Updated UFC on Fox 17 Fighter Grades

valentina-shevchenko-tiger-muay-thai-ufcJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on Fox 17 in Orlando, Florida. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.   Luiz Henrique vs. Francis Ngannou Henrique: Just lacked the size and ability to compete with the much bigger Ngannou. Heavyweight is not the division for him. Debut grade is D- Ngannou: One of the more intriguing prospects at heavyweight. His finish of Henrique with the massive uppercut knockout certainly made people notice. Upgraded from D to D+   Hayder Hassan vs. Vincente Luque Hassan: He excelled in the TUF environment where guys had to cut weight on short notice, but his being a small welterweight with decent pop and little else isn’t going to cut it in the UFC. Downgraded from D+ to D- Luque: Really nice submission in which his opponent had no ability to escape. He certainly earned himself another couple fights inside the Octagon. Grade remains D   Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman Edwards: It was a competitive fight early on, but Usman’s size and strength wore on Edwards. Once the Englishman was unable to stop the takedown, he had little ability to win the fight. This was the expected result. Grade remains C- Usman: He’s an intriguing fighter with a pretty high ceiling. His relentless approach to controlling the fight and his physical power will make it difficult for opponents to fend off his takedown attempts for 15 minutes. A stronger test will tell us a lot about him, but for now I’m cautiously optimistic about his future. Grade remains C+   Jim Alers vs. Cole Miller Alers: He struggled with Miller’s length and unorthodox striking. He was down a round once the fight was declared a no contest. When he entered the UFC, I had higher expectations, but don’t see any improvement. Grade remains C- Miller: One of his better striking performances inside the Octagon. He was getting the better of almost all the exchanges prior to the no contest. Miller has improved over the years, but his problem is how brittle his body is and staying healthy. Grade remains C   Danny Castillo vs. Nik Lentz Castillo: His conditioning was a real question mark in this bout. It was a disappointing performance and at this point have to think that he’s going to be cut from the UFC. Downgraded from C to C- Lentz: Despite hurting his knee, he was the aggressor for the entirety of the fight. He’ll be a tough out for most opponents at lightweight. Grade remains C+   Tamdan McCrory vs. Josh Samman McCrory: He chained submission attempts extremely well ultimately getting Samman into a triangle he couldn’t escape. He’s a guy that has multiple ways to win and could certainly be one to look out for in the middleweight division. Debut/Return grade is C+ Samman: He’s a solid fighter, but really seemed out of his depth defending McCrory’s submission attempts off his back. This is a good learning experience for the Floridian. Downgraded from C+ to C   Sarah Kaufman vs. Valentina Shevchenko Kaufman: Surprisingly poor performance from the Canadian. She struggled with the strength of her opponent and was taken down quite easily early in the fight. Kaufman is still a good fighter, but on the downside of her career. Downgraded from B+ to B Shevchenko: Solid debut. Fought a top 10 fighter in the division, taking her down quite easily, and showing her talent on the feet. She looks like a potential title contender down the road. Debut grade is B   CB Dollaway vs. Nate Marquardt Dollaway: Very competitive fight until he got caught walking in with Marquardt’s right hand. Dollaway had been on a run in the division, but this is a major step backwards. Downgraded from B- to C+ Marquardt: This was his best performance and best win since returning to the UFC. His confidence in the cage was on display and he got to return home with a solid finish. Upgraded from C to C+   Myles Jury vs. Charles Oliveira Jury: He simply makes too many mistakes in the grappling to compete with a submission artist like Charles Oliveira. Downgraded from B+ to B Oliveira: He’s turning into one of the all-time best submission artists in MMA. He has so much variety in his grappling that he always has his opponents guessing. I wish he didn’t have so many problems making weight. Grade remains B+   Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Randa Markos Kowalkiewicz: Outside of being taken down in the second round, she dominated the exchanges on the feet with combinations. Her footwork kept her away from her opponent’s striking. Grade remains B- Markos: Too predictable on the feet and doesn’t defend strikes well enough. Her wrestling is decent, but needs to be more consistent to have success in the UFC. Downgraded from B- to C+   Nate Diaz vs. Michael Johnson Diaz: Best performance in a long time. He got into Michael Johnson’s head and turned this into a brawl. Diaz’s jab was on point all fight and he out boxed Johnson to a decision. This fight puts Diaz into a situation where he could face a top 5 opponent in his next bout. Upgraded from B to B+ Johnson: He was outpointed by the rangier Diaz. This is a second straight disappointing fight for Johnson. He’s a good fighter, but has a tendency to underwhelm in big moments. Grade remains B+   Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem Dos Santos: Flat performance from Dos Santos. He simply was too tentative on the feet and was outstruck by his opponent. He’s clearly not the same fighter he once was and is on the downside of his career. His days of competing at championship level are over. Downgraded from A- to B+ Overeem: His best win in a long time. He hurt Dos Santos multiple times in the fight and floored him towards the end of the second round. Dos Santos had only been finished once in his career prior to this fight. Overeem is now only a fight away from competing for a UFC title. Upgraded from B to B+   Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael Dos Anjos Cerrone: He was hit with a straight left early on and then a big body kick and was unable to recover. This isn’t the first time Cerrone lost in a dominant way in a prominent fight. He’s a fighter who seems to excel in short notice situations as opposed to long fight camps / preparation. Grade remains A- Dos Anjos: Another great performance by the champion. He is a much better fighter since getting beaten by Khabib Nurmagomedov in April 2014. I’d still like to see how he’ll do against an excellent wrestler, but he’s proven to be a top fighter and a great champion. Upgraded from A to A+

Written by Jay Primetown

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