Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 209

Tyron WoodleyJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 209 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsBreaker.com. Albert Morales vs. Andre Soukhamthath Morales: He landed with leg kicks early, but it was his ability to out-grapple his opponent in the third round to get the win. It was a tough fight, but Morales dug deep to get the result. Grade remains D+ Soukhamthath: Once he was able to get started in the striking exchanges, he was very competitive and even got the better of the striking in this fight. His problem is wrestling. He showed no ability to get back to his feet when taken to the mat, which will be a major problem for him in the UFC. Grade remains D Paul Craig vs. Tyson Pedro Craig: Several holes were exposed in this fight. His grappling technique was predictable, and he showed no variation in it. Perhaps even worse was too many openings in his striking defense, and he was too hittable. Downgraded from C- to D Pedro: He adjusted well early and did well to defend Craig’s takedown attempts. Once he found openings in the stand-up, he landed and hurt Craig. Furthermore, he then made the smart move to take Craig down and dominate in his strongest area. A good win for Pedro that should see him get a step up in competition. Upgraded from D to D+ Mark Godbeer vs. Daniel Spitz Godbeer: He didn’t have to worry about power strikes in this bout nor did he have to defend takedowns. It allowed him to push forward and strike with ease. This is the best Godbeer can look in the Octagon, and it’s not that high of a level. Grade remains F Spitz: A really bad performance. He has no striking power, and his grappling is extremely limited. It’s difficult to imagine him winning a fight in the UFC. Downgraded from D to F- Iuri Alcantara vs. Luke Sanders Alcantara: He was getting beat for the majority of this fight, and the referee nearly stepped in to protect him as he was eating punches on the ground. A miracle submission earned him a win, but the reality is this was a bad performance except for about 10 seconds of brilliance. Downgraded from C+ to C Sanders: He did a great job avoiding most of Alcantara’s strikes. He had his opponent badly hurt but was unable to get the finish. This gave Alcantara an opportunity in a scramble to find a submission. A surprise loss for Sanders in a fight he should have won. Grade remains C+ Mirsad Bektic vs. Darren Elkins Bektic: An absolutely dominant first round, but as the fight progressed, Bektic overextended on the takedowns and allowed Elkins back into the fight. He got tired in the third and was stunningly knocked out for the first loss of his career. Downgraded from B+ to B Elkins: This is the one that will stand out at the end of Elkins’ career. He had no business winning this fight but came back to stun an undefeated blue-chip prospect in the third round. Is he as good of a fighter as Bektic? No. Did he find a way to win at UFC 209? Yes. Upgraded from C+ to B- Luis Henrique vs. Marcin Tybura Henrique: The only thing he was able to do successfully was push Tybura against the cage. He was out-struck throughout the bout, and his conditioning gave up on him late in the fight. He can win some fights in the UFC, but his ceiling is limited. Grade remains D+ Tybura: He’s shown to have good takedown defense and an underrated striking game. His grappling is also pretty slick. This was a good win for him, so look Tybura to move up the heavyweight ladder. He’s a future Top 10 heavyweight. Upgraded from C- to C Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem Hunt: He’s still dangerous in short stints, but his age and conditioning are major issues. He was too easily pushed against the cage where he’s at a major disadvantage. The knee he took that put him away may in fact be the last strike we see him absorb in his MMA career. Downgraded from B to B- Overeem: He fought a really smart fight. He was hurt a couple times against Hunt, but he showed composure in avoiding the follow up strikes and then pushing Hunt against the cage where he was not in danger. His knees to finish the fight were a thing of a beauty. A very good win that puts him right back in the mix for a Top 5 fight. Grade remains B+ Cynthia Calvillo vs. Amanda Cooper Calvillo: Her striking needs real work, but her grappling is very good. She’s got a nice offensive wrestling game and combines it with slick submission skills. She’s one to pay attention to in this division. Upgraded from D+ to C Cooper: She was landing early in this bout, but as soon as the fight went to the ground, the disparity in skill was clear. She was dominated by the grappling prowess of her opponent and was forced to submit to strikes. Downgraded from C- to D+ Rashad Evans vs. Dan Kelly Evans: A fighter who was a former world champion shouldn’t be out-struck by Kelly over the course of 15 minutes. It’s time for Evans to hang up the gloves. Downgraded from B- to C- Kelly: His striking was as good as it has ever looked before. It’s hard to think of fighters who have overachieved in their UFC career as much as Kelly has. Upgraded from C- to C David Teymur vs. Lando Vannata Teymur: Excellent performance by him outclassing a creative striker. Perhaps more impressively was just how well he did securing takedowns. He clearly won a fight over a hyped-up opponent. Upgraded from C- to C+ Vannata: He tried to out-strike and out-land a highly technical striker. It was a poor game plan, and the result shows. Hopefully, he learns from this experience, as he is exciting to watch and a fighter who can be promoted. Downgraded from B- to C Stephen Thompson vs. Tyron Woodley Thompson: As a challenger, he needs to take the fight to the champion in order to win a close decision. In the rounds he won, it was just with Octagon control. He didn’t land any strikes that hurt his opponent. It’s hard to win the championship without winning a decisive round. Grade remains A Woodley: He still has his issues with inactivity, but he had the two biggest moments in this fight, securing a takedown in round three and then a big knockdown late in round five. With his opponent not having any highlight reel moments in the fight, I have no issue with him getting his hand raised. Grade remains A

Written by Jay Primetown

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