Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC on FOX 24

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on FOX 24 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsBreaker.com.

Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Ketlen Vieira

Evans-Smith: Speed was the major issue for her in this fight, as she simply couldn’t get strikes off consistently against Vieira. Every time she pushed in, she was countered fairly easily. Her wrestling was ineffective in this bout, but just as importantly her lack of power was exposed as her opponent had nothing to fear in this bout. Downgraded from C to C-

Vieira: A solid overall performance from the Brazilian. Her hand speed really stood out, as she was able to counter Evans-Smith repeatedly on the counter. Furthermore, she got the best of the grappling against a collegiate wrestler. Vieira is one to watch in this division. Upgraded from D+ to C
Nathan Coy vs. Zak Cummings

Coy: This was a terrible matchup for Coy. He was not going to be able to out-grapple Cummings and on the feet he was at a tremendous speed disadvantage. He was able to hang with Cummings for a few minutes, but it never appeared he had a chance in this fight. With the submission loss, he’ll likely be cut from the UFC. Downgraded from D+ to D
Cummings: In a fight Cummings was supposed to win, he came out and put in an impressive performance. His hand speed was the key to this bout as he was able to land his left hand repeatedly in this fight. Once he was able to soften up Coy, he latched on a choke to complete a comprehensive victory. Grade remains C
Andrew Sanchez vs. Anthony Smith
Sanchez: Did a decent job in the first couple rounds landing a diverse set of strikes and mixing in takedowns. In round three, he grew tired and simply didn’t block the shots coming from Smith and eventually was knocked out. He needs to improve his endurance if he’s going to become a top fifteen fighter. Grade remains C-
Smith: He struggled early in this fight as he didn’t have much answers when put on his back. He was able to slow Sanchez down late in the fight and made the most of his chance to finish and earn a big victory. Upgraded from D+ to C-
Devin Clark vs. Jake Collier
Clark: What impressed me the most about Clark in this bout was his ability to hold a consistent pace over 15 minutes. He really rag dolled Collier in round three to dominate the round and to leave no questions on the scorecards. He may not have the punching power to hurt many light heavyweights, but his pace will cause some fighters problems. Grade remains D
Collier: He’s a long fighter that certainly can withstand a good amount of damage, but his grappling isn’t UFC caliber. He doesn’t have the hand speed or power to hurt most fighters either. It will be tough for Collier to earn victories in the UFC. Downgraded from D to D-
Augusto Mendes vs. Aljamain Sterling

Mendes: He landed a knockdown in round one but was unable to do anything with it. Outside of that, he struggled with the length of Sterling and had no answers for him when taken to the mat. Conditioning gave out on him in round three, so there’s was no opportunity to mount a comeback. He’s a solid bantamweight, but he’s not one of the division’s Top 15. Grade remains C+
Sterling: He didn’t fear Mendes’ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game and showed improvements in his striking with more commitment to his punches. This was a solid performance from the talented prospect who is ready to get back in the cage with ranked opponents. Grade remains B
Tim Elliott vs. Louis Smolka
Elliott: He was able to shoot for takedowns whenever he wanted to in this fight. There were a lot of scrambles in this bout, and Elliott won his fair share to win a split decision. His victory here proved that his solid performance against Demetrious Johnson was not a fluke. Grade remains B+

Smolka: It’s really difficult to keep Smolka on the mat, but his takedown defense is the worst in the division. He struggles hard to keep fights standing. Even if he wins some transitions, he’s put to the mat way too many times to win in the eyes of the judges. Grade remains C
Bobby Green vs. Rashid Magomedov
Green: Coming off a significant layoff, he fared quite well in this fight. He doesn’t have as diverse a striking attack as Magomedov, but he did a good job of forcing the clinch and pushing his opponent against the cage at times during this bout. He forced a close fight and nearly won it on the scorecards. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Magomedov: He landed some beautiful combinations in this bout. From a technical perspective, he’s one of the best strikers in the division. His problem is volume. In nearly every fight he’s in, he has moments of inactivity, which result in close rounds. He was the better fighter in this bout, but it ended up being very close on the scorecards. Grade remains B
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Patrick Williams
Duquesnoy: He took more damage than I thought he would in this fight. However, his work rate is incredible. There’s no rest for the weary when facing Duquesnoy. With about a minute to go in the first round, he had his opponent gassed, and he put forth the kitchen sink. Duquesnoy finished early in round two and is certainly ready for a step up in competition. Grade remains B
Williams: He came out well in this fight and had Duquesnoy in a bit of trouble in the first round. He once again showed issues of fatigue, and once his gas tank gave out, he was a punching bag for the French super prospect. Grade remains D+
Roy Nelson vs. Alexander Volkov
Nelson: It’s taken awhile, but Nelson is significantly declining. His punching power isn’t there anymore, and he can’t keep a decent pace beyond one round anymore. He was taken to task in this fight by a longer, smarter, and better striker. Downgraded from C- to D+
Volkov: A really nice performance from Volkov to use his length and keep Nelson at bay. He did a good job of defending Nelson’s takedown attempts and made him pay with knees and kicks in those exchanges. Volkov has worked his way up to Top 10 opposition in his next fight. Upgraded from C- to C
Renato Moicano vs. Jeremy Stephens
Moicano: His movement was excellent in this fight avoiding Stephens power shots. What surprised me the most was just how good his jab was in this bout. He landed it repeatedly in this bout and combined with a consistent kicking game he earned a close, but deserving decision on the scorecards. With the win, he will jump into the division’s rankings. Upgraded from C+ to B-
Stephens: He struggled to land his power shots in this bout and got frustrated by Moicano’s movement throughout the fight. He landed a few decent punches, but he was never able to put Moicano in trouble. A disappointing loss for him as it seems his day as a Top 10 featherweight are over. Downgraded from B to B-
Jacare Souza vs. Robert Whittaker
Souza: He was able to get a takedown in the first round, but his inability to keep Whittaker grounded saw the fight change on a dime. On the feet, he didn’t have the hand speed or movement to contend with Whittaker and was picked apart in the second round before the referee stepped in. For the 37-year-old Jacare, it’s difficult to see him ever gaining an opportunity at the championship, as there’s now a handful of fighters ahead of him in the pecking order. Downgraded from A+ to A-
Whittaker: A true changing-of-the-guard fight. Jacare was considered an elite middleweight, and Whittaker was able to avoid the takedowns and beat him up on the feet. The ability to knockout a title contender pushes him to the elite of the division, and along with Romero they should be next in line for an opportunity at the title. Upgraded from A- to A+
Rose Namajunas vs. Michelle Waterson
Namajunas: A complete performance from “Thug Rose.” She was able to dominate the grappling exchanges and do damage from top position. She combined that with a nasty head kick that put Waterson on her back. Waterson never fully cleared the cobwebs, and Namajunas submitted her in style. A big win that puts her back in title contention. Upgraded from B to B+
Waterson: Physically she struggled with the strength of Namajunas in this fight. She wasn’t able to defend the takedowns and was beat up by Namajunas in this bout. It was never close. Downgraded from B to B-
Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis
Johnson: Another masterclass performance from Johnson. He focused early on movement and then began focusing on shots to the body to slow Reis down. Once Reis lost a step, Johnson wasted no time landing stinging jabs and takedowns. In the third round, Johnson got Reis to the mat and beat Reis up to win another title fight inside the distance. Johnson now has tied the UFC record for consecutive title defenses and will look to break the record in his next fight. Grade remains A++
Reis: Outside of a short lived takedown in the opening round, he offered nothing in this fight that made Johnson even think differently. He was simply outclassed by a much superior fighter. There’s no shame in that, as Reis joins a long list of fighters who weren’t able to trouble the champion. Downgraded from B to B-

Written by Jay Primetown

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