Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC Fight Night 121

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney, Australia. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek

Hamilton: He was smart to focus on takedown attempts early in this bout as he was able to get one round, but his inability to secure takedown attempts in the final two rounds cost him this bout. With the loss, I don’t expect the UFC to resign him. Grade remains F-

Wieczorek: He lacks the punching power to be dangerous in this weight class. Yes, he won this bout, but didn’t do anything that makes me believe he can continue to collect wins in this division. Grade remains F

Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton

Lausa: He had a few good moments in round one, but has the fight wore on he couldn’t stop one of his opponent’s takedowns. He had no answers on the ground and lost a clear decision. On the feet Lausa is capable, but his inability to keep the fight standing was his downfall. Downgraded from D+ to D

Shelton: After two close losses in his career in the UFC, Shelton was able to earn his first UFC win as he secured takedowns in all three rounds and even get the better of the striking on the feet to win an easy decision on the scorecards. Shelton has talent and now that he’s got his first UFC win, look for him to continue to impress in the Octagon. Grade remains C-

Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem

Chambers: She did well to press forward in this bout, but was unable to land any meaningful strikes on the feet. It allowed her opponent to stay in the bout who had a much more diverse striking game and it cost her the bout. Downgraded from D to D-

Kassem: She’s young and rather inexperienced, but showed a nice submission game off her back as well as a very nice kicking game. She has some good tools, but is very green at this point. If the UFC builds her slowly, she can have some real success down the line. Debut grade is D

Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho

Brown: He’s not the divison’s most skilled fighter, but he will push in every bout he’s in and is not afraid to fight hurt. He came away with a loss in this one, but gained more admirers in the defeat. Grade remains D-

Camacho: Very few people knew who he was heading into this bout, but he impressed with his forward pressure and landing the more effective punches throughout this bout. He needs to work on his ground game to move up in the division, but he showed flashes in this bout which make me believe he can stick around at lightweight. Upgraded from D- to D

Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa

Coulter: Both of his UFC fights have been entertaining, but it has been for the wrong reasons as his opponents have dominated the bouts, finishing him in the cage. He’s certainly willing to trade, but he’s struggled thus far in the UFC. Grade remains F

Tuivasa: At only 23 years of age, there’s a lot to like from this Australian heavyweight. He showed some real agility landing a flying knee to finish the fight. He’ll need to round out his skill set, but he can certainly compete with the lower rungs of the division right away as he builds on diverse striking skills. Upgraded from D- to D

Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz

Brooks: He was well ahead in this fight until he got caught in a guillotine mid-second round and was forced to tap. Considering how well he did in Bellator, Brooks’ performance thus far in the UFC is stunning. Downgraded from C+ to C

Lentz: Even though he was down in this fight, he continued to press and put pressure on his opponent. An opportunity opened and Lentz secured a choke and victory. He’s a veteran and one can never count him out in a fight. Grade remains C

Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian

Benoit: He broke his right hand early in this bout and even without that key weapon he was still able to earn a stoppage victory. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Mokhtarian: He’s aggressive on the feet, but his technique is simply not up to far with other UFC fighters. This is a fight he could have won against an injured fighter, but simply was unable to do so. Downgraded from D to D-

Alex Volkanovski vs. Shane Young

Volkanovski: He’s absolutely relentless with pressure and takedown attempts. He controlled his opponent for the entire fifteen minutes of this bout. What’s most impressive is the balanced pace with which he fights. His ability to maintain a high level pace throughout the bout makes him opponent most will avoid fighting. Upgraded from C- to C

Young: He was given a very difficult fight in his debut. It was difficult to see his level of ability just because Volkanovski’s style is so suffocating. I think we’ll learn a lot more about Young in his second fight than this bout. Debut grade is D

Dan Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou

Kelly: He employed a forward pressure attack and had some success with it in this fight, but he simply couldn’t keep out with the striking output of his opponent and dropped a decision. Grade remains C-

Theodorou: His striking output was incredible in this fight. He threw punches and kicks from all sorts of angles to pile up points. Theodorou may not be the most entertaining fighter, but he knows how to win rounds and decisions. Grade remains C

Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic

Matthews: Taking off a year and moving up in weight, Matthews was in a really tough fight that was almost exclusively a grappling contest. He got his hand raised, but it just have easily could have gone the other way. The fight was that close. Downgraded from C- to D+

Velickovic: He has a decent striking set and ground game, but he lacks power and submission prowess. He’s forced into trying to win decisions against more powerful strikers and better grapplers. He’s very tough to finish and always comes out to fight, but it’s tough to win in the UFC without having a differentiator in his arsenal. Downgraded from C- to D+

Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad

Means: Despite a significant size advantage, he struggled to maintain range and land power strikes in this bout. A disappointing result for Means in a bout he should have won. Downgraded from C+ to C

Muhammad: An intelligent game plan from Muhammad for consistent movement and landed a variety of strikes to keep Means off balance. It was a close contest, but he got his hand raised and got the best win of his career. Upgraded from C- to C

Bec Rawlings vs. Jessica Rose-Clark

Rawlings: Outside of some traditional boxing, Rawlings didn’t bring much to the table in this bout. As the fight wore on, her opponent knew what was coming and she struggled with the variety of her opponent. Downgraded from D+ to D

Rose-Clark: She started off slow, but showed some nice variety on the feet with knees to the body and punches to the head. It was a solid performance for a fighter making her debut and on short notice. Debut grade is D+

Marcin Tybura vs. Fabricio Werdum

Tybura: He went five hard rounds with a former UFC champion. He didn’t win the bout, but he showed he can stand with a fighter of his caliber for 25 minutes. He was out classed at times, but did have some moments on the feet including a few flush head kicks. This was the type of fight Tybura needed to see where he is at and what he needs to improve on before he can continue to challenge the best the division. Grade remains C+

Werdum: He’s certainly getting older and close to the end of his career, but his ability to maintain a decent pace and land a varied striking attack has allowed him to continue to be one of the division’s best fighters. His submission grappling ability is the best in the weight class, but it’s the striking improvements that he has had to utilize to beat most opponents. Grade remains B+

Written by Jay Primetown

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