Updated TUF 22 Finale Fighter Grades

FergusonJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at the TUF 22 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.   Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Abner Lloveras Gruetzemacher: I like his constant pressure and willingness to engage the striking. He needs to work on his takedown defense and be a bit more careful during submission attempts. His style could help him stick around in the UFC. Debut grade is D+ Lloveras: He didn’t do well with his opponent’s pressure in this bout. After being cut and beat up, he continued to try to work for takedowns making it a fairly close fight at the closing bell. At 33 years old, it’s tough to see him sticking around in the promotion. Debut grade is D   Geane Herrera vs. Joby Sanchez Herrera: First round was competitive, but he made some excellent adjustments in the second round deciding to counter punch more. Vicious finish to put the division on notice. Upgraded from C- to C Sanchez: He strikes with decent volume, but his striking defense really needs some work. Once Herrera figured out Sanchez’s timing, he was toast. Grade remains D+   Ryan LaFlare vs. Mike Pierce LaFlare He did enough in this bout to get the win, but took a little too much damage in this one for my liking. Pierce can be a tough out, but I think his progression has stagnated. Grade remains B- Pierce: Tough fight to return to the cage to after a long absence. He looked slow in the first round, but has his moments later in the fight despite losing a decision. I’d like to see how he looks in his next fight before making any grade adjustments. Grade remains C+   Konstantin Erokhin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga Erokhin: Complete dud of a performance. Didn’t challenge Gonzaga at all on the feet. For a guy who has power in his hands like he does, this certainly wasn’t the way to show it. Downgraded from D+ to D Gonzaga: Smart performance. He avoided Erokhin’s big power keeping his distance on the feet and then worked in takedowns when he had the opportunity. Upgraded from C- to C   Julian Erosa vs. Marcin Wrzosek Erosa: Not his best performance, but did really well in this bout in transitions looking for submissions. It was enough to get him the win in a close fight. Debut grade is D+ Wrzosek: Seemed to get the better of the fight on the feet, but Erosa’s creative transition ability put him in some difficult positions on the ground. Too early to tell what his future outlook is. Debut grade is D   Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Jason Knight Kawajiri: Fight went according to plan. He had a big advantage in the wrestling and scored with ground and pound. All he had to do was avoid submissions on the mat to win; which he did. Upgraded from C+ to B- Knight: Too reliant on fighting off his back. He certainly has a nice rubber guard, but if he can’t secure the submission he will struggle to win fights. Downgraded from D+ to D   Evan Dunham vs. Joe Lauzon Dunham: Savvy performance. He kept the fight standing and was able to pepper Lauzon throughout the full 15 minutes. Clear victory for Dunham who is once again nearing a spot in the division’s top 15. Upgraded from C+ to B- Lauzon: He was outboxed with relative ease by Dunham. He had no answers on the feet and was unable to get Dunham to the ground. For as fun as Lauzon is in the cage, he’s still a rather limited fighter. Grade remains C+   Edson Barboza vs. Tony Ferguson Barboza: His striking looked sharp against Ferguson, but the constant pressure that Ferguson offered really caused the Brazilian problems. Ultimately, submissions have given the Brazilian fits over the years and he was exposed in this situation by a more talented fighter. Grade remains B+ Ferguson: The performance of the night and one of the best fights of the year. Ferguson showed excellent variety in this fight cutting Barboza open and eventually working for the choke. This fight put him on the map and in title contention. Upgraded from B+ to A-   Ryan Hall vs Artem Lobov Hall: Wrestling is the name of the game and it was enough here to win a clear decision. Hall is an interesting fighter. He’s physically limited, but he does have some ability. Debut grade is C- Lobov: His career is the definition of Jekyll and Hyde. Sometimes he looks great, other times completely flat. This performance was more flat than the state of Kansas. Debut grade is D+   Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes Edgar: I thought Edgar would have the advantages later in the fight, but couldn’t even imagine a possibility where he could knock out Chad Mendes in the opening round. In a career with excellent wins, this one was as good as any of them. Edgar has earned himself another shot at UFC gold against the winner of UFC 194’s main event. Grade remains A+ Mendes: This is the second fight in a row where chin issues have come into question for the Team Alpha Male product. He can really use a softball fight to get back on track. Downgraded from A+ to A

Written by Jay Primetown

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