Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC Fight Night 105

Johny HendricksJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 105 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsBreaker.com. Ryan Janes vs. Gerald Meerschaert Janes: He looked surprisingly good pressing the action and was able to secure a takedown early in the bout. For a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, he was very sloppy on the mat and got caught in an armbar and was forced to tap. Grade remains D- Meerschaert: He had a bit of a slow start but more than made up for it by catching Janes in an armbar and forcing him to submit early in the first round. It’s Meerschaert’s second win in the UFC, and he appears quite comfortable inside the Octagon. Grade remains C Jack Marshman vs. Thiago Santos Marshman: He had Santos hurt towards the end of the first round but was unable to finish the fight. In the second round, Santos began to find his range and landed a spinning kick that put Marshman to the ground. He showed he could compete with Santos in this fight but doesn’t have the athleticism to be a difference maker. Grade remains C- Santos: His striking certainly was more technical than Marshman’s, but he got in a bit of trouble having to deal with Marshman’s forward approach. It was the big spinning kick that put Marshman away. Santos is flawed, but he has an ability to earn a big finish. That is who he is. Grade remains C Reginaldo Vieira vs. Aiemann Zahabi Vieira: He kept a surprisingly high pace in this fight to keep the bout competitive. He had some success with wrestling earlier but struggled to secure takedowns in the second half of the fight. He got backed up against the cage and took significant damage late in rounds, which swung the fight against him. Grade remains D+ Zahabi: I expected a bit more in this fight from Zahabi, but he nearly ended the fight at the end of the second round. His wrestling and striking defense need to improve if he’s ever going be a Top 15 bantamweight. Still, he has a solid fight IQ, and his movement is good enough to frustrate lower level competition. Grade remains D+ Carla Esparza vs. Randa Markos Esparza: She simply didn’t do enough damage on the feet. When she got Markos down, she had a clear advantage. She simply didn’t do it early enough in rounds to give her dominant rounds. This is a bad loss for Esparza, who appears to be in a free fall in the UFC rankings. Downgraded from B+ to B- Markos: After nearly being submitted in the second round, she came out surprisingly strong in the third and was able to steal a fight with the third-ranked strawweight. I thought she lost two rounds to one, but Markos made the fight close enough where any decision was possible. This was easily the best fight of her career. Upgraded from C to C+ Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Nordine Taleb Ponzinibbio: After a lackluster first round, he began landing his jab with regularity. He bloodied up his opponent, and it was his volume that earned him a decision on the judges’ scorecard. Ponzinibbio continues to show he’s one of the better action fighters in the UFC. Grade remains C+ Taleb: He was overwhelmed at times in the stand-up, but he also had his moments landing leg kicks as well as some punches of his own late in the fight. This was a good performance given the opponent. Upgraded from C- to C Paul Felder vs. Alessandro Ricci Felder: An absolute clinic from Felder. He didn’t need to defend takedowns at all in this bout and was able to focus on the striking. He mixed in punches and kicks, but it was the knee that floored Ricci ending the fight. It’s time for Felder to once again take a step up in competition. Grade remains C Ricci: Ricci is first and foremost a striker, but he was blown away by his opponent in this bout. He had his nose busted open towards the end of round one and turtled up after the impact. This is two bouts in the UFC and two losses. It’s difficult seeing Ricci getting another chance in the UFC. Downgraded from D- to F Gina Mazany vs. Sara McMann Mazany: She took this fight on short notice, and it showed. It didn’t help that she ran into a fighter on great form. This was a mismatch, and she deserves another shot against an opponent closer to her skill set. Grade remains D McMann: She’s had some growing pains, but McMann really coming into her own in the bantamweight division. Her wrestling has been very good, but it’s her new found submission game that has seen her take a real step towards the division’s lead. She’s a clear Top 5 bantamweight in my eyes. Upgraded from B+ to A- Cezar Ferreira vs. Elias Theodorou Ferreira: He had good moments in this fight, but his work rate was not high enough to keep up with the volume of his opponent. In a close fight, that was the difference in the bout. He’s proven over the last couple years that he is a mid-tier middleweight. Upgraded from C- to C Theodorou: He didn’t hurt Ferreira at any point of the fight, but he kept busy and found a way to win some close rounds to take the fight. Theodorou’s problem is he doesn’t have fight-ending power or a great grappling game. He’s forced to grind out decisions, and that doesn’t have a high ceiling. Downgraded from C+ to C Sam Sicilia vs. Gavin Tucker Sicilia: It seemed like he was walking in quicksand in this fight. He was constantly two steps behind his opponent and was out-struck for 15 minutes. With three straight losses, I expect this to be Sicilia’s last fight in the UFC. Downgraded from D+ to D Tucker: He had an excellent debut. His footwork was very Cody Garbrandt-like. He showed a lot of variety in his striking, and his movement was awesome. He’s certainly one to watch in the featherweight division. Debut grade is C- Johny Hendricks vs. Hector Lombard Hendricks: It took him awhile to get going, but when he found his rhythm, he really began to turn it on. His motor increased, and his footwork was on point in this fight. He did a nice job to out-land Lombard in the final couple of rounds to win a decision. Upgraded from C+ to B Lombard: He landed some decent strikes in this fight, but nothing that really put Hendricks on notice. The biggest problem Lombard with here was that he had chances to get the fight to the mat but was unable to put Hendricks down. It was a competitive fight, but one that he correctly lost on the scorecards. Grade remains C+ Travis Browne vs. Derrick Lewis Browne: He started the fight well with some beautiful kicks to the body, which put his opponent on the defensive. The problem for Browne in this one was his chin could not hold up once Lewis landed clean. He took several punches after the fight should have been stopped, and it could very well impact his career moving forward. Grade remains C+ Lewis: There are still question marks about his conditioning, but his hands are vicious. Once he lands, he has a great opportunity to win. This was the biggest win of Lewis’ career and he’s now in position to take on a Top 5 opponent. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Written by Jay Primetown

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