Updated UFC Fight Night 71 Fighter Grades

holly-holmsJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at Fight Night 71 in San Diego, California 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 Andrew Craig vs. Lyman Good Craig: Drop in weight didn’t help Andrew Craig as his lack of volume on the feet was still a concern. He did his best work in the clench, but his chin let him down again. Will probably be cut after this loss. Downgraded from C- to D+ Good: Looked solid on the feet with good power for this weightclass. Still, he struggles to keep back off the cage and this fight wasn’t the one to answer if he can stop the takedown. Grade remains C   Ildemar Alcantara vs. Kevin Casey Alcantara: Despite his length, offers little in the standup to threaten opponents. Lacks the strength to compete in the middleweight division. Has a solid chin with top control grappling, but otherwise offers little to threaten opponents. Type of fighters that needs to be ahead early in order to win. Grade remains D Casey: Coming off the failed drug test, one had to wonder how Casey would respond in his first fight back. He hits hard and has the physical strength to muscle opponents to the ground where he is at his best. Conditioning is a major concern as he looks to move up the ladder. Grade remains C-   Igor Araujo vs. Sean Strickland Araujo: Responded well after being dominated and nearly finished in round one. When unable to score top control, forced to throw wild strikes on the feet. Doesn’t have the balance required to compete in the UFC. Downgraded from C- to D Strickland: Standup is calculated and composed. Very good jab, but still he needs to be able to finish Igor Araujo. He will have problems as he faces better fighters that are unfazed by his lack of power. Grade remains C   Masanori Kanehara vs. Rani Yahya Kanehara: Only the second time fighting outside of Japan and perhaps that was the problem. He stayed active, but really didn’t do enough to make me think he could beat top 15 fighters. Downgraded from C+ to C Yahya: Will dive in for takedowns and he’s persistent in going for them. Gas tank is a serious problem and should have cost him this fight. Grade remains C-   Jessica Andrade vs. Sarah Moras Andrade: Solid striker with heavy ground and pound. Makes some mistakes in the grappling which have cost her in the past and almost cost her against Moras. Still very young for a fighter and should be a fringe top 15 fighter for the foreseeable future. Grade remains C+ Moras: Has a really crafty guard but offers little to nothing on her feet. If forced in a standup fight, she has little chance to win. Downgraded from C- to D+   Yaotzin Meza vs. Sam Sicilia Meza: Not strong enough to compete at featherweight. Can be taken down easily and controlled. Doesn’t excel at anything. He’ll likely be cut after this loss. Grade remains D- Sicilia: Showed some improvements in the grappling department. He needs more work on his submissions as he had Meza setup and couldn’t finish the choke. Hands weren’t as good as previous fights. Grade remains C-   Matt Dwyer vs. Alan Jouban Dwyer: Put on an entertaining fight. He showed a much better than chin that I thought he had. He’s an action fighter that provides an awkward matchup in a standup war. If forced to face a grappler; he won’t do well. Grade remains D+ Jouban: Took him some time to figure out Dwyer, but Jouban worked his way inside and landed with regularity. He overcame some adversity by having a point deducted to win all three rounds. He’s a very game fighter and is making a name for himself. Still, it’s tough to determine just how good he is. Grade remains C   Kevin Lee vs. James Moontasri Lee: His confidence goes up with every victory. Developing a better standup game to combine with a powerful wrestling game. I think he’s ready to take a step up in competition. Upgraded from C to C+ Moontasri: Is a flashy striker, but really is unable to offer much else. Kevin Lee was able to ragdoll him for an easy victory. Not sure if he gets another shot in the UFC. Grade remains D   Manny Gamburyan vs. Scott Jorgensen Gamburyan: Smart fight from Gamburyan grinding Jorgensen down and combined that with heavy hands on the feet. He’s a decent gatekeeper. Grade remains C Jorgensen: Digressing at a fast clip. Unable to utilize wrestling effectively which used to be his bread and butter. Likely to be cut from the UFC. Downgraded from C- to D+   Holly Holm vs. Marion Reneau Holm: Dominant technical striker on the feet. Freezes opponents thus taking minimal damage. Still afraid to go to the ground and none of her opponents thus far have been able to put here there. Upgraded from B to A- Reneau: She was unable to figure out Holm’s varied striking attack. Disappointing performance from the Californian whom was surging in the division. Grade remains B-   Tony Ferguson vs. Josh Thomson Ferguson: Outstanding performance. So much creativity in his striking combined with his aggressive grappling. He’s proven he’s a top 10 fighter in this weight class.  Upgraded from B to B+ Thomson: Took a beating from Ferguson. Physically he’s starting to digress as he’s not able to keep up with the better athletes in the division. Doesn’t have the tools to hurt his opponents making it difficult to earn decisive wins. Downgraded from B to B-   Todd Duffee vs. Frank Mir Duffee: Can certainly throw with power, but technique is limited and his chin simply not as good as nearly all of the top 15 fighters.  Downgraded from C to C- Mir: Showed right away that he can handle Duffee’s punching power. He varied up his striking mixing in knees before the kill shot just over a minute into the fight. It was an impressive win for Mir and he should once again face a top 10 opponent. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Written by Jay Primetown

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