Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 226

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Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Jamie Moyle vs. Emily Whitmire

Moyle: When she’s able to pressure opponents on the feet she can be effective, but when put on her back she showed no ability to get back to her feet. Moyle has stagnated in her time in the UFC. Downgraded from D to D-

Whitmire: Her work rate on the feet is not fast enough for this weight class, but she changed her approach in the third round seeking a takedown and was able to get it. That led to her biggest round of the fight and getting the decision. Grade remains D-

Gilbert Burns vs. Dan Hooker

Burns: He has improved his power in his time in the UFC, but defensively there are holes and that was exploited in this fight. A tough loss for Burns as he had some momentum prior to this fight. Downgraded from C to C-

Hooker: This is his fourth straight finish as he continues to ascend since moving up from featherweight to lightweight. He’s due to face a ranked opponent in his next bout. Upgraded from C to C+

Curtis Millender vs. Max Griffin

Millender: On the feet, he’s one of the best fighters in the division. He’s long, lanky, has good hands, and excellent kicks. What will determine just how far he climbs in the division will be his ability to defend takedowns. Upgraded from C- to C

Griffin: He had his moments in this bout, but once he couldn’t secure the takedown in the second round, he struggled. Grade remains C-

Drakkar Klose vs. Lando Vannata

Klose: He fought another smart fight. His work rate and ability to clinch early wore down Vannata. He landed the bigger, better strikes in this fight that ultimately was not close. Upgraded from C- to C

Vannata: After a tremendous start to his UFC career going toe to toe with Tony Ferguson, he’s struggled in recent bouts as he was thoroughly defeated by Drakkar Klose. A drop to featherweight would be in his best interest. Downgraded from C to C-

Raphael Assuncao vs. Rob Font

Assuncao: He proved he was a different class in this bout. His ability to strike on the counter is near the best in the sport. He showed some power early dropping Font in the opening round. He deserves a number one contender fight in his next bout. Grade remains A-

Font: He struggled to find holes in Assuncao’s defense and didn’t have answers once Assuncao countered. Font is a solid fighter, but hasn’t been up to snuff when he’s fought the division’s top ten. Grade remains B-

Paulo Costa vs. Uriah Hall

Costa: He showed a very good chin in this bout and combined with his bulldozer like offensive approach, he’s rising fast in the middleweight division. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Hall: His jab appeared much improved in this bout, but ultimately the power punching of his opponent was too much to overcome. Despite the loss, Hall had a decent showing. Grade remains C

Khalil Rountree vs. Gokhan Saki

Rountree: Against a striker as talented as Saki, Rountree deserves all the accolades he has received for knocking out Gokhan Saki. Grade remains D

Saki: Would this fight have looked different if he wasn’t dropped early? Perhaps, but that’s the name of the game and a fighter of his caliber shouldn’t be losing to Khalil Rountree in a standup contest. Downgraded from D+ to D

Michael Cheisa vs. Anthony Pettis

Chiesa: He started off well, but he seemed to tire towards the end of round one and didn’t have much to offer afterwards. Chiesa is a fighter who tends to fade as fights wear on. Downgraded from B- to C+

Pettis: This was the best he looked in some time. He was more aggressive on the feet and showed the dynamic striking that made fans fall in love with him in his run to the UFC title. Is this a flashback to what he was or will he be able to continue this moving forward? That is the question. Grade remains B-

Paul Felder vs. Mike Perry

Felder: He broke his arm early in this bout which put him behind the eight ball. He fought valiantly in the third round and nearly snuck out a decision victory even moving up a weight class. I’m looking forward to seeing Felder continue in the lightweight division. Lightweight grade remains B-

Perry: He fought a more composed fight than he has in the past. He even attempted some takedowns later in the bout showing a more varied attack. Upgraded from C- to C at welterweight

Derrick Lewis vs. Francis Ngannou

Lewis: He didn’t win this fight as much as Ngannou threw it away. He didn’t do himself any favors with the UFC brass with this performance. Grade remains B-

Ngannou: One of the most head scratching performances in 25 years of the UFC. He was so tentative, throwing so few strikes, and it cost him the fight. Downgraded from A- to B

Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic

Cormier: A career-defining performance from the now two-division champion. He added some weight for this fight and it paid off as it increased his power as he countered off the clinch with a right hand that floored Stipe Miocic. Cormier is now a consensus top five fighter in MMA history and will now take on Brock Lesnar. Upgraded from A+ to A++

Miocic:  Given the size advantage and experience Miocic has had as champion, it was expected that he’d put in a much better performance than he did. Miocic got hit throughout the first round before he was put away. The speed difference was the key factor in this fight and the Croatian-American was on the receiving end of it. Grade remains A+

Written by Jay Primetown

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