Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 224

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

James Bochnovic vs. Markus Perez

Bochnovic: He’s now 0-2 in the UFC and hasn’t been competitive in either bout. It’s hard to see Bochnovic getting another opportunity in the UFC. Grade remains D-

Perez: A dominant win for the Brazilian fighter as he hopes this will jump start his career in the organization. Grade remains D+

Ramazan Emeev vs. Alberto Mina

Emeev: He looked really good in this fight battering his opponent to win by wide decision. He is certainly a fighter to keep an eye on in the welterweight division. Upgraded from C to C+

Mina: He was exposed in this fight but a stronger, more talented fighter. Grade remains C

Jack Hermansson vs. Thales Leites

Hermansson: After hurting his knee in round two, the European middleweight fought like a wild man in the final round earning the finish for the biggest win of his career. Upgraded from C- to C

Leites: He had his opportunities on the mat, but was unable to get a finish. It came back to bite him in the end as he was beaten in the third round. Grade remains C-

Sultan Aliev vs. Warlley Alves

Aliev: Speed was a major factor in this fight and it was not on this side. He looked to clinch to slow the pace down, but he couldn’t wrap up his opponent long enough as he took a lot of damage before the doctor came in and stopped the bout. Grade remains C-

Alves: He battered his opponent utilizing a speed and power approach to earn a TKO victory. Alves is still the only fighter to beat Colby Covington and that should help him get a bigger fight in his next bout. Grade remains C

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Sean Strickland

Dos Santos: A stunning wheel kick strike put his opponent on the canvas. He’s now won five fights in a row in the UFC and is definitely one of the most under the radar fighters in the promotion. Upgraded from C- to C

Strickland: He looked good in the first couple minutes of this bout, but got clipped by the unorthodox strike of dos Santos and was finished for the first time in his career. Grade remains C

Nick Hein vs. Davi Ramos

Hein: He had no answers on the mat as he was submitted in this bout. He’s now 0-2 in the western hemisphere in the UFC, but holds a 4-0 record in bouts in the eastern hemisphere. Grade remains D+

Ramos: He’s transitioned well to the UFC having won his last two fights and appears to have a skill set that should see him in the promotion for years to come. Grade remains C-

Junior Albini vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk

Albini: In a matchup, he should have had a speed and movement advantage in, Albini allowed the fight to go to the mat where he suffered the fate that most Oliynyk opponents have. Grade remains D+

Oliynyk:  The master of the Ezekiel choke earned yet another one. The 40 year old Russian continues to find ways to win fights. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Cezar Ferreira vs. Karl Roberson

Ferreira: He faced a dangerous opponent and was able to find a hole in his game to earn a quick finish. Important win for Ferreira who has found consistency in the UFC. Upgraded from C- to C

Roberson: He’s a very good striker, but questions surrounded his ability to defend on the mat. He didn’t pass the test in this fight as he was submitted in the opening round. Grade remains C-

Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida

Belfort: In the final fight of his career, Belfort succumbed to yet another highlight reel knockout. In recent years, he just hasn’t had the defensive skills that he did earlier in his career. Final grade is D+

Machida: The Dragon needed an impressive victory and he got one in a beautiful head kick KO of fellow future Hall of Famer Vitor Belfort. Grade remains C+

Brian Kelleher vs. John Lineker

Kelleher: This was a bad matchup for Kelleher as he couldn’t get Lineker to the mat and was out classed on the feet. Downgraded from C+ to C

Lineker: He continues to show he’s one of the most entertaining fighters in the bantamweight division and is able to compete with the division’s best. He may not be a top five bantamweight, but he can continue to be in that next tier for several years. Grade remains B+

Amanda Cooper vs. Mackenzie Dern

Cooper: Once she ended up on the ground, she didn’t have much of a chance. Downgraded from C- to D+

Dern: She did what she should have done in her UFC debut against Ashley Yoder and that is earn a first round stoppage victory. Dern’s standup leaves a lot to be desired, but her ground game is as dangerous as anyone currently in the UFC. Grade remains C+

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Jacare Souza

Gastelum: He stood toe to toe with the Brazilian. He survived Jacare’s early aggression on the mat, but afterwards got the better of the fight on the feet and was able to sneak out a decision to earn the biggest win of his career. Grade remains A-

Souza: He had his moments in this bout, but slowed down towards the end of the second round. Not having the ability to match the speed of the younger Gastelum was his doing in this fight. Grade remains A

Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington

Nunes: She certainly was comfortable taking more risks in this fight, but ultimately took minimal damage and really took over this fight in the third round to the point where the final result was inevitable. Grade remains A+

Pennington: She struggled to land anything fight changing on the feet and was taken down and beaten up. Pennington didn’t have much at the start of the fifth round and eventually her fight was stopped. Grade remains B-

Written by Jay Primetown

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