Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 223

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, New York. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Devin Clark vs. Mike Rodriguez

Clark: He was in a danger in a few moments in this bout, but for the most part he was able to secure takedowns and force Rodriguez to work off his back. This was a good win for Clark, but his limitations were glaring. Grade remains D

Rodriguez: He’s a big light heavyweight with power in both his hands and legs, but he’s going to need to work on his takedown defense if he’s going to be able to stick in the UFC. Grade remains D

Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Bec Rawlings

Evans-Smith: Her volume was excellent in this bout as she threw in combination throughout the bout. She didn’t land any truly fight altering shots, but her approach was impressive as she swept the scorecards. Grade remains C

Rawlings: She tended to land one strike at a time and that’s just not going to work against an opponent who throws in combination. With four losses in a row, it’s likely this is her last fight in the UFC. Grade remains D

Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Evan Dunham

Aubin-Mercier: His biggest win of his career by a wide margin, Aubin-Mercier finished a top 15 ranked lightweight with knees in the opening round. The Canadian lightweight could enter the rankings with this victory. Upgraded from C to C+

Dunham: A disappointing result for Dunham. At 36 years of age, he’s already seen his peak and could see a sharp decline here on out. Downgraded from B- to C+

Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Herrig: She was much more competitive in this bout than I thought she would. She landed some decent punches and had the top five strawweight hurt in the third round despite defeat. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Kowalkiewicz: She landed well over 100 significant strikes in this bout. She doesn’t have the most power in the division, but her volume puts her ahead of most fighters in the division. Grade remains B+

Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Joe Lauzon

Gruetzemacher: Easily his best performance inside the cage. He employed a volume heavy attack that was just too much for his opponent to overcome. I’m curious to see where Gruetzemacher goes from here. Upgraded from D to D+

Lauzon: It has been a rough ride for the Massachusetts based lightweight. At 33 years of age, he’s been through countless wars and he’s just not able to keep up with the division. He was dominated in this fight and never really had much of a chance. Downgraded from C- to D

Kyle Bochniak vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov

Bochniak: While he was out classed in this fight, he showed a lot of resilience and made fans out of his in your face fighting style. At a minimum, he proved he’s a fighter that can reliably put on entertaining fights. Upgraded from D to D+

Magomedsharipov: His array of skills are some of the best in the division. While he doesn’t have natural knockout power, he has excellent grappling skills and so much variety on the feet. This was a good fight for him just to see how he deals with someone moving forward. He has room for improvement, but the ceiling is very high for him. Grade remains B+

Calvin Kattar vs. Renato Moicano

Kattar: A flat performance from the American featherweight. He struggled with his opponent’s length and was unable to land any fight altering strikes. Back to the drawing board. Downgraded from B- to C+

Moicano: Another smart, tactical fight from the Brazilian. He’s got excellent speed and uses his length really well. He made what I thought would be a competitive contest, a complete blow out. Top ten fighters are on the horizon for Moicano. Upgraded from B- to B

Joanna Jedrzejcyk vs. Rose Namajunas

Jedrzejczyk: This was a very competitive fight, but Jedrzejczyk was unable to land any fight impacting strikes in the final round. It was this final round that had her leaving without the title. Grade remains A+

Namajunas: Despite landing 40 less significant strikes than her opponent, Namajunas landed more head strikes and did more damage to earn a close decision victory and retain her title. Net up for Namajunas is the dangerous Brazilian, Jessica Andrade. Grade remains A+

Al Iaquinta vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Iaquinta: This was never going to be a close fight, but Iaquinta did well in the later rounds to defend takedowns and at least force Nurmagomedov to fight him on the feet. It didn’t mean much in the end, but Iaquinta can at least say he went five rounds with the best lightweight in the world. Iaquinta remains B

Nurmagomedov: Just like every other fight of his in the UFC, the new champion won every single round of his fight. While he didn’t earn the finish, he showed off his striking skills landing a beautiful jab throughout the fight that gave me flashes of a prime Georges St. Pierre. Grade remains A++


Written by Jay Primetown

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