Updated UFC Fight Night 79 Grades

masvidal-cruickshankJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 79 in Seoul, South Korea. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com   Dong Hyun Kim (Maestro) vs. Dominique Steele Kim: Has some decent fundamentals, but lacks of athleticism to be competitive in the UFC. Needs to improve wrestling as well as he was taken down with regularity. Debut grade is F Steele: Good performance and finish. Fought very well in the clinch landing short elbows. Also showed off his athleticism scoring several big takedowns in this fight. Upgraded from D- to D   Marco Beltran vs. Ning Guangyou Beltran: Lacked volume which will hold him back during his career. When he strikes, he does well in the clinch and has solid footwork. Needs to be less tentative. Took the win here in a rather close fight. Grade remains D- Guangyou: Has a lot of holes in his game. It all starts with footwork where Guangyou is slow and plotting. He’s aggressive at times and has a decent wrestling base, but other than that not much there. Grade remains D-   Fredy Serrano vs. Yao Zhikui Serrano: Hard to offer much commentary on this one. He got the quick win and that’s all that matters. He should be able to take another fight on soon to get back into the cage. Grade remains D Zhikui: Very short fight where one quick takedown saw an injury from Zhikui. Disappointing fight from the Chinese fighter. He may get one more fight in the UFC after this loss. Grade remains F.   Cortney Casey vs. Seo Hee Ham Casey: Good size for the weight class and she has some pop in her hands. Her biggest issue is that she slows down in her bouts and allows her opponents to finish strong. It cost her this fight. Downgraded from C- to D+ Ham: She’s one of the most exciting fighters in the division. She’s always moving forward look to engage with her opponent. Her biggest drawback is that she’s small for the weight class and very hittable on the feet. With her, it’s always a situation of hit or get hit. Grade remains D+   Tae Hyun Bang vs. Leo Kuntz Bang: It’s possible he came into the fight sick as he was struggling with conditioning throughout the fight. He did land the biggest shots in this fight in what was a rather close win. Grade remains D Kuntz: Disappointing effort from Kuntz in a fight he should have won. In a situation where a fighter is that fatigued, the opposing fighter needs to take over and get the result. Downgraded from D to D-   Mike De La Torre vs. Yui Chul Nam De La Torre: Found holes in Nam’s striking defense and took advantage of the situation landing with regularity. Relatively close fight, but got the deserved win. Grade remains D+ Nam: I like his aggression and wrestling-heavy focus, but striking defense is a real hole. At 34 years old, one has to believe Nam has already peaked as a fighter. Grade remains D+   Jake Collier vs. Dongi Yang Collier: A decent output fighter, but has poor footwork and is rather sloppy in the ground exchanges. At one point looked like a decent prospect, but those days have sailed. Downgraded from C- to D Yang: Veteran performance from the South Korean fighter. Weathered Collier’s kicking game to eventually score positions on the ground where he controlled Collier landing punches with regularity before the referee was forced to step in. UFC return grade is D+   Doo Ho Choi vs. Sam Sicilia Choi: The accuracy in his punches are what makes me believe he’s a real prospect in this division. He’s able to land with variety and often. He needs to show he can defend takedowns and compete against strong wrestlers to prove to me he’s a top 10 fighter in the division. Upgraded from C to C+ Sicilia: He thought he could compete on the feet with Choi, but was proven wrong rather quickly. At this point, Sicilia is a gatekeeper at best. Grade remains C-   Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alberto Mina Akiyama: Got clipped in round two which ultimately cost him the fight. At 40 years of age, he’s still good enough to compete in the organization, but he’s certainly nowhere top 15 status anymore. Downgraded from C to C- Mina: Did well to nearly finish Akiyama at the end of the second round. The third round is something he will want to forget. Cardio has been a real issue in both his UFC fights. That needs to improve or this fight will be his ceiling. Grade remains C-   Dong Hyun Kim vs. Dominic Waters Kim: When he faces inferior opposition, he dominates from start to finish. That’s never been the issue with Stun Gun, it has always been that he can’t get the big win against the division’s elite. Grade remains B- Waters: The fight went as expected. Once Kim was able to secure top control, Waters had no chance. Grade remains D   Ben Henderson vs. Jorge Masvidal Henderson: One of the truly great fighters in MMA. So much variety. His ability to find advantageous positions and win rounds is right near the top of the sport. It’s time for Bendo to face elite fighters at welterweight. Grade remains B+ Masvidal:  Perhaps his best performance inside the Octagon. High level all-around game putting together a compelling fight against the former lightweight champion. Henderson deserved to get his hand raised, but Masvidal is not far behind him in the pecking order. Upgraded from C+ to B

Written by Jay Primetown

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