Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 229

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Ryan LaFlare vs. Tony Martin


LaFlare: He has some success in the first round, but his lack of movement defensively allowed himself to be open to Martin’s straight right and leg kicks. Once he was dropped in the second round, the fight really turned and it was the beginning of the end. Downgraded from C to D+


Martin: He’s looked really good since moving up to lightweight. He beat up his veteran opponent and finished him with a beautiful head kick. Martin may get a top 15 opponent in his next bout. Upgraded from C- to C


Nik Lentz vs. Gray Maynard


Lentz: This was a one-sided beating. Lentz hit Maynard early and often. It was only a matter of time until he got his hand raised. Grade remains C


Maynard: At 39 years of age, he simply can’t take a shot like he could earlier in his career. He was beaten up and dominated in this bout. Downgraded from D+ to D-


Yana Kunitskaya vs. Lina Lansberg


Kunitskaya: This was a smart, efficient performance. She controlled all elements of the fight and did a beautiful job of keeping her opponent at distance. Easy decision victory and expect a step up in competition in her next bout. Grade remains C+


Lansberg: She struggled getting inside to land the strikes she wanted to. She was out landed in total strikes by over 100 showing this fight was not close. Back to the drawing board for the Swedish fighter. Grade remains D+


Scott Holtzman vs. Alan Patrick


Holtzman: His best performance thus far in the UFC. Holtzman fought with real vigor and his counterstriking was sharp in this bout. He’s only the second fighter to finish Alan Patrick which is a real accomplishment. Impressive win. Upgraded from D+ to C-


Patrick: This was a disappointing performance. He just didn’t land with any consistency and kept his chin exposed which his opponent was able to capitalize on. We’ve seen Patrick’s ceiling in the UFC which at best is mid-level in this division. Downgraded from C to D+


Tonya Evinger vs. Aspen Ladd


Evinger:  She struggled with the size and power of her opponent. Once the fight went to the mat, she was completely overwhelmed. Downgraded from C+ to C


Ladd: This was a statement win and really puts her in a position where she has moved beyond prospect but into potential contender. Her ground and pound is some of the best in MMA. Upgraded from C+ to B


Vicente Luque vs. Jalin Turner


Luque: He had some difficult moments early, but once he was able to get into range he was able to hurt Turner on the feet he was able to get the fight to the mat and land some of the most vicious ground and pound punches I’ve seen in a long time. Grade remains C+


Turner: He showed some real skill in his UFC debut, but moving up in weight for this bout, he wasn’t able to deal with the power of his opponent and was finished late in the first round. With that said, I think he has some potential as a lightweight. Debut grade at lightweight is C-


Jussier Formiga vs. Sergio Pettis


Formiga: A really solid performance from Formiga who utilized an effective game plan to beat Sergio Pettis. It wasn’t a blowout, but it was a sound victory. Grade remains B+


Pettis: A tough matchup for the younger Pettis. He wasn’t able to mount much offense when taken to the mat. On the feet the bout was highly competitive, but too many moments in this bout were grappling centric and he just couldn’t compete. Grade remains B


Felice Herrig vs. Michelle Waterson


Herrig: This was a tough bout for Herrig as she struggled with Waterson’s range kicking game. She looked to clinch and do work against the cage, but it just wasn’t enough to get the job done. Downgraded from C+ to C


Waterson: Her kicks were on point in this bout and she did nice work when she got top position on the mat. This was a solid all-around performance and one she can build on. Grade remains B-


Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov


Lewis: He was hurt multiple times in this fight and was on his way to losing to a decision until he landed a desperate haymaker in the third round and followed up with ground and pound to get the victory with 11 seconds in the fight. A huge victory for Lewis and one that puts him in the title picture. Upgraded from B- to B


Volkov: A crushing defeat for Volkov as he dominated over 14 minutes of this bout to ultimately be knocked out with just seconds left in the fight. He still has time to make a run in the division, but that window narrowed considerably after a demoralizing defeat. Downgraded from B+ to B


Dominick Reyes vs. Ovince St. Preux


Reyes: A true coming out party for the former Stony Brook University football player. Reyes was exceptional on the feet and out classed a quality veteran in Ovince St. Preux. In a division that has very little young talent, Reyes is a ray of light. Upgraded from C- to B-


St. Preux: Despite being an underdog, I thought he would put a real test for Reyes, but it just wasn’t there. He was out struck throughout and struggled to secure any takedowns. St. Preux has peaked in this division and now should be used exclusively as a gatekeeper to the top 10. Downgraded from C+ to C


Tony Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis


Ferguson: He’s proven time and time again that he’s not only one of the most entertaining fighters in this sport, but also one of its best combatants. His constant pressure gave Pettis all sorts of problems and the accumulation of damage was enough for the bout to be stopped after the second round. Anything but a title shot for his next bout would be a mistake. Grade remains A+


Pettis: He should some real fight with his willingness to go toe to toe with a wild man like Ferguson. He was thoroughly beaten in this bout, but he earned some fans with this performance. Upgraded from B- to B


Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov


McGregor: He was going to be in trouble if he couldn’t stuff the takedowns and he succumbed to Nurmagomedov’s takedown attempt in the first minute of the bout. Even on the feet, McGregor didn’t have a ton of success as he was unable to hurt the champion. In the fourth round he gave up his back and Nurmagomedov capitalized eventually forcing McGregor to submit. Some will say the Diaz fight was a fluke as it was at 170 pounds, while this is the fight that truly shows McGregor is not the best mixed martial artist on the planet. Downgraded from A+ to A


Nurmagomedov: This was the pinnacle of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s career. A fight against the sport’s biggest cash cow and he thoroughly dominated him. A decisive fourth round submission victory that makes him the clear-cut top lightweight in the world and perhaps the best ever in that weight class. The after bout theatrics will see him fined and possibly suspended, but nothing can take away from his masterclass of a performance dominating the former two division champion. Grade remains A++


Written by Jay Primetown

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