Updated UFC Fight Night 80 Fighter Grades

Aljamain-Sterling-UFCJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 80 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com. Kailin Curran vs. Emily Peters Kagan Curran: Disappointing first round where she allowed her opponent to push her against the cage. She took advantage of a tired fighter in round two to get the finish. She got the win here, but don’t see much of a future for her in the division. Grade remains D Kagan: Looked a little better than in her loss against Angela Hill, but gassed bad after the first round. I expect this will be her last fight in the UFC. Grade remains F   Phillipe Nover vs. Zubaira Tukhugov Nover: Really seemed confused by Tukhugov’s unorthodox approach. By the time he found some openings it was too little, too late. Grade remains D+ Tukhugov: His footwork and speed on the feet are outstanding. He has nice pop in his hands, but against better strikers, he could have problems as opponents will be able to find holes in his defense. Grade remains C   Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Andreas Stahl Ponzinibbio: His best fight in the UFC to date. He seemed a bit more composed and struck in volume when his opponent gave him openings. I also liked his scrambling ability to get the fight back to the feet when he was taken down. Grade remains C Stahl: He was out of action for awhile and it showed. It seemed like he was shaking out the cobwebs but it’s really difficult to do that against a pressure fighter like Ponzinibbio. He lost this fight from start to finish Downgraded from D+ to D   Johnny Eduardo vs. Aljamain Sterling Eduardo: Fought a hesitant fight. Never seemed to be in it. Disappointing performance. Downgraded from B- to C+ Sterling: His ability to keep distance on the feet and score takedowns from unorthodox angles is simply impressive. His ability on the ground to secure submissions are near the top of the division. He’s worthy of a number one contender fight. Upgraded from B+ to A-   Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Kevin Casey Carlos Junior: No contest just 11 seconds into the fight. Too short to make any impressions. Grade remains C+ Casey: See above. Grade remains C-   Omari Akhmedov vs. Sergio Moraes Akhmedov: He was winning the fight convincingly until the third round when he was clipped and finished. He’s had some chin issues in past fights and this will be an issue moving forward in his career. Downgraded from C- to D+ Moraes: He has a great submission game, but fails to find ways to use it in bouts. Instead he ends up in striking exchanges. He’s fortunate to have a stout chin to avoid being knocked out by opponents. Even more fortunate to finish his opponent late in the fight. Grade remains C-   John Howard vs. Tim Means Howard: He’s had a lengthy MMA career and it has finally caught up to him. He simply can’t compete with the better strikers in the division anymore. Downgraded from C- to D+ Means: Savvy striker with an excellent punch to finish the fight. He’s really developing into one of the better welterweights in the division. Upgraded from C+ to B-   Thiago Santos vs. Elias Theodorou Santos: Started slow, but did really well in the second half of the fight landing some vicious elbows cutting Theodorou open. He did much more damage in this bout and deserved the victory. Upgraded from C to C+ Theodorou: He looked livelier on the feet than he has in past fights, but the extra muscle seems to have put a dent in his conditioning. I like his resolve to continue fighting after being cut badly in the third round. He’s still relatively new to fighting and expect him to improve. This loss will help him more long term than a win. Grade remains C+   Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister Northcutt: He was taken down early in the first round and made no effort and showed no ability to get back to his feet. His offensive wrestling looked great and he showed off a nice guillotine choke. He definitely needs to work out some chinks in the armor, but the potential is certainly there. Downgraded from B- to C+ Pfister: His offensive wrestling is decent and he can take a punch, but other than that he lacks a skill-set to do well in professional mixed martial arts. This was a slaughter once Northcutt got in control. Grade remains D   Michael Chiesa vs. Jim Miller Chiesa: Best win of his career. He easily outwrestled a long-time veteran in Miller. What stood out most was his strength. He’s a guy who looks really thin, but his strength gave him the advantages in this bout. Finishing Miller put the division on notice. Grade remains C+ Miller: The New Jersey native has had so many entertaining performances over the years and got within 1one fight of a title opportunity, but he’s aged significantly the last couple years and he can no longer compete with the top half of the division. Downgraded from C+ to C   Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant Namajunas: Best fight of her career. She beat VanZant in every facet of the game. What really stood out was her offensive wrestling and her transitions on the mat. When she’s focused, she’s one of the best fighters in the division. Upgraded from B to B+ VanZant:  Her technical skills were fully exposed by Namajunas. In previous fights, VanZant was able to bully her opponents with constant pressure and aggression. In this fight, her opponent easily outstruck and scored takedowns controlling VanZant for the entirety of the fight. Game plan to beat her has now been written. Downgraded from B to C+

Written by Jay Primetown

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