Updated UFC on Fox 19 Fighter Grades

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JUNE 22: Cub Swanson celebrates his win by TKO against Ross Pearson (not pictured) in a featherweight bout during UFC on FX 4 at Revel Casino on June 22, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

Cub SwansonJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC on Fox 19 in Tampa, Florida. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com   Omari Akhmedov vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos Akhmedov: He did well early in the fight with scoring a couple of takedowns and working for a kimura on the ground. He was exposed in this fight by winging strikes as opposed to quicker combinations. He slowed down significantly as the third round started and couldn’t keep pace. He showed a heck of a chin, but eventually couldn’t take anymore. Grade remains D+ Dos Santos: The ground game is a still a weakness, but his ability to put forth an excellent work ethic and push an excellent pace in round three were they keys to him putting his opponent away. With this performance, he earned himself a strong opportunity to get himself higher on fight cards as an action fighter. Grade remains C-   Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Cezar Ferreira Bamgbose: His movement and aggression in the first five minutes of a fight is excellent. His problem is that once he’s taken to the mat, his opponents are able to control him. Furthermore, his conditioning simply isn’t good enough to beat above average fighters in the UFC. Downgraded from C- to D+ Ferreira: His skill set is really solid. He’s got good size, a nice kicking game, and an underrated grappling game. His problem will always be his ability to take a punch. If he can avoid the big strike, he’s got a good opportunity to do well. He was clipped by Bamgbose, but ultimately weathered the storm allowing him to take over in the second half of the fight. He needed this win to stick around the UFC and he was able to get the job done. Grade remains D+   John Dodson vs. Manny Gamburyan Dodson: His speed at this weight class just put this division on notice. He finished a long time veteran in under a minute. He should jump into the top 15 at bantamweight in the next rankings and with another win will already be in the title discussion. Upgraded from B to B+ Gamburyan: Hard to gauge much facing a buzz saw and getting clipped so early in the fight.  With that said, he’s getting older and speed is a real concern for him against more athletic fighter. Gamburyan may get one more bout in the UFC, but difficult to see him in the UFC beyond that. Downgraded from C to C-   Randy Brown vs. Michael Graves Brown: He’s going to be a tricky fight for a lot of guys in the UFC do to his striking prowess and length. His takedown defense was decent, but once he was taken down he didn’t show the ability needed to get back to his feet. As he started to take damage on the ground, it was the beginning of the end. Unless Brown works on his ground game, his ceiling in the promotion will be stunted significantly. Grade remains D+ Graves: He’s certainly not the biggest, strongest, or the most talented fighter in the division, but he has shown in his short career that he has an excellent game plan and is tenacious looking for the takedown and on the ground. His work ethic turned this fight into domination in the second round allowing him to secure the submission finish. I expect Graves to have a long career in the UFC. Grade remains C   Court McGee vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio McGee: He normally is able to take a lot more damage, but he struggled with Ponzinibbio’s right hand and power shots in this fight. His inability to score a takedown and slow Ponzinibbio down was his undoing. Downgraded from C to C- Ponzinibbio: His best fight yet inside the Octagon. He countered well and matched the volume of his opponent. He was able to finish a very durable opponent and certainly raised the eyebrow of UFC brass with this performance. Grade remains C   Bethe Correia vs. Raquel Pennington Correia: She did an excellent job of countering Pennington’s aggression and out struck the American by nearly 20 significant strikes over the course of 15 minutes. It was a very close fight at the bell and two judges felt she didn’t do enough to win the fight. Pennington landed the more open strikes at range and I believe that’s why she got the nod. Grade remains C+ Pennington: She showed a good amount of variety in her performance and her more balanced game perhaps gives her a higher ceiling than her opponent in the UFC. With that said, she was out struck throughout the fight and didn’t do much in my eyes to make me believe she can beat anyone in the top five of the division. Grade remains C+   Michael Chiesa vs. Beneil Dariush Chiesa: He was getting beaten up on the feet and was clearly losing the fight. Yet, even when he’s losing, if he can get the fight to the ground and work in a body lock, he has a fantastic chance to finish; even against a BJJ black belt. Great win for Chiesa to push himself up further in this division. Upgraded from C+ to B- Dariush: He did an excellent job in the first round of scoring with leg kicks to Chiesa’s lead leg. His head movement was on point and he was easily outlanding his opponent in the striking game. The one thing someone can’t do against Chiesa is give them his back. That’s what Dariush did early in the second round and it was all over. Tough loss for Dariush as he was on an excellent roll in the division and will now need to take a step back. Downgraded from B+ to B   Hacran Dias vs. Cub Swanson Dias: Too much inactivity on the feet. He did well when he pressed forward but didn’t do it enough. The fight was turned by a knockdown in the second and third rounds. It was a very even contest with a couple minutes left. The difference between these two fighters was Swanson’s creativity on the feet to score the defining strikes. Grade remains B- Swanson: He’s certainly not the caliber of fighter he was two years ago, but his striking prowess and creative ability is still near the top of the division. His improved conditioning may help extend his career in the UFC. Upgraded from B- to B   Darrell Horcher vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Horcher: He was competitive on the feet with Nurmagomedov, but once the elite lightweight from Dagestan looked for a takedown it was a long night for Horcher. Hard to gauge much beyond that as no one with the exception of Gleison Tibau has been able to deal with Nurmagomedov’s wrestling. Grade remains D+ Nurmagomedov: He’s certainly not at the top of the division in the striking department, but he doesn’t need to be. When he shoots in for takedowns he has so much ability to work them at different angles and techniques. In top control, he’s extremely difficult to submit and his top control is excellent. He absolutely dominated Horcher on the ground resulting in the referee having to stop the fight late in the second round. Nurmagomedov did what he needed to do and got himself much needed Octagon time. His next fight will either be a number one contender bout or for the title. Grade remains A+   Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres Namajunas: She stood toe to toe with Torres on the feet. She certainly got the best of the striking in the second round. With two very close rounds in this fight, having a definitive round two was the catalyst to her getting her hand raised. With the victory, Namajunas is likely next in line for a chance at the championship. Grade remains B+ Torres: She had trouble at times closing distance against the much longer Namajunas. She did really well countering with leg kicks and scoring in flurries. Allowing two late takedowns in rounds one and three is what likely cost her the fight. With that said, these fighters are very evenly matched. Grade remains B+   Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira Evans: Tentative in the cage and sluggish in exchange. Too much time outside the cage and injuries certainly have taken their toll. He was knocked out in devastating fashion and it’s likely time for the former light heavyweight champion to hang up the gloves and focus on a UFC studio career. Downgraded from B+ to B- Teixeira: This is turned into a favorable opportunity for the Brazilian. A tentative Evans allowed Teixeira to stalk his opponent and pressure on the feet. It was only a matter of time before he was going to land a big shot and put Evans away. With the win, Teixeira solidified himself as a top 5 light heavyweight. Grade remains A-

Written by Jay Primetown

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