Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC Fight Night 103

Sergio PettisJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix, Arizona. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsBreaker.com. Cyril Asker vs. Dmitri Smoliakov Asker: Once he was able to secure the takedown, he dominated this fight. He maneuvered well to full mount and secured the position with strength to throw strikes until the referee was forced to stop the bout. Upgraded from F to D- Smoliakov: He looks physically strong, but he struggles with conditioning and he didn’t show any answers once taken to the ground. Poor performance and likely will be cut with this defeat. Downgraded from D to F Joachim Christensen vs. Bojan Mihajlovic Christensen: He fought very cautious in this bout, not putting himself in danger at all. He’s smart in that he’ll combine range striking and then find his way into the clinch controlling the exchanges wearing his opponents down with knees. He just doesn’t possess the explosion necessary to beat the better light heavyweights on the roster. If he made his way to the UFC earlier, I think he could of creeped to close to the Top 15 of the division. Unfortunately at 38, it is too late for him for that kind of surge. Downgraded from D+ to D Mihajlovic: A very poor performance. Even moving down to light heavyweight, he is undersized. Poor movement and his only semblance of offense is winging punches. I can’t see him winning a fight in the UFC. Downgraded from D- to F- Walt Harris vs. Chase Sherman Harris: Perhaps his best performance in the Octagon. Harris took his time and wasn’t overly aggressive in the striking exchanges. He used a nice mix of punches and kicks to inflict damage before landing a devastating left to floor Chase Sherman. Grade remains D Sherman: His movement was solid in this fight as he has the type of workout that could do well in the heavyweight division. His problem is that he doesn’t have the punching power, and more importantly lacks the head movement to avoid his opponent’s power strikes. Until he improves his head movement, he will struggle in the UFC. Grade remains F Nina Ansaroff vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger Ansaroff: Speed was a major difference in this fight, as she was the first to engage. However, she showed a nice ground game by getting her opponent to the ground and controlling for large portions of this fight. A dominant win for Ansaroff. Grade remains C- Jones-Lybarger: Looked sluggish in this fight. A tough weight cut may have played a part in performance. She was too easily put on her back and showed zero ability to get back to a standing position. With three straight losses, it’s difficult to see her getting another chance in the UFC. Downgraded from C- to D+ Tony Martin vs. Alex White Martin: He fought smart going to his bread and butter of grappling. He forced White against the cage and was able to secure takedowns throughout the fight. He avoided lengthy striking exchanges and therefore White’s striking power to win an easy decision on the scorecards. Grade remains C- White: The move up to lightweight was a tough one, as he was forced to face a big fighter in that weight class that is grappling first. White just didn’t have the physical strength and takedown defense to force Martin into a standing exchange where he would have an advantage. Grade remains D+ Oleksiy Oliynyk vs. Viktor Pesta Oliynyk: Looked old and sluggish, but then he secured a choke while being mounted. First time I’ve ever seen that in the UFC. He certainly is a one-trick pony, but his submission game is very slick. Grade remains D Pesta: He’s a young heavyweight, so he certainly has time to develop, but this isn’t the first time where he looked good early and then was caught as the fight progressed. Experience is something he really needs and could use some time outside the UFC to get it. Downgraded from D to D- Augusto Mendes vs. Frankie Saenz Mendes: A very good overall performance against a solid veteran. He’s known for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but was unable to hold his opponent on the ground, although he had surprising success in the striking exchanges. The fight went to a split decision, but he ultimately got his hand raised. I’d like to see him take on a better striker for his next test. Grade remains C Saenz: He forced Mendes to dig deep and fight strong over 15 minutes. It was a dog fight, and he was hurt a few times in this fight. He recovered well but just wasn’t able to land enough big strikes to get his hand raised. Saenz is 36 years old, and it seems he may be on the downside of his career. He’s taken a lot of damage in his last few fights. Grade remains C Drakkar Klose vs. Devin Powell Klose: Athleticism played a key part in this fight. He was able to bull rush Powell and push him against the cage. He dominated in the clinch and was never in trouble in this bout. He should have pushed for a finish, but still this was a clear victory for him. Upgraded from D to D+ Powell: He’s certainly tough, but the rest of his skill set simply isn’t good enough to have a successful run in the UFC. Grade remains D- John Moraga vs. Sergio Pettis Moraga: He was outstruck on the feet and took far more damage in this bout compared to Pettis. He was able to score a couple takedowns late in the fight but was unable to do much with them. With three straight losses in the UFC, it’s likely his last fight in the promotion. Downgraded from C+ to C Pettis: His striking was strong early in this fight, rocking Moraga in the first round. He needs to work on putting a consistent 15 minutes in the Octagon. Too many times, he takes his foot off the gas. His win at Fight Night 103 was his best in the UFC and should move him close to a Top 10 ranking. Upgraded from C+ to B- Court McGee vs. Ben Saunders McGee: His work rate is still strong, but his inability to consistently land with power made it difficult for him until Saunders slowed down in the third round. This fight was close on paper and on the scorecards. Grade remains C- Saunders: He landed the bigger strikes early in the fight, but the tide began to turn as he grew tired late in the fight. He snuck out a win on the scorecards but could easily have lost a decision as well. Grade remains C- Marcin Held vs. Joe Lauzon Held: He had a lot of success with securing takedowns and maintaining top position in this fight. He didn’t inflict much damage when he secured those takedowns, leaving the fight to the judges. Given the controversial nature of the loss, I believe he deserves another opportunity in the UFC. Grade remains C Lauzon: He was able to land with regularity in the standing exchanges but struggled with defending takedowns. Despite being outworked on the ground, the judges gave him a surprising decision. His takedown defense was a real flag in this fight. Downgraded from C+ to C BJ Penn vs. Yair Rodriguez Penn: Yes, Penn was facing a rising prospect, but he was never in this fight. Speed was a real issue, and he faced a significant amount of head kicks with little ability to defend. This was a mismatch. Penn has no business competing in the UFC again. Downgraded from C- to D+ Rodriguez: A complete mauling from start to finish. His leg kicks were sharp, and Penn had no idea where and when they were coming from. Rodriguez landed big kicks throughout the fight and was able to finish Penn in the second round for a signature win on his resume. A Top 10 opponent is next for the rising featherweight. Upgraded from C+ to B

Written by Jay Primetown

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