark when put on his back. Downgraded from C to C- Perez: Had his moments in this fight; particularly in the second round when he was able to cut Diakiese open with an elbow. The difference in this fight was his inability to keep this fight on the feet. Perez was taken the mat throughout rounds one and three to lose a clear decision. Perez had come back from retirement for this fight, so it’s difficult to say if he’ll return after this defeat. Grade remains D+ Shane Burgos vs. Tiago Trator Burgos: Really entertaining performance from Shane Burgos. He’s a talented striker with excellent size for the weight class. Despite not being able to finish the fight, he earned himself a lot of positive praise with this victory. Grade remains C- Trator: His hand speed is really good and he was able to land in this bout, but he simply took on a bigger, stronger fighter who was able to land the harder strikes in this fight. That was the difference. Grade remains D+ Andrew Sanchez vs. Trevor Smith Sanchez: A solid performance from the former TUF winner by out landing Trevor Smith on the feet and utilizing an effective pace throughout the 15 minute fight. Grade remains C- Smith: Looked slow in this bout and simply got out worked by his younger opponent. We’ve now seen Trevor Smith’s ceiling and it’s at the lower end of this division. Downgraded from C- to D+ Joe Gigliotti vs. Gerald Meerschaert Gigliotti: Looked completely outclassed in this bout. He’s a young fighter and just didn’t have the answers for a UFC debutant that has a lot of experience. Downgraded from D+ to D Meerschaert: An experienced, smart fighter with a strong performance in his UFC debut. He was able to hurt his opponent on the feet and transitioned in an excellent way to earn a submission win. I really like what I saw in his debut and think he’ll do well inside the Octagon. Upgraded from C- to C Randy Brown vs. Brian Camozzi Brown: In a fight against a fighter with a similar skill set, Brown was able to land the biggest shots in this fight. The knee he landed to end the fight was really impressive. Brown is still a rather green fighter, but there’s definitely talent there. Upgraded from D+ to C- Camozzi: He fought the type of fight he likes, but Brown’s power strikes were simply too much for Camozzi to handle. Tough loss for Camozzi, but I expect him to get another opportunity in the UFC. Grade remains D+ Justine Kish vs. Ashley Yoder Kish: Her offensive striking arsenal is near the top of the division, but she has serious holes in her striking defense and defensive grappling. She got the win, but the holes are starting to becoming glaring. Downgraded from C+ to C Yoder: Was outmatched on the feet, but she’s a sneaky grappler and nearly stole this fight as a two to one underdog. Her ceiling is limited, but she will be able to win some fights in the UFC with her submission game. Grade remains C- Saparbek Safarov vs. Gian Villante Safarov: He showed a lot of heart in this bout fighting through injury, but it simply wasn’t enough in this bout as he was finished in the second round. He’ll get another opportunity in the UFC, but I don’t see the skill set necessary to succeed in the promotion. Grade remains D Villante: He fought really well when he was able to box from range and land legs. Where Villante is vulnerable is when he gets in a brawl and isn’t defending head shots well. He was nearly caught by Safarov in this fight, but did well to recover and ultimately finish his opponent. Grade remains D+ Corey Anderson vs. Sean O’Connell Anderson: His best performance ever in the UFC. He absolutely rag-dolled Sean O’Connell with his wrestling and followed that up with strong ground and pound. It’s time again for him to test himself against the division’s elite. Upgraded from C to C+ O’Connell: This was a terrible matchup for him and that was clear in how that fight played out. He had no answers for Anderson’s takedown attempts. He was simply overpowered by a stronger, better athlete. Downgraded from D+ to D Anthony Hamilton vs. Francis Ngannou Hamilton: This fight was too quick to gauge anything from Hamilton. He was overmatched in this fight and ran into a real buzz saw. Grade remains D- Ngannou: While he was taken to the ground in this bout, he quickly reversed the position and secured one of the craziest submissions I’ve ever seen. Brute strength was enough to latch the submission on and make Hamilton tap. Ngannou is an elite athlete and is certainly the top prospect in the weight class. Upgraded from C+ to B- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Derrick Lewis Abdurakhimov: Did well early on in the fight with takedowns, but once Lewis got on top of him he was a fish out of water. Upgraded from D to D+ Lewis: His cardio continues to impress me. He was able to keep a good pace throughout the bout. His ground and pound is heavy and some of the best in the sport. He’s now won five straight fights and is looking at a top ten opponent next time out. Grade remains C+

Written by Jay Primetown

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