Updated UFC Fight Night 68 Fighter Grades

birchak_fb-430x270Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 68 and updates his letter grades on each. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com Leonardo Morales vs. Jose Quinonez Morales: Has a very good kicking game, but the rest of his ability is subpar. Looked like a novice on the ground against Quinonez. Disappointing performance. Downgraded from D+ to D- Quinonez: Took advantage of a guy with little to no grappling ability. Doesn’t show me he can fight with any fighter with a semblance of wrestling pedigree. Grade remains D   Ricardo Abreu vs. Jake Collier Abreu: Showed better cardio than in previous fights, but difficulty getting fights to ground could cause problems for the remainder of his career. Undersized for the division. Grade remains D+ Collier: Fought smart utilizing some nice combinations. Lack of striking power is a concern, but the variety of tools should see him in the UFC for a while. Grade remains C-   Justin Edwards vs. Joe Proctor Edwards: Showed improvements in his grappling, but ring rust got the best of him. Striking was too predictable and easy for opponent to counter. Grade remains D+ Proctor: A bit lackadaisical to start, but showed real improvements in his striking with an accurate jab. Confidence boost for him to earn the late stoppage win. Grade remains C-   Christos Giagos vs. Chris Wade Giagos: Good athlete with decent striking, but can tell he’s rather green. His decision making needs to improve in order for him to stick around in the UFC. Grade remains D Wade: Made improvements in his striking including showing off a vicious elbow that cut his opponent. Fights smart and transitions well in clinch/scramble situations. Comes from a solid camp as well. He’ll prove to be a tough out in the lightweight division. Upgraded from D+ to C-   Omari Akhmedov vs. Brian Ebersole Akhmedov: Seems to have made improvements so that he’s a bit more controlled in the cage. He hits hard and that will get him a good way in this sport. Upgraded from D+ to C- Ebersole: Wear and tear finally catching up to him. His unwillingness to engage in any action made this fight impossible for him to win. Retires from sport a D+   Shawn Jordan vs. Derrick Lewis Jordan: Continues to show he belongs in the UFC. Becoming one of the better wrestlers in the division along with being really athletic for his size. Grade remains C- Lewis: Has heavy hands, but inability to stuff takedowns and what appears to be a weak chin are his downfall. Turning into Lavar Johnson 2.0. Downgraded from D+ to D   Alex Caceres vs. Francisco Rivera Caceres: Chin is becoming a concern as he’s been hit quite a bit in recent fights. Doesn’t have power on the feet to keep opponents honest. Downgraded from C+ to C Rivera: Great performance clipping Caceres early and putting him away. Deserving of a rematch with Faber. If he can keep fights standing, he can compete with anybody. Grade remains B-   Anthony Birchak vs. Joe Soto Birchak: Huge win for Birchak as diversity in striking caused Soto all sorts of problems. Looks to be a dangerous fighter in this weight class. Upgraded from D+ to C Soto: Was outstruck and outclassed from the opening bell. Had nothing to offer his opponent. Downgraded from C to C-   Brian Ortega vs. Thiago Tavares Ortega: Really dangerous off his back. Can even cause problems for BJJ black belts with his submissions. Showed improvements in his striking and scored a big win. He has a pretty high ceiling. Upgraded from C- to C Tavares: Took an absolute beating in this fight. Still a strong grappler with underrated striking, but the physical damage he took against Ortega will be tough to recover from. He’s peaked as a MMA fighter. Downgraded from C+ to C   Yancy Medeiros vs. Dustin Poirier Medeiros: Flaws in striking defense really stood out. In particular, he seems really susceptible to the body shot. No answers for Poirier. Downgraded from C+ to C Poirier: Looks really comfortable at lightweight. One of the most accurate strikers in the division. Deserves to be ranked after this bout and get a recognizable opponent. Grade remains B   Matt Mitrione vs. Ben Rothwell Mitrione: Hand speed and lateral movement were light years ahead of Rothwell, but fight IQ is what is holding him back. A shockingly bad decision cost him this fight. Downgraded from C+ to C Rothwell: Durability is his best attribute. Has now beaten Matt Mitrione and Alistair Overeem back to back. At the highest point of his career. Upgraded from C to C+   Tim Boetsch vs. Dan Henderson Boetsch: Got clipped very early in the fight and was unable to recover. Expecting him to be cut from the UFC roster. Downgraded from B- to C Henderson: Still has arguably the biggest power shot in the division. Finished Boetsch fast and easily. Not sure how long Henderson plans to fight, but he still’s dangerous against most fighters in the division. Grade remains B-  

Written by Jay Primetown

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