Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC on Fox 30

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on Fox 30 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Alvaro Herrera vs. Devin Powell

Herrera: He landed well early and had Powell hurt, but he couldn’t absorb a body shot and crumbled to the canvas. A bad loss for Herrera given how well he started. Downgraded from D- to F

Powell: He was getting out struck up until the strike he landed that sent his opponent to the canvas. Powell needed to win to keep his spot in the UFC and he did so in spectacular fashion. Grade remains F

Nina Ansaroff vs. Randa Markos

Ansaroff: She’ll adjusted really well after a poor round one to out class Markos on the feet. It was a close fight, but a clear victory for a fighter who is nearing the top ten of the division. Grade remains C

Markos: The difference in this fight was her inability to secure takedowns in rounds two and three. If she had been in top division in either round, she would have gotten her hand raised. Grade remains C

Matheus Nicolau vs. Dustin Ortiz

Nicolau: He landed some decent strikes early, but ultimately was dropped and finished in round one. Nicolau had won his first three fights in the UFC and this was the fight that could have catapulted him into title contention. He’s only 25 years old, so there’s plenty of time to improve. Grade remains C+

Ortiz: This was a huge win for Ortiz who showed he’s not just grappler as he was able to knockout a top 15 flyweight. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Alexis Davis

Chookagian: I don’t like how she fights off her back foot, but her range striking is some of the best in this division and in extended striking contests she’ll continue to have success. A good win for Chookagian who has now won three in a row. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Davis: She pressed forward throughout the fight and did well to land leg kicks, but she didn’t land any major head strikes. Davis was cut early in the fight and that weighed significantly in the judges’ scoring. Downgraded from B- to C+

John Makdessi vs. Ross Pearson

Makdessi: A classic John Makdessi fight. His jab and check hook were landing throughout the fight as he out classed his opponent on the feet. Makdessi continues to be an entertaining fighter that is one the sport’s savvy veterans. Grade remains C

Pearson: He certainly went after it against Makdessi, but the more he opened up it allowed his opponent more opportunities to land. By the end of the bout, Pearson was battered badly and lost this fight decisively. Grade remains D+

Gadzimhurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba

Antigulov: After some success in the opening couple of minutes with takedowns, he slowed down significantly and took a lot of elbows and knees on the feet before the referee stepped in. If he doesn’t improve his conditioning, he’s not going to last long in the UFC. Downgraded from C- to D+

Cutelaba: The improvements he made in his ability to get back to his feet were clear. He did well to counter Antigulov and once the fight was back into a standing exchange he really excelled to earn a big victory. He’s a young fighter in a weight class that is desperate for talent. He’s certainly a guy that can rise quickly. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Kajan Johnson vs. Islam Makhachev

Johnson: This was a difficult proposition for Johnson who was no match for Makhachev once this fight hit the mat. Grade remains C-

Makhachev: With another first round finish, Islam Makhachev has won four fights in a row and all of those wins were against solid opponents who ultimately offered very little in competition. Makhachev is rising fast in the lightweight division and is closing in on the division’s top ten. Grade remains B

Austin Arnett vs. Hakeem Dawodu

Arnett: He found some success landing with the right hand, but he didn’t throw enough and failed to land in combination. Against a quality striker like Hakeem Dawodu, he should have tried to get this to the mat more. Grade remains D-

Dawodu: His combination work landing to the body and then to follow to either the lead leg or to the head is a work of art. I’d like to see him push for the finish more, but this was a strong bounce back performance for him after a bad UFC debut. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Jordan Mein vs. Alex Morono

Mein: Known for his striking, Mein displayed variety by securing takedowns throughout the bout. On the mat, he was able to maintain control of the bout and earn a victory without taking much damage. Grade remains D+

Morono: Just an all-around poor performance. He did land some looping punches on the feet, but his inability to stop takedowns and furthermore to get back to his feet was a real disappointment. Downgraded from D+ to D

Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Alexander Hernandez

Aubin-Mercier: Known for his grappling, it was stunning to see him beat at his own game. After this performance, it’s difficult to see Aubin-Mercier ever find his way into the upper part of the lightweight division. Downgraded from C+ to C

Hernandez: It was difficult to know how Hernandez would do in this bout as his fist UFC fight ended so quickly. Hernandez showed in this bout that there are a lot of different tools in his arsenal. Hernandez is surging in the lightweight division should get a ranked opponent in his next outing. Upgraded from C to B-

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Tecia Torres

Jedrzejczyk: This wasn’t her best performance, but she landed well on the feet out classing a very good all-around fighter. She’s proven she’s a top fighter and is right there with Rose Namajunas at the top of the decision. Grade remains A+

Torres:  While she has hung in fights with Jessica Andrade and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, she just hasn’t been in a position to potentially win those fights either. Torres is right around the top five of the division, but is not on par with the division’s elite. Downgraded from A- to B+

Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens

Aldo: He was not afraid to take a punch in this bout. It almost cost him as he was buzzed early by Jeremy Stephens. That punch seemed to push Aldo into a different gear where he went hunting and got an excellent finish after landing a brutal punch to the midsection of Stephens. It was impressive to see Aldo do so well after coming off the one sided losses to Max Holloway. Grade remains A

Stephens: He had Aldo hurt momentarily, but he left himself open defensively and it cost him. Stephens has had a strong run recently in the UFC, but he just hasn’t been able to beat the elite fighters. Grade remains B+

Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier

Alvarez: He game planned to go toe to toe with Dustin Poirier. He had Poirier in control in round two, but ill-timed illegal elbow forced the fight to an equal position. That decision completely changed the course of the fight. In the next exchange, he was punched in combination and wobbled. It was only a matter of time for him to be finished. Alvarez is now out of the current title picture. Grade remains A-

Poirier:  In a fight that was similar to his first bout with Eddie Alvarez, Poirier closed the door this time showing composure in the finishing sequence to get the knockout. With the victory, Poirier moves up to a position to where he is one win away from an opportunity at the title. Upgraded from A- to A

Written by Jay Primetown

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