Updated Fighter Grades: Post-TUF 28 Finale

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com

Raoni Barcelos vs. Chris Gutierrez

Barcelos: He dominated an opponent he was supposed to beat. Nothing more, nothing less. Grade remains C-

Gutierrez: On the feet, he was competitive, but he was taken to the mat with ease and ultimately submitted. It will be difficult for Gutierrez to stick in the UFC if he doesn’t improve his takedown defense. Debut grade is D

Tim Means vs. Ricky Rainey

Means: He continues to be one of the more entertaining fighters in the UFC. He did well to hurt Rainey and then finish him on the mat. This was an opponent Means was supposed to beat, the problems for Means is that he tends to struggle mightily against better opposition. Grade remains C-

Rainey: Typically, he tends to try to grind out fights, but in this bout, he came out firing. That was a bad decision against a much better striker and it cost him. Downgraded from D+ to D

Darrell Horcher vs. Roosevelt Roberts

Horcher: He was doing well in the first round with his striking landing with some regularity. The submission attempt came out of nowhere and he was unable to find a way out. Tough loss for Horcher who could have won this fight. Grade remains D

Roberts: Found himself in a very competitive fight until he synced in a beautiful standing guillotine. Solid first win for Roberts in the UFC. Debut grade is D

Leah Letson vs. Julija Stoliarenko

Letson: She was certainly the more active fighter, but this was not an inspiring performance. Debut grade is D

Stoliarenko: Didn’t look like she belongs in the UFC. Debut grade is D-

Michel Batista vs. Maurice Greene

Batista: Given his amateur pedigree, there was a decent expectation for him. However, the wrestling pedigree doesn’t appear to translate to MMA as he was submitted in the first round. At 34 years of age, there’s little upside to see Batista rise in this division. Debut grade is F

Greene: Not known at all for his submissions, but he got the first-round victory. I’m not sure if that says more about Greene or his opponent. Time will tell. Debut grade is D-

Joseph Benavidez vs. Alex Perez

Benavidez: A vintage performance from the long-time flyweight contender. He hurt Perez early and finished him inside of two minutes. Benavidez may not be the fighter he once was, but he’s still a formidable flyweight. Upgraded from B to B+

Perez: This was a big opportunity for the California based fighter. In a sink or swim bout against a top ten bantamweight, Perez didn’t pass the test. He’s still just 26 years of age, so there is time for him to prove himself. Grade remains C

Kevin Aguilar vs. Rick Glenn

Aguilar: He showed a lot of variety in his UFC debut. He not only landed punches to the head, but he did a great job of working the body slowing Glenn down in the final round. He fought like a veteran and it proved out in the result of this fight. Aguilar is a good prospect and I look forward to seeing him against even better opposition. Debut grade is C

Glenn: He did what he typically does in making the fight dirty and forcing his opponent into action. In this bout, he faced someone up to the test. Downgraded from C to C-

Ji Yeon Kim vs. Antonina Shevchenko

Kim: She landed some decent punches on the feet, but she was out classed by a bigger, better striker. Grade remains D+

Shevchenko: This wasn’t her best performance, but her strength was the difference in this bout. She secured two takedowns and dominated the clinch to win the fight against a talented striker. Grade remains C

Edmem Shahbayzan vs. Darren Stewart

Shahbazyan: He surprised everyone focusing on a wrestling heavy attack. That resulted in a whopping eight takedowns. He survived a couple of flurries from Stewart to win a decision in his UFC debut. Debut grade is D+

Stewart: His takedown defense was inexcusable in this bout. He struggled to keep the fight standing. On the feet, he was much better and his power gave his opponent issues, but he couldn’t keep upright long enough to do enough damage to win. Downgraded from D+ to D

Bryan Caraway vs. Pedro Munhoz

Caraway: His striking was crisper in this bout, but he looked a step slower and he couldn’t defend as well as he has done throughout his career. He’s been a durable fighter throughout his career. Now that he’s 34 years of age, he may be in the midst of a decline. Downgraded from B to C+

Munhoz: He’s now amassed an 8-3 record in the UFC and continues to find new ways to win. Munhoz is now a mainstay in the division and should find himself a top five opponent in his next bout. Grade remains B

Macy Chiasson vs. Pannie Kianzad

Chiasson: I wasn’t sure what to expect from her, but her physicality and size look to be excellent for this weight class. I can see her dominating many fights in this division as her strength will cause a lot of opponent’s issues. Keep an eye on her as she should move into the rankings quickly. Debut grade is C

Kianzad: She struggled with the physicality of her opponent. She couldn’t get off the cage and on the mat she got was handled with ease. This was a poor performance and she’ll need to do much better in her next fight to stay in the promotion. Debut grade is D+

Juan Espina vs. Justin Frazier

Espina: He manhandled his opponent on the mat to win TUF 28. This is what he was supposed to do against an inferior opponent. It was a good performance, but he’ll need to show it against a veteran heavyweight before he gets an increased rating. Debut grade is D

Frazier: He looked totally overmatched against his opponent. It’s difficult to see him lasting in the UFC beyond another fight. Debut grade is F-

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman

Dos Anjos: He was able to strike competitively early, but Usman’s conditioning and wrestling acumen wore him out as the fight wore on. Dos Anjos is a very good fighter, but back to back losses to Covington and Usman sugghe can no longer compete with the division’s best. Downgraded from A- to B+

Usman: He secured twelve takedowns and doubled up the strikes landed of the former lightweight division champion. This was a dominant victory and one that puts Usman neck and neck with Tyron Woodley as the best fighter in the division. Upgraded from A to A+


Written by Jay Primetown

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