Updated Fighter Grades: Post-The Ultimate Fighter Finale 27

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at TUF 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Gerald Meerschaert vs. Oskar Piechota

Meerschaert: Have to give credit to Meerschaert after overcoming a tough first round to earn a finish in the second. He’s proven to be a solid veteran addition to the UFC roster. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Piechota: After a great first round, he had no energy left and was completely dominated by his opponent. This is a tough loss for him given just how well this fight started. Grade remains C-

Matt Bessette vs. Steven Peterson

Bessette: Similar to the first fight on the card, Bessette started strong but once his opponent picked up the pace he wasn’t able to match. Grade remains D+

Peterson: Once Bessette started to tire, he was able to work in takedowns and he really dominated on the back seeking out submissions. Grade remains D+

Tyler Diamond vs. Bryce Mitchell

Diamond: He dominated the second half of this fight and was unlucky not to get his hand raised. He showed poise on the feet and solid ground and pound on the ground. Despite the loss, expect him to do well in his next UFC outing. Debut grade is D+

Mitchell: He’s a crafty fighter with a solid submission game. He doesn’t have the potency on the feet to be a threat to opponents which could make his career trajectory difficult. Debut grade is D+

John Gunther vs. Allan Zuniga

Gunther: He got the victory, but this was not a fight that will get people clamoring to see him in the cage again anytime soon. Debut grade is D-

Zuniga: Poor fight as he was out classed by an opponent that isn’t UFC material. Debut grade is F

Luis Pena vs. Richie Smullen

Pena: Excellent size for the weight class making quick work of his opponent. He has a decent future ahead of him. Debut grade is D+

Smullen: Not UFC caliber. Debut grade is F

Montana de la Rosa vs. Rachael Ostovich

De la Rosa: She utilized a solid jab early, but once she was able to get her opponent to the mat she looked like a completely different fighter dominating the ground work to earn a late submission. Upgraded from C- to C

Ostovich: She struggled with the range of de la Rosa. She tried to make up the distance, but each time was pushed against the cage by her opponent. On the mat, she looked lost and was easily submitted. Grade remains D+

Alessio di Chirico vs. Julian Marquez

Di Chirico: He went toe to toe with Marquez and was able to score some timely takedowns to edge out a close decision. I didn’t like how he was on the back foot the majority of the fight. That is something he needs to improve on. Upgraded from D to D+

Marquez: For as aggressive as he is on the feet, he failed to put a true stamp on this fight and it cost him the victory. Grade remains D+

Barb Honchak vs. Roxanne Modafferi

Honchak: At one point one of the top fighters in the division, age is starting to become an issue for Honchak as she was taken down throughout this fight and beat up on the mat. Downgraded from C+ to C-

Modafferi: She still has her struggles on the feet, but on the mat she is very comfortable. She was able to find her way into full mount twice and did well to land elbows to force the finish. Modafferi has improved significantly since her time on TUF. Grade remains C+

Martin Bravo vs. Alex Caceres

Bravo: He kept getting caught on the counter throughout this fight and didn’t make any adjustments. He’s a young fighter, so perhaps this is a situation where he learns from this experience. Grade remains D

Caceres: His experience was a major factor in this bout as he found the openings in Bravo’s defense to land on the counter and score the biggest strikes of the bout. He slowed down significantly in the third round, but it ultimately didn’t matter. Upgraded from D to D+

Jay Cucciniello vs. Brad Katona

Cucciniello: He was taken down repeatedly in this bout and never found his way into the fight. A poor performance. Debut grade is D

Katona: This fight was a mismatch as the more talented Katona had his way to win TUF. Debut grade is C-

Joe Giannetti vs. Mike Trizano

Giannetti: There’s no denying his talent especially on the mat, but his lack of urgency in the third round with the fight in the balance is beyond a head scratcher. Debut grade is D+

Trizano:  I liked his cautious approach on the mat against a talented grappler, but thought he should have done more on the feet. He trains at a really good camp and I expect him to improve moving forward. Debut grade is D+

Israel Adesanya vs. Brad Tavares

Adesanya: This was a big test for the the kickboxing extraordinaire and he exceeded expectations. He did a tremendous job of defending takedowns and landing with variety on the feet. While he didn’t earn the finish, he out landed Tavares with ease to earn a victory over a top ten middleweight. Upgraded from C+ to B

Tavares: It was always going to be a challenge for him on the feet, but his inability to get the fight to the ground was his undoing. The one time he was able to get Adesanya to the mat was an opportunity, but he couldn’t keep him down. Tavares is a solid all around fighter, but his lack of a major weapon limits him. Grade remains C+

Written by Jay Primetown

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