Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC 232

Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 232 in Los Angeles, California. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Brian Kelleher vs. Montel Jackson

Kelleher: He was unable to deal with the size and movement of his opponent. He had no answers for his opponent’s jab and once he was hurt it was all but over. Downgraded from C to C-

Jackson: An impressive performance over a solid fighter. His striking was crisp and he showed some submission ability on the ground. He’s one to keep an eye on in this division. Upgraded from C- to C

Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Curtis Millender

Bahadurzada: He was flat footed most of the fight and his offense consisted mostly of attempted haymakers. He struggled with Millender’s length and couldn’t get inside range much. Grade remains D+

Millender: On the feet, he’s a top 15 welterweight, but he has serious holes on the mat that he will need to improve if he’s to get to that level. Grade remains C

Bevon Lewis vs. Uriah Hall

Lewis: He easily won the first two rounds and was on his way to a decision victory until he didn’t see a Hall right hand coming. That’s all it took for him to lose the bout in the third round. Tough break for Lewis. Grade remains C

Hall: In classic Uriah Hall fashion, he came from behind in a fight he had no business winning. These kind of theatrics are why he continues to be a fan favorite in the UFC. Grade remains C

Andre Ewell vs. Nathaniel Wood

Ewell: Not a good second performance in the UFC by the prospect. He had a couple decent counters striking, but otherwise was on the backfoot throughout his bouts and had showed minimal ability once put on the ground. Grade remains D+

Wood: There was a lot to like from the talented Englishman. He’s got a good motor and constantly pressures opponents. His wrestling game is underrated as he was able to neutralize Andre Ewell. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if at some point he is ranked in this weight class. Upgraded from C- to C

Ryan Hall vs. BJ Penn

Hall: His style is very frustrating to watch as he has next to no striking game, however if he’s able to grab onto a leg he becomes an all-world fighter capable of submitting instantly. The instant submission happened in this bout as he became the first fighter ever to submit BJ Penn. Grade remains C-

Penn: This was the first match up in years in which Penn had an opportunity at the victory if he could avoid the submission scrambles with his opponent. Penn looked good in the first couple minutes, but the first chance his opponent had to grab a leg and attempt a heel hook, he did and it was all over. He’s now lost six straight fights in the UFC and its hard to see the UFC giving him another one. Downgraded from D- to F

Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Petr Yan

Andrade: This was a bad matchup for the Brazilian fighter as he just wasn’t able to keep up with the volume and the striking variety of his opponent. On the ground he took some vicious elbows in the second round and it was for the best that he wasn’t allowed to start the third round to prevent even more damage. Downgraded from C+ to C

Yan: There’s a lot of potential in the Russian bantamweight and it was on all full display at UFC 232. He nearly tripled up strikes landed, showed some vicious elbows, and even proved a capable grappler. It was one of the top performances of the night. Yan deserves to be ranked in the top 15 after this win and worthy of another step up in competition. Upgraded from B- to B

Megan Anderson vs. Cat Zingano

Anderson: Not much to learn from this fight as Anderson landed a kick early in round one that grazed the eye of her opponent and cut Zingano inside her eye. She wasn’t able to see and the fight had to be stopped. A victory is a victory, but hard to learn or see if visible improvements were made. Grade remains B

Zingano: At 36 years of age, the clock is ticking on Zingano who has lost five of her last six bouts in the UFC. This was a flukey loss, but a loss nonetheless. Downgraded from B- to C+

Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris

Arlovski: Despite landing more total strikes in all three rounds, Arlovski dropped a split decision to Walt Harris. His problem was that he wasn’t even able to make Harris flinch. In a division like heavyweight, one needs to land fight altering punches. Arlovski just doesn’t have the punching power to do so with regularity. Downgraded from D+ to D

Harris: He timed Arlovski well to land some good shots on the counter. While his volume trailed behind Arlovski, he landed the more impactful punches to squeak out a split decision victory. Grade remains D

Chad Mendes vs. Alexander Volkanovski

Mendes: In the fight of the night, Mendes landed some heavy shots dropping his Australian opponent early in round two. Not able to get the finish, he started to slow down and was finished in the final minute of the second round. After the bout, Mendes somewhat surprisingly retired from the sport. Final grade is B

Volkanovski: In what was easily the biggest fight of his career, Volkanovski fended off the aggressive challenges of his talented opponent to work the body and eventually landing a combination that sent Mendes crumbling to the canvas. The win solidifies Volkanovski as a top ten fighter as he will now move on to fighting the division’s elite. Upgraded from B+ to A-

Corey Anderson vs. Ilir Latifi

Anderson: While not a great performance, he controlled the action in the final two rounds out landing Latifi to get another win in the light heavyweight division. It wasn’t as dominant a performance as I thought it could have been and I struggle to see him competing with the top five in the division. Downgraded from B to B-

Latifi: While physically very strong, he’s one of the shortest fighters in the division and struggles with range striking of most opponents. Forced into a striking contest, his only opportunity was to land a haymaker rushing in and he was unable to do so. Grade remains C+

Michael Chiesa vs. Carlos Condit

Chiesa: This fight was all about getting his opponent to the mat. It took him four takedowns, but he was eventually able to secure position and submit Carlos Condit in the second round. This was the expected result of this bout given both fighters strengths and weaknesses. Grade remains C

Condit: He has become a shell of the fighter he once was. His biggest problem is takedown defense and it simply isn’t close to good enough. Every opponent is now able to take him to the mat and nullify his abilities on the mat. There doesn’t appear to be much upside for him anymore. Downgraded from C- to D+

Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes

Cyborg: This was a stunner. The most dominant female fighter of all time was stunned and finished in under a minute to a fighter moving up in weight. This was a gun fight and Cyborg was not the first to fire. Her reign is over. Downgraded from A++ to A+

Nunes: A watershed moment for Nunes as she’s now knocked out both Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey; perhaps the two most dominant female fighters of all time. It was a startling knockout as she floored Cyborg for the stunning victory and to stake her claim atop the sport’s hierarchy. Upgraded from A+ to A++

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones

Gustafsson: After a fairly close first round, Gustafsson began to have problems as Jones focused on his lead leg slowing him down. Once softened, he was taken to the mat where it was clear he was far behind Jones’ ability as the referee stepped in during the third round. A disappointing performance from the Swede as he had been the fighter who was closest to beating Jones in their first bout back in 2013. Downgraded from A to A-

Jones: There may be no fighter in the sport who thrives on rematches more than Jones. He made the necessary adjustments in this bout to better maintain length and then when the opportunity presented itself he took the fight to the mat. On the ground, he has perhaps the best ground and pound in MMA with his patented elbow strikes. He then had Gustafsson flattened out so he could land punches to close the show. Another victory for the best fighter in the history of the sport as his legacy continues to grow. Grade remains A++


Written by Jay Primetown

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