Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC on Fox 22

Colby CovingtonJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on Fox 22 in Sacramento, California. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com   Sultan Aliev vs. Bojan Velickovic Aliev: It certainly wasn’t pretty, but he was able to secure takedowns in each round and control top position for roughly half the bout to win a decision on the scorecards. Grade remains C- Velickovic: He was certainly the more technical striker on the feet, but his inability to prevent takedowns was the difference in this bout. His takedown defense is certainly going to limit his career trajectory. Downgraded from C to C-   Hector Sandoval vs. Fredy Serrano Sandoval: Sound performance from Hector Sandoval. He charged forward at an excellent pace throughout the fight. He landed timely strikes and had the better of the wrestling against a strong athlete with solid wrestling fundamentals. Upgraded from D+ to C- Serrano: It seemed like he was fighting in quicksand in this bout. The usually speedy athlete wasn’t able to get going against Sandoval and was outworked throughout the fight. Grade remains D   Takeya Mizugaki vs. Eddie Wineland Mizugaki: His technical ability on the feet is still there, but he was able to eat punches more effectively earlier in his career. At this point, he’s a knockout risk in every fight and he was caught in this bout. Mizugaki is likely on the cut line with yet another knockout loss. Downgraded from C+ to C Wineland: This was a really good matchup for Wineland as Mizugaki didn’t have the power in his hands to hurt Wineland. The American born striker was able to fight with confidence on the feet without having to fear repercussions. Grade remains B-   Irene Aldana vs. Leslie Smith Aldana: Struggled to be the aggressor in this fight and was fighting off her back foot the entire time. She made the last two rounds close, but it was not good enough. Debut grade is C Smith: Kept a fast pace throughout the fight, but the key for her was forcing Aldana to fight off the back foot the entire bout nullifying her left hand. Smart fight from Smith to get the victory. Grade remains C+   Josh Emmett vs. Scott Holtzman Emmett: He was in for a dog fight, but he turned it on late in the fight especially with his striking to earn a clear decision win. Emmett has the athleticism and strength to make some noise in the UFC. Grade remains C Holtzman: Made this a very competitive fight against a strong, physical fighter like Holtzman. He just didn’t have the striking skill set to keep Emmett honest. Upgraded from D to D+   James Moontasri vs. Alex Morono Moontasri: Had some moments early on especially with leg kicks, but really grew tired in the second half of the fight and couldn’t keep up with his opponent’s output. He took a beating in round three when he was running on empty and lost a decision. Grade remains D- Morono: Certainly not the most technical fighter in the world, but seems to do better as the goes longer. He throws the kitchen sink at his opponents and is an awkward matchup. Grade remains D+   Bryan Barberena vs. Colby Covington Barberena: This was the worst possible matchup for Barberena. The MMA Lab product feasts on fighters who cannot keep up with his level of cardio. Covington has an endless gas tank and Barberena was stuck trying to defend takedowns throughout the fight which he was never going to win. Grade remains C Covington: Great endurance and excellent wrestling will go a long way in MMA. Covington dominated this fight from start to finish and is going to be a nightmare matchup for much of the welterweight division. Upgraded from C+ to B-   Mizuki Hirota vs. Cole Miller Hirota: Dominated the grappling with top control throughout the fight. This was never close; a solid win for the Japanese fighter. Upgraded from D to D+ Miller: Perhaps the worst performance of Cole Miller’s career. He offered nothing in this bout to challenge Hirota. I expect him to be cut from the UFC after this bout. Downgraded from C- to D   Paul Craig vs. Luis Henrique da Silva Craig: Really nice debut. Had his moments on the feet, but where he excelled was on the ground. He was dangerous with submission attempts throughout the fight and was able to latch in a sub to get the victory. Debut grade is C- Da Silva: Struggled in the grappling exchanges and got tired fast in this bout. Poor performance from Frank Waisten. We shall see if this is a one off or further career decline. Grade remains D+   Alan Jouban vs. Mike Perry Jouban: Variety of striking was the key to this bout. Did a great job keeping Perry at distance and landing leg kicks to win a clear decision victory. Grade remains C Perry: Focused too much on landing the kill shot. Got behind on volume in this bout and just wasn’t able to keep up with Jouban. Grade remains C Urijah Faber vs. Brad Pickett Faber: One way traffic throughout this bout. Faber dropped Pickett in the first round and nearly finished. After that, Faber went to his wrestling game scoring takedowns in the final two rounds to win a unanimous decision in his final professional fight. Retires at B+ Pickett: Just wasn’t able to beat Faber in any facet of the game. This was a very difficult fight and Pickett did nothing to suggest he was able capable of Faber. Downgraded from C to C-   Mickey Gall vs. Sage Northcutt Gall: Went over and over to his bread and butter of submission grappling. Gall did an excellent job getting the fight to where he had an advantage on the ground. He had Northcutt in difficult positions and eventually was able to get his arm underneath the chin to get the submission win. Upgraded from D+ to C- Northcutt: He’s a great athlete, but his inability to stop takedowns is becoming a major issue. He also hasn’t shown that he can fight through submission attempts. Have to wonder if Northcutt is going to be able to cut in the UFC. Downgraded from D+ to D   Paige VanZant vs. Michelle Waterson VanZant: Once again dominated in the grappling exchanges. She’s been exposed in some of her recent fights by fighters with a technical acumen. This is likely a crossroads fight for VanZant. She either sticks with the sport and improves or she’ll be out of MMA forever. Downgraded from C+ to C Waterson: Great performance from the Karate Hottie to get VanZant grounded and completely school her in the submission game. Solid win which puts her into the top ten of the division. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Written by Jay Primetown

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