Grading UFC Fight Night 78’s Main Card Fights

neil-magny-495x277“Grading the card’’ is an article written by Mike James after every major UFC and Bellator event. Every main card fight and the fight card itself is briefly discussed and given a letter grade. This article covers UFC Fight Night 78, which took place Saturday night from the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.   Kelvin Gastelum vs Neil Magny This was a great fight between two young, rising welterweights. Magny had the momentum early, as his superior wrestling and ground work helped him win the first three rounds However, Gastelum got going in the fourth round, even dropping Magny twice. However, it was too little, too late for Gastelum as Magny won a close split decision and will likely get a highly ranked opponent in his next outing. Fight Grade: A-   Ricardo Lamas vs Diego Sanchez This fight was almost sad to watch. Sanchez clearly does not have much, if anything, left in the tank at this point in his career. Dropping to the featherweight division was not going to change that. Lamas battered him for three rounds and appeared to injure Sanchez’s right leg with his constant leg kicks. Lamas gets back on track with a win and is still a viable fighter in the division. Sanchez, however, should retire. He is just going to keep taking more punishment and he has taken enough already. Fight Grade: C-   Henry Cejudo vs Jussier Formiga The fight to determine the next flyweight title contender went about as many people expected. Cejudo used his superior wrestling and strength to keep the fight on the feet and beat Formiga with his striking and cinch work. Formiga landed some decent shots on the feet, but Cejudo clearly won the fight without much trouble. This puts Cejudo in line for a shot at UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson, who was watching the fight ringside. The champion did not seem the least bit concerned about facing Cejudo in the future. Fight Grade: C   Enrique Marin vs Erick Montano This fight determined the welterweight winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America. It was not exactly a barn burner, as both fighters were very tactical with their techniques. Marin pressured more but failed to throw much volume. Montano, meanwhile, landed some nice kicks from range and scored a few key takedowns that likely sealed the win for him. The judges were once again split on this one, as two judges gave it to Montano (29-28), while the other judge scored it for Marin (29-28). Fight Grade: D   Horacio Gutierrez vs Enrique Barzola Gutierrez and Barzola were fighting to become the lightweight winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America. Gutierrez was quite a bit bigger and appeared to have a sizeable striking edge. However, Barzola got going midway through the first round with his takedowns and groundwork and never stopped from there. Barzola clearly knew he was the superior grappler and he won every round pretty easily by taking the larger man down and working him over from top position. Gutierrez had no answers for Barzola’s superior wrestling and grappling. Fight Grade: D+   Efrain Escudero vs Leandro Silva This was a well-matched contest by Joe Silva, as a lot of their strengths seemed to cancel each other out. There was a lot of time spent trading places in the clinch against the cage, which the crowd did not appreciate. Escudero came forward and pressured more, but he was not throwing as much volume as he should have. Silva, meanwhile, landed some nice kicks from range, especially in the third round, which is when he really got going. This was yet another fight that went to a split decision, with Silva getting the nod from the judges. Fight Grade: D+   Thoughts:                                                                                    There was some great action on the preliminary card, but we will only be grading the main card here. The first five fights were not the kind of fights that most hardcore fight fans find attractive. However, the main event was fantastic. Magny and Gastelum put on a great show for 25 minutes, with several reversals, near finishes, and momentum swings. The main event saved the card from getting an awful rating.   Final: UFC Fight Night 78 card: C-

Written by Mike James

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