Updated UFC Fight Night 77 Fighter Grades

UFC-on-FOXJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFN 77 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com   Mattheus Nicolau vs. Bruno Rodriguez Nicolau: Well-rounded skill set. He showed nice variety in his attack on the feet and combined it well with solid ground and pound. Getting a finish in the third round was a nice way to complete the performance. Debut grade is D+ Rodriguez: Showed some flashy kicks, but way too hesistant to engage and minimal defense made him an easy target for his opponent. Future doesn’t bode well for him in the UFC. Debut grade is D-   Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera Munhoz: Had issues with the power striking of Rivera, but his ability to comeback and make this a competitive fight raises his stock in my opinion. He’s a talented fighter and he’ll do well in his UFC career. Upgraded from C+ to B- Rivera: His technique and power in his striking really impressed me. His size for the division is really something to behold. He’s definitely a darkhorse in this division. Only worry is him slowing down against top tier fighter. He deserves to be ranked in the top 15 of the division. Upgraded from C+ to B-   Viscardi Andrade vs. Gasan Umalatov Andrade: Coming off a layoff of nearly two years, Andrade did show some rust, but once he got going he was the superior fighter. Grade remains D+ Umalatov: Of all the Russians to come over to the UFC in the past few years, Umalatov is without a doubt the most disappointing. He simply doesn’t engage on the feet. Hi only way to win is a three round against the cage fest. I expect him to be cut from the UFC after this loss. Downgraded from D to D-   Chas Skelly vs. Kevin Souza Skelly: Relies too much on his wrestling. His ability to fight through adversity and find a way to get the job is certainly admirable. Excellent result for Skelly in Brazil. Upgraded from C to C+ Souza: His size gives opponents problems. He’s a rangy striker, but his grappling simply isn’t good enough to compete with the better half of fighters in the featherweight division. Grade remains C   Clay Guida vs. Thiago Tavares Guida: Too quick of a fight to determine much. Guida keeping his neck exposed on the takedown defense wasn’t one of his best moments in his career. Downgraded from B- to C+ Tavares: Excellent work to latch in a choke on a longtime veteran. Besides that, tough to tell much else. Grade remains C   Yan Cabral vs. Johnny Case Cabral: He’s pretty capable grappler, but absolutely putrid in the stand up. If unable to get fight to the ground, he gets lit up on the feet. With that said, even making it close with a good prospect like Case was better than expected. Grade remains C- Case: He’s got a bright future in the sport, but some holes in game were exposed in this bout. He needs to improve his grappling otherwise his ceiling will be rather limited. He also needs to be a bit more aggressive on the feet. Grade remains C   Gleison Tibau vs. Abel Trujillo Tibau: One of his best performances inside the octagon. Absolutely ragdolled a former NAIA All American wrestler. Suspect call on the submission, but he’s proven he’s a top gatekeeper in the division. Grade remains B- Trujillo: If he doesn’t land power shots, he struggles mightily inside the octagon. For a guy with a strong wrestling base, it has not translated inside the octagon. I’m not sure where Trujillo goes from here as I believe his career is at a crossroads. Downgraded from C+ to C   Corey Anderson vs. Fabio Maldonado Anderson: Fight went exactly according to plan. Good movement on the feet and scoring takedowns with regularity dominating in top position. Needs a step up in competition. Grade remains C Maldonado: He pushes all 15 minutes and has a propensity for doing well late in fights. Unfortunately for Maldonado, he can be taken to the canvas rather easily and he has no response when put there. He’s a fun fighter that should be placed in striking focused matchups. Downgraded from C– to D+   Gilbert Burns vs. Rashid Magomedov Burns: He’s got amazing submission grappling, but just not able to compete in the striking department with guys in the top half of the division. He’s one of the better Brazilian prospects in the organization, but he needs to make some changes. Grade remains C+ Magomedov: As fluid a striker as there is inside the octagon. I expect Magomedov to make some waves in the division and become a top 10 fighter within the next 18 months. Upgraded from B- to B   Piotr Hallmann vs. Alex Oliveira Hallmann: Tough and durable. That’s about all he has to offer. Downgraded from C to C- Oliveira: He’s an entertaining fighter with promise. He has variety in his striking and knows how to finish. Needs to work on his defensive grappling and being able to get himself standing after being put on his back. Grade remains C+   Thomas Almeida vs. Anthony Birchak Almeida: His striking prowess is at the pinnacle of the sport. Accuracy, power, variety, he has it all. He’s likely just one more win away from a title eliminator. Upgraded from B to B+ Birchak: He was pretty game in this bout going after Almeida, but simply not in the same class. Grade remains C   Patrick Cummins vs. Glover Teixeira Cummins: His offensive wrestling is right near the top of the division. His striking has improved, but his chin continues to hold him back. Once clipped he struggles to recover. Grade remains B- Teixeira: He’s now 7-2 in the UFC with six finishes. He continues to beat fighters that are five through ten in the division, but just not as good as the elite fighters in the division. Upgraded from B+ to A-   Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson Belfort: Belfort might be aging, but he still has one of the best blitzes in all of MMA. When Belfort can get his hands going early, he’s capable of having a very short night. His win over Dan Henderson was reminiscent of the last time they fought. Grade remains B+ Henderson: Speed has long been an issue for Dan Henderson. As he’s aged, his chin has deteroriated signicaantly where he’s longer able to rely on it. Downgraded from B- to C+

Written by Jay Primetown

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