Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 208

Holly HolmJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, New York. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsBreaker.com. Roan Carneiro vs. Ryan Laflare Carneiro: Offers very little in the striking exchanges. He lost the first 13 minutes of this bout before a slip by his opponent allowed him to get top control for the last two minutes of the fight. At 38 years of age, this is likely his last fight in the UFC. Grade remains C- Laflare: He did more than enough on the feet to out strike Carneiro and combined it with takedowns to win an easy decision. Laflare continues to be one of the most underrated fighters in the division. Grade remains B- Rick Glenn vs. Phillipe Nover Glenn: His aggression in this fight was the difference in the result. Glenn was able to push Nover against the cage and have his best moments in the clinch landing punches and knees. At range, he was surprisingly out-struck by his opponent. Grade remains D+ Nover: He had some good moments in this bout behind a stiff jab. However, he was too willing to counter strike and too many times he was controlled against the cage. It was a close fight that could have easily went the other way. Grade remains D+ Nik Lentz vs. Islam Makhachev Lentz: The size difference was a significant factor in this fight, as Lentz had no answers for his opponent’s physicality and wrestling ability. Downgraded from C+ to C Makhachev: A beautiful display of grappling from the Dagestani fighter. He dominated a capable wrestler from start to finish. It’s time for a real step up in competition. Upgraded from C+ to B- Wilson Reis vs. Ulka Sasaki Reis: He’s undersized for the weight class, but he has good power in his hands and explodes into takedowns as well as anyone in the division. He was at risk briefly here as he lost position in a scramble in the third round, but his wrestling is so good that it’s generally not an issue. Grade remains B Sasaki: He had some moments in the stand-up and threatened late with back control, but overall it was his takedown defense that let him down. Overall though, this was a better performance than I had expected from him. Upgraded from D+ to C- Randy Brown vs. Belal Muhammad Brown: He had some moments of flash in this fight, but he was outworked in all phases of the game in this fight. His work rate simply isn’t good enough unless he lands a fight ending punch. Downgraded from C- to D+ Muhammad: An all-around complete performance from Muhammad. He landed early with a series of leg kicks to slow up his opponent. After that, he increased the pace focusing on wrestling dominating his opponent from top control. Upgraded from C- to C Jim Miller vs. Dustin Poirier Miller: He did an excellent job working Poirier’s lead leg, but other than that struggled to land any significant strikes in this fight. He made this a fairly competitive fight and has had a resurgence in the last year. Grade remains C+ Poirier: He certainly landed the bigger head shots, but the leg kicks from Miller certainly took their toll. Poirier will likely be out for a lengthy time as he’ll need to recover. He won the fight, but it wasn’t his best performance in the Octagon. Downgraded from B+ to B Jared Cannonier vs. Glover Teixeira Cannonier: He was able to hurt Teixeira briefly at the end of the first round, but his defensive wrestling needs to improve or he won’t be able to breakthrough in the UFC. Grade remains C- Teixeira: A smart, effective game plan by top Brazilian in the light heavyweight division. He was able to take Cannonier down in each round and had long periods of top control to win a decision. On the feet, he had some issues with Cannonier’s power. I think from a striking perspective, Teixeira isn’t the same fighter he was a couple years ago, but he’s still on of the best in the division. Downgraded from B+ to B Tim Boetsch vs. Ronaldo Souza Boetsch: He stuffed an early takedown attempt, but he wasn’t able to keep standing much longer. Once put on the ground, it was the beginning of the end as he didn’t have answer for one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the history of MMA. Grade remains C+ Souza: Jacare took a fight to stay busy and made easy work of Boetsch inside of one round. His submission may be the best in MMA currently. At the very least, it is absolutely elite. Jacare deserves to fight for the middleweight championship later this year. Grade remains A+ Derek Brunson vs. Anderson Silva Brunson: While I think Brunson would win a rematch, on this day he was too tentative in the striking exchanges and did not put an exclamation point on the first two rounds of the fight. By not doing that, the judges had much more discretion in their scorecards. It was a tough decision loss for Brunson in a fight he probably should have won. Grade remains B Silva: He did an excellent job of stuffing takedown attempts in this fight and forcing Brunson to stand and strike with him. Silva’s output has certainly diminished over time, but he does have an ability to turn it on when he needs to most. He still has the flash that gets the crowd excited, and that was enough to get his hand raised. Grade remains B Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie Holm: She struggled early on in this fight finding the range to land with conviction. She put herself in an early hole but also performed well enough in the last couple rounds to make this a very competitive decision in defeat. Debut grade at featherweight is A- De Randamie: She certainly did not throw as many strikes as her opponent, but the power difference was significant. Every punch de Randamie threw was with fight-ending intentions. It was this difference in power that won her the fight and made her the first champion of the featherweight division. Debut grade at featherweight is A-

Written by Jay Primetown

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