Updated UFC Fight Night 82 Fighter Grades

Stephen Thompson1Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 82 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.   Artem Lobov vs. Alex White Lobov: Outside of over swinging on haymakers, he offers next to nothing in the cage. No ground game, poor takedown defense, and poor conditioning all show me that he doesn’t belong in the octagon. Downgraded from D+ to D- White: Once he figured out Lobov’s striking strategy, it was one traffic. Lobov’s deficiencies made this easy work for White to cruise to a decision win. Grade remains C-   Mickey Gall vs. Mike Jackson Gall: There were no expectations heading into this fight, but Gall seems to have good instincts and size for the weight class. He made quick work of his opponent and he’ll next face CM Punk. Debut grade is D- Jackson: He was literally brought in off the street and fed to Gall to make the New Jersey native look good. He doesn’t belong in the UFC. End of story. Debut grade is F-   Noad Lahat vs. Diego Rivas Lahat: He dominated Rivas on the mat and should of finished the fight in the first round. His inability to do so led to a second chance for Rivas and ultimately is the reason he lost. Downgraded from C- to D+ Rivas: He was losing every second of this fight up until he attempted a flying knee that he landed flush finishing his opponent. It was a great finish, but ultimately a fluke. That said having that kind of finishing ability is worth something. Upgraded from D- to D   Ray Borg vs. Justin Scoggins Borg: His inability to score takedowns was his downfall. Scoggins picked him apart with kicks on the feet and dominated him on the mat. Borg’s lack of size a real issue moving forward. Downgraded from B+ to B- Scoggins: Excellent performance from the South Carolina flyweight. He showed improvements in his grappling stopping takedowns from Borg plus always diverse striking game. In my eyes he’s one fight away from title contention. Upgraded from B to B+   Damian Grabowski vs. Derrick Lewis Grabowski: His lack of size really did him in. Once his opponent got in top control, he was in no man’s land and it was the beginning of the end. I’d like to see Grabowski another time against a fighter that doesn’t have a 40 pound advantage on fight day. Downgraded from D+ to D Lewis: He’s starting to develop more tools than just heavy hands. His positional grappling is improved as well as his conditioning. He still needs to prove he can beat ranked fighters, but he’s certainly on the way up. Upgraded from D+ to C-   Josh Burkman vs. KJ Noons Burkman: Decent performance in his lightweight debut. Used kicks very effectively and when he started to tire I like that he used a grappling focused attack. Grade remains C Noons: Way too inactive in this fight. He didn’t seem like he wanted to be there and it showed with his lack of output. He never seemed to be in this fight. Downgraded from C to D+   Mike Pyle vs. Sean Spencer Pyle: He was dropped in the first round, but got progressively better throughout the fight. He started landed with variety and mixed in his wrestling well. Big win for Pyle ending the fight late in the third round. Grade remains C Spencer: His skill set hasn’t improved much since he began in the UFC. He has a nice jab and some decent boxing, but no kicking game and a very limited ground game. He was outsmarted by the veteran.   Misha Cirkunov vs. Alex Nicholson Cirkunov: He is certainly one of the better prospects in recent memory in the light heavyweight division. He’s got very good grappling and improving striking, but needs to work on conditioning issues and footwork. Grade remains C- Nicholson: He should fluidity on the feet and did well to get back to his feet from the first couple takedowns, but other than that it was a one sided beating. He’s young,  so there’s time, but he’s not ready for this level currently. Grade remains D-   Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky Benavidez: His body of work is the second best in this division. He would have been a long world champion if Demetrious Johnson wasn’t around. His speed, striking, and creativity is some of the best of the division. Grade remains A Makovsky: He’s got a decent jab and very good wrestling, but he lacks killer instinct and it’s prevented him from moving into the elite of the weight class. He had some positive moments against Benavidez, but is clearly a couple levels below him. Grade remains B   Rafael Cavalcante vs. Ovince St. Preux Cavalacante: Nowhere close to the fight he one was. Whether its age or no longer using PED’s, he simply hasn’t shown that he wants to be inside the cage. His days of being competitive with the upper echelon of the division are over. Downgraded from C to D+ St. Preux: He did well to overcome a foot injury to dominate the final two rounds to win a decision. Tough to take much away from this fight as his opponent didn’t offer much attack. Grade remains B   Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt Nelson: Improved cardio was the key to this fight. In a fight where he was unable to land his big bomb, he need to win with volume. He did just enough to get his hand raised. Grade remains C Rosholt: He survived fifteen minutes with Roy Nelson, but his inability to have success with takedowns were his downfall. He was out struck by the long time veteran. Rosholt’s in a difficult place as he is a decent fighter, but he may be the least fan pleasing fighter in the heavyweight division. Grade remains C-   Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson Hendricks: He simply was unable to close range on Thompson. Hendricks was forced to eat punches when he tried to get in close range. Ultimately, that was his downfall. Disappointing loss for Hendricks and he’s now out of the title picture. Downgraded from A to A- Thompson: Career-defining performance from Thompson. After stuffing Hendricks’ early takedown attempt, he was able to pick apart his opponent from range. Finishing the former champion puts the entire division on notice. Upgraded from B to A

Written by Jay Primetown

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