Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC Fight Night 116

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 116 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo

Burns: His striking was improved in this fight and ultimately it was the difference as he landed a big overhand right towards the end of round two to earn a knockout win. Upgraded from C- to C

Saggo: He had some moments on the feet, but he left himself exposed too much defensively and was caught by an overhand right. At this point, he’s at best a gatekeeper from the lower rungs of the division into the mid-tier. Grade remains C-

Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Hall: He was hurt badly in the first round and nearly finished. He came out strong in round two and landed a big punch of his own to put his opponent away. A big win for Hall who was falling fast in the rankings after recent losses. Grade remains C+

Jotko: A really disappointing loss for Jotko. He started strong in this fight wand was very close to getting the finish. He let his guard down in round two and it resulted in him getting floored. Downgraded from B- to C+

Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz

Hamilton: At 37 years old, he simply is unable to take much damage anymore. He’s been finished in his last three fights. All three of those losses have been in the first round. Downgraded from D- to F-

Spitz: As poor as his performance was in his first UFC bout, his second UFC fight was the polar opposite. He landed quickly on an aging Anthony Hamilton and with the knockout earned his first UFC win. Upgraded from F- to F

Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Tony Martin

Aubin-Mercier: He was able to secure takedowns in the first two rounds before dropping a decisive round three to win a close decision. It wasn’t his best performance, but it was enough to get the job done. Upgraded from C- to C

Martin: He struggled to defend takedowns against the cage and that was the difference in this bout. He had a very good round three, but he was already down two rounds to none on two of the judges’ scorecards. Grade remains C

Azunna Anyanwu vs. Justin Ledet

Anyanwu: His game is too limited to have sustainable success in the UFC. He has a big right hand but no other tools to make his opponents work. Grade remains D-

Ledet: He didn’t have his best performance, but his jab and hook were in form once again. He landed clean throughout the fight to earn a decision. He needs to expand his skill set beyond his boxing abilities if he’s going to break into the UFC’s top 15. Grade remains D

Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman

Moraes: He was outmatched in this fight and it showed quickly. He did a good job to press the action and to try to land early, but it was only a matter of time before he was put away. Grade remains C-

Usman: The confidence he fights with has been rarely seen in MMA. He’s not afraid to stand and trade with opponents. He wanted to make a statement in this bout and did so with a vicious knockout. Usman is on the verge of contendership in the welterweight division. Upgraded from B+ to A-

Gregor Gillepsie vs. Jason Gonzalez

Gillespie: He’s really blossoming in this sport. He’s added some power striking into his dominant wrestling game. He earned yet another finish in this bout and with the win is on the verge of the top 15 in the lightweight division. Upgraded from B- to B

Gonzalez: He did a lot better than I thought he would in this bout. He continued to press forward and made a very good opponent work for it in this bout. Upgraded from D to D+

Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith

Lombard: He started well, but once again slowed down as the fight went on and got finished. It’s hard to see the UFC giving him another chance. Grade remains C-

Smith: It took him some time to get into this fight, but once again he came from behind and was able to earn a third round finish. Smith has some holes in his game, but finishing opponents at middleweight will get a fighter noticed. Grade remains C-

Mike Perry vs. Alex Reyes

Perry: Perry is a finisher and didn’t disappoint in this fight. He made quick work of a late replacement. After consecutive finishes, he’s ready for another step up in competition. Grade remains C

Reyes: He was fighting up in weight against a fighter who is a potent finisher. This did not bode well for Reyes and the fight didn’t last long enough to really gauge his future potential. Debut grade at lightweight is D

David Branch vs. Luke Rockhold

Branch: He started the fight off well landing some punches against the cage and having Rockhold in some trouble. He was unable to get the finish and from there it went downhill. When forced to grapple, he had no answers for his opponent and that was the difference.  Grade remains B-

Rockhold: He continues to not hold his hands high and has found himself in trouble in his past few fights. Once he’s able to force an opponent against the cage and take the fighter to the mat, he’s dominant and a very capable finisher. He’s definitely shown more holes in his game in this fight, despite walking away with a second round stoppage. Downgraded from A+ to A


Written by Jay Primetown

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