Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 218

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 218 in Detroit, Michigan. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Allen Crowder vs. Justin Willis

Crowder: He was no match for Justin Willis. He couldn’t keep up with the hand speed and ultimately is just too small for the weight class. Debut grade is F

Willis: His hand speed is excellent for a heavyweight. He made quick work of Allen Crowder and impressed in doing so. With his athleticism and speed, he could be an intriguing prospect in this weight class. Upgraded from D to C-

Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes

Kimball: He landed a couple of strikes at the very beginning of the round, but once the fight went to the ground he was completely dominated. Kimball just doesn’t have the athleticism necessary to compete long term in the UFC. Grade remains D-

Reyes: He showed a decent ground game in this fight in addition to his long rangy striking game. He’s a solid fighter and expect him to continue to move up in this division. It’s time for Reyes to get a much needed step up in competition. Grade remains C-

Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi

Alhassan: He throws heavy strikes and is willing to engage. He’s a fun action fighter and got the win here. With the way the fight went down, I wouldn’t mind seeing this bout rematched. Grade remains D+

Homasi: He landed some heavy shots, but gets hit too easily. He really needs to improve his defensive striking if he’s going to be able to stick long term in the UFC. Grade remains D

Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magana

Cooper: She dominated this fight from start to finish. It was a great performance, but she needs to string some results together to prove she’s for real in this division. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Magana: Offered little offense in this bout and was rag dolled for two full rounds before the referee stopped the bout. She hasn’t shown that she can compete in the UFC. Downgraded from D- to F-

Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig

Casey: She had her moments on the feet, but got tentative in round three, took damage, and didn’t leave enough of an impression on the judges to get the decision nod. Grade remains C+

Herrig: Forced into a stand up fight, she made the best of it staying active and inflicting more damage in the bout. She’s now won four in a row and a case can be made she’s the most improved fighter in the division, outside of champion Rose Namajunas, over the past couple of years. Grade remains C+

Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur

Klose: He struggled to close distance in this bout and was out classed on the feet by a superior striker. He’s a solid fighter, but see him more as a gatekeeper to the middle of the division. Grade remains C-

Teymur: His counter wrestling was on point in this bout. He’s really made improvements overall and now has riled off four straight wins. Potential is high for Teymur and I expect him to be a top 15 lightweight at some point in the next two years. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira

Medeiros: His ability to recover after getting hurt is some of the best I’ve seen in MMA. He took everything Oliveira had to offer and was able to survive. In the third round, he was able to drop Oliveira and get arguably the biggest win of his career in a thrilling contest. Upgraded from C to C+

Oliveira: The punch to the nose that effected his breathing in the first round changed the complexion of this fight. He still had chances to try to put Medeiros away, but just wasn’t in the cards as he succumbed to strikes in the third round. Downgraded from B- to C+

Paul Felder vs. Charles Oliveira

Felder: He had to survive a few dangerous submission attempts, but he did well to get out of the situation and eventually land some elbows from top position allowing him to control the bout and earn the finish. Felder is on the cusp of the division’s top 15 with the victory. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Oliveira: He pulled guard multiple times in this bout to force Felder to fight where he’s most comfortable, but it didn’t make a difference. He was beat up in this fight and wasn’t able to defend elbows effectively in the second round forcing the referee to step in. Downgraded from B to B-

Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

Torres: She earned her sixth victory in the UFC with a big third round in which she nearly was able to finish her opponent. A title shot is not far away for the longtime American Top Team fighter. Grade remains B+

Waterson: When she’s able to grapple, she can be very successful in this weight class. However, she’s undersized for the division and is forced mainly into standing exchanges where she doesn’t have the power or volume to consistently win fights. Grade remains B-

Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje

Alvarez: He did not shy from Gaethje’s strengths, in fact he embraced them standing in the pocket with his talented opponent. Alvarez was smart to target the body helping to slow down his opponent in the final round. It was a late knee that dropped Gaethje and gave Alvarez the win. Beating Gaethje at his own game cements the former champion as a top contender moving forward. Upgraded from B+ to A-

Gaethje: He puts everything into each of his bouts which has quickly made him become one of the most beloved fighters in the sport. He landed heavy shots throughout the fight and beat up Alvarez, but at UFC 218 it wasn’t meant to be as he was finished for the first time in his career. Downgraded from A to A-

Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis

Cejudo: This fight was a mismatch on paper and it showed in the cage. Cejudo could secure takedowns whenever he wanted, but he wanted to strike a bit just to make the bout more entertaining. He’s the second best fighter in this division and I’d expect him to get a second shot at Demetrious Johnson in 2018. Grade remains A

Pettis: He was competitive on the feet, but is levels behind Cejudo in the grappling disciplines and had no answers for Cejudo’s takedown attempts. While Pettis is a solid fighter, his holes on the mat are glaring and until he resolves them he will be a fringe top ten flyweight. Grade remains C+

Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem

Ngannou: In his biggest test to date, Ngannou passed with flying colors. His speed and power were too much for Overeem to handle as he scored a first round stoppage win. Ngannou has earned his opportunity to face Stipe Miocic and compete for the heavyweight championship. Upgraded from A- to A+

Overeem: His recent resurgence has been incredible given the amount of wear and tear in his career. However, Overeem met his match in this bout. He’s certainly one of the division’s best fighters, but he’s no longer in the elite category. Grade remains B+

Jose Aldo vs. Max Holloway

Aldo: Unfortunately for Aldo, this bout was very similar to the first time they fought earlier this year. At full energy, he’s competitive with the champion, but once he starts to tire he’s no match for Hawaiian. Aldo has now lost three of his last four bouts by KO / TKO and one has to wonder just how much longer he will continue fighting. Downgraded from A+ to A

Holloway: The featherweight champion continues to shine winning his 12th straight bout in the UFC. It’s time that Holloway is recognized as one of the sports best fighters. His constant pressure, high output approach is an absolute nightmare for opponents. Holloway is Aldo’s kryptonite and he proved it in this bout. A likely bout with Frankie Edgar is on the horizon, but beyond that there isn’t much out there for Holloway in terms of formidable challengers in this division. Grade remains A++

Written by Jay Primetown

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