Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC on ESPN+ 16

mma, ufc, ufc on espn+ 16, odds, betting, grades, fighter grades, updated

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on ESPN Plus 16 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Austin Hubbard vs. Kyle Prepolec

Hubbard: He started slow losing the opening round, but he changed his approach in the second round focusing on wrestling and ground control. It worked out well for him as he took over the fight and earned himself his victory in the UFC. Upgraded from D- to D

Prepolec: His striking was varied and on point in the opening round, but once he showed he couldn’t prevent his opponent’s takedown attempts the fight turned and he had no answers. With two losses to start his UFC career, it’s possible he may not get another chance in the promotion. Grade remains D-


Ryan MacDonald vs. Louis Smolka

MacDonald: In his UFC career, he’s shown he’s willing to throw strikes, but worse is he takes a lot of punches. MacDonald was finished in the first round and a likely candidate to be cut from the UFC.  Grade remains F

Smolka: He fought confident in this bout and looks to have a much higher output at bantamweight. This was a good performance from him, but need to see him against better competition before increasing his grade.  Grade remains D


Jordan Griffin vs. Chas Skelly

Griffin: He fought hard and had Skelly in trouble a couple of times, but his willingness to fight on the mat cost him against a superior grappler. Grade remains D

Skelly: He can struggle on the feet, but he fights hard and he’s very crafty with his takedown attempts. He got the job done and ultimately that’s what matters most. Grade remains C-


Hunter Azure vs. Brad Katona

Azure: His striking was solid as he showed the power he possesses on the feet. I expected more from his wrestling, but he did good enough to earn a decision in his UFC debut.  Debut grade is D+

Katona: He has a good work rate, but on the feet his striking is too predictable and he wasn’t able to generate any meaningful offense in the bout. He kept the fight close, but the inability to hurt his opponent was evident. Downgraded from C- to D+


Miles Johns vs. Cole Smith

Johns: He struggled with the size and wrestling of Smith, but turned the tables later in the fight. He stuffed takedowns late and landed the bigger punches to get a win in his UFC. Good start for his career in the promotion.   Debut grade is D+

Smith: He did well to secure takedowns in the first half of the fight, but he grew tired and took some heavy damage late. He lost position in the second round and it cost him the bout. Grade remains D+


Augusto Sakai vs. Marcin Tybura

Sakai: Easily the best performance of his career. He started out fast repeatedly landing right hands to finish a top fifteen opponent. At just 28 years old, he’s certainly a prospect in a shallow heavyweight division. Upgraded from D to C-

Tybura: He doesn’t have the power striking to compete with top fifteen heavyweights in the UFC. At 33 years of age, he’s lost four of his last five fights and looks like he missed his chance to make a true impact in the promotion. Downgraded from C to D+


Misha Cirkunov vs. Jimmy Crute

Cirkunov: He looked like he was fading taking punches on the mat, but he reversed positions and secured a submission to secure a big victory in front of his home country fans. Grade remains C-

Crute: In the toughest fight of his career thus far, he had Cirkunov in trouble multiple times. He maybe a couple of mistakes which showed his still rather raw skill set. It cost him the fight, but I expect him to come back stronger.  Grade remains D+


Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Uriah Hall

Carlos Jr.: He took a lot of damage in this bout. He had opportunities with his submission game, but he couldn’t find the finish. Carlos Jr. is limited due to his striking, but he’s proven to be a solid veteran in this division.   Downgraded from C+ to C

Hall: He struck with confidence in this fight and earned a deserved decision over a top fifteen opponent.  Grade remains C


Tristan Connelly vs. Michel Pereira

Connelly: He absorbed the early aggression of his opponent and then poured it on. This was an excellent debut. Debut grade is D+

Pereira: His athleticism is incredible, but he missed weight and ran out of gas after only five minutes. This is a disappointing performance and its hard to know where he goes from here. Downgraded from C- to D+


Todd Duffee vs. Jeff Hughes

Duffee: He had some positive moments in this fight, but he’s way too hittable on the feet and accumulates a lot of damage. He found a way out of this fight and took it. Downgraded from D+ to D

Hughes: He showed good variety on the feet in this bout. He also did well to recover after he was dropped by his opponent. If the doctor didn’t put an end to the bout, I think he would have walked away with a TKO victory. Debut grade is D+


Nikita Krylov vs. Glover Teixeira

Krylov: I was surprised that his conditioning held up considering he never goes to the scorecards. He had some positive moments in this fight and cut up Teixeira, but the big moments went to his opponent. That was the difference in this bout. Grade remains C-

Teixeira: As usual, he was tactical in his approach. He should have finished this fight in round one, but once he didn’t, he was in a dog fight. He got his hand raised, but age and athleticism are becoming real concerns. Downgraded from C+ to C


Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje

Cerrone: His output simply couldn’t match his opponent and he never seemed like he was capable of winning this fight. It was an odd dynamic for him facing a friend and I think it showed in his performance. Grade remains A-

Gaethje: He now has three straight first round knockouts over top 15 lightweights. This is a really impressive run as he seems to have found his stride in the UFC. He deserves a top contender fight to show that he is at the elite level. Upgraded from A- to A

Written by Jay Primetown

UFC Vancouver Recap MMAOB Daily Podcast For September 16th

Robbie Lawler Fights Santiago Ponzinibbio MMAOB Daily Podcast For September 17th