Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC Fight Night 141

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 141 in Shanghai, China. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Su Mudaerji vs. Louis Smolka

Mudaerji: He was a bit out of his depth taking on a scrambler like Louis Smolka as it cost him getting submitted in the second round. At only 22 years of age, he has some time to figure things, but that should be outside the UFC. Debut grade is F

Smolka: This was a good opportunity for Smolka to get back in the UFC and get a win. He was able to do that and with a bit of confidence, he has the potential to get something going at bantamweight. Debut grade at bantamweight is D

Kevin Holland vs. John Philips

He had some trouble with Philips who was able to absorb a lot of the punches Holland offered, but ultimately the fight got to the ground and he was able to submit Philips. Holland has excellent size for the division and is somebody to watch. Grade remains C-

Philips: He showed he can stand with a good striker, but ultimately he’s a tough fighter that will press forward and doesn’t have the technical attributes to contend long term in the UFC. Grade remains D-

Syuri Kondo vs. Xiaonan Yan

She’s lost her last two bouts in the UFC and hasn’t been competitive in either bout. This may be her last fight in the promotion. Downgraded from D to D-

Yan: She was the better fighter on paper and had little trouble with her opponent. She’s now 3-0 in the UFC and deserving of a step up in competition. Grade remains C-

Martin Day vs. Liu Pingyuan

Day: A tough loss for the Hawaiian as he competed well in his UFC debut, but ultimately came up short. He’ll get another shot in the UFC, but he’ll likely need a win in his next outing to hold a position in the promotion. Debut grade is D

Pingyuan: Just 25 years of age, Pingyuan improves to 2-0 in the UFC. He had more trouble with Day than I thought he would have, but he’s part of a new breed of Chinese fighters who have proven they can fight in the UFC. Grade remains D+

Jessica Aguilar vs. Zhang Weili

Aguilar:  The wheels have fallen off for Aguilar who is now 36 years old as she has been dominated in three of her last four bouts. Downgraded from D+ to D

Weili: An excellent effort from the Chinese fighter who is known as a striker, but showed off her grappling ability in this bout as well. Weili is one to keep an eye on in this division. Upgraded from D+ to C-



Rashad Coulter vs. Hu Yaozong

Coulter: The difference in this fight was power. Coulter landed the bigger shots, opening up Yaozong, and that’s what won him the bout. The question for Coulter is just how much power he has dropping down in weight. Time will tell. Upgraded from F- to F

Yaozong: He landed nearly just as many strikes as his opponent, but the lack of power was a major issue as he was unable to push Coulter back or inflict any meaningful damage. Grade remains F-

Lauren Mueller vs. Wu Yanan

Mueller: A devastating loss for the American fighter. She was heavily favored in this bout and despite dropping Yanan, put herself in harms danger on the mat, and it cost her. Mueller has some good skills especially on the feet, but this was a red flag for her moving forward. Downgraded from C- to D+

Yanan: She looked overpowered in this fight, but her submission grappling was spot on to win in dramatic fashion. It’s tough to grade her at this point, so be weary in her next outing as it’s difficult to assess how she’ll do in a prolonged fight. Debut grade is D

Alex Morono vs. Kenan Song

Morono: His work rate was strong in this bout as he out landed Kenan Song by nearly forty strikes. I think this was a favorable matchup for Morono and I’m still weary of how he’ll do against more technical strikers. Grade remains D+

Song: He was exposed in this matchup. He was down in his previous fight before landing a vicious knockout, but in this bout he couldn’t get his power striking going and he was beat by a more active, volume heavy approach. Song will need to rely less on power if he’ll be able to get wins in the UFC moving forward. Grade remains D

Li Jingliang vs. David Zawada

Jingliang: Jingliang is one of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC. He loves to put on exciting fights and look for different ways to finish. He’s now won a whopping seven out of eight bouts in the UFC. He’s deserving once again at an opportunity at a fringe top 15 welterweight to test where he’s at with his career. Upgraded from D+ to C-

Zawada: He’s a decent veteran who will stand and trade with opponents, but he didn’t have the athleticism to compete with Jingliang. Zawada is a good fighter to have on the UFC roster for lower end fighters to take on to test where they are at in their development. Grade remains D+

Vince Morales vs. Yadong Song

Morales: I liked what I saw from Morales who made this a much more competitive fight than what was anticipated. He faced the best Chinese MMA fighter today and made it difficult for him especially in the third round. I’d like to see Morales face a lower tier fighter next, get a win, and then build back up. Grade remains D+

Song: His footwork and hand speed are special, but he needs to continue to work on his wrestling and endurance if he’s eventually going to be able to challenge the top 10 or 15 fighters in the world. At just 20 years of age, there’s a lot of time and a lot of promise for the Chinese rising star. Grade remains C-

Alistair Overeem vs. Sergey Pavlovich

Overeem: A huge win for Overeem as he beat up a high level Russian prospect. Overeem continues to stay relevant in the heavyweight division despite his advanced age. Upgraded from B- to B

Pavlovich: The UFC brought him with a chance to capitalize against an aging Alistair Overeem and to immediately catapult him into the title picture, but he was vanquished in the opening round. A tough beat for Pavlovich whose stock took a significant hit with this loss. Debut grade is C-

Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou

Blaydes:  A win over Francis Ngannou would have not only avenged his lone career loss, but would have put him as the driver’s seat for the next heavyweight title shot. It was not meant to be as he was knocked out inside of a minute. Perhaps Ngannou is Blaydes’ kryptonite? Grade remains B+

Ngannou: After a couple bad losses, Ngannou was desperate to get back on track and what better way to do that than a first round knockout win over a top five opponent. A huge win for Ngannou and if he has his confidence back, he is a sure fire favorite to contend for the heavyweight title once again. Upgraded from B to A-


Written by Jay Primetown

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