Updated UFC Fight Night 90 Fighter Grades

Alberto MinaJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 90 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.   Alvaro Herrera vs. Vicente Luque Herrera: He’s a decent boxer with heavy hands, but his inability to prevent a takedown really makes it difficult for him to compete in the UFC. He had no answers on the ground as he was submitted in the second round. Downgraded from D- to F Luque: It was a competitive match-up on the feet, but Luque did well to shoot in for takedowns and absolutely dominated his opponent on the ground. This fight was set up perfectly for Luque, so it’s hard to improve his grade despite the finish. Grade remains D   Marco Beltran vs. Reginaldo Vieira Beltran: He weathered Vieira’s takedown attempts in the opening round by doing a great job getting back to his feet. His length will give opponent’s problems in the bantamweight division. His striking is creative and has proven effective in the UFC. At 3-0 in the UFC, he’s certainly on his way up in the division. Upgraded from D- to D Vieira: His wrestling was on point early in this fight, but really had issues with the length disadvantage and was getting caught with regularity in the striking. He got beat up pretty bad in this fight and despite winning the TUF Brazil 4, it’s tough to see him having much of a career in the UFC. Downgraded from D+ to D   Gilbert Burns vs. Lukasz Sajewski Burns: His defensive work on the feet still leaves a lot to be desired, but he showed some nice improvements in the creativity of his strikes in this fight. Once he was able to get the fight to the ground he proved once again that he’s one of the best in the world in submission grappling. Grade remains C Sajewski: He looked decent early switching stances to give Burns different looks and working in shots to the body. His chin certainly didn’t hold up and he offered Burns nothing on the ground. He’s young, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was cut from the promotion after this loss. Grade remains D   Felipe Arantes vs. Jerrod Sanders Arantes: Despite getting the win by submission, he was in a lot of trouble in this fight as his takedown defense is poor and he’s too reliant to fight off his back. He got the job done, but certainly exposed in the wrestling department in this bout. Grade remains C Sanders: His wrestling is very good, but he offers almost nothing else inside the Octagon. His striking is poor, ground and pound is poor, and he’s not able to take a punch. He’ll win some fights just with his offensive wrestling ability alone, but the rest of his game leaves him exposed as it did at Fight Night 90. Grade remains D   Russell Doane vs. Pedro Munhoz Doane: Striking looked slick early on in this fight and he was able to open a cut on his opponent’s face. He was caught in a rather unorthodox submission that I don’t think many would have been able to get out of either. He definitely showed some improvements in this fight despite the loss. Upgraded from C- to C Munhoz: He had some issues dealing with the aggression and length of Doane, but recovered well in the stand up. He then put together a beautiful setup to get the submission win over Doane. In my mind, he’s a top 15 bantamweight in the UFC. Grade remains B-   Anthony Birchak vs. Dileno Lopes Birchak: After defending the backpack submission attempt by Lopes in the first round, Birchak was the aggressor on the feet and did well to defend takedowns for the remainder of the fight. He deserved the win, but he didn’t show me that he’s going to be able to beat above average fighters in this weight class. Downgraded from C to C- Lopes: He did a good job early in the fight getting position and controlling Birchak, but as the fight progressed he couldn’t force the takedown. He simply isn’t as good as a striker as his American opponent and that was the difference in the fight. Grade remains D+   Mehdi Baghdad vs. John Makdessi Baghdad: His length will definitely cause opponents problems. He does an excellent job in the clinch of landing knees and leg kicks. He fought toe to toe with John Makdessi; that tells a lot about his ability. Makdessi: Outsized, slower, and a worse athlete than his opponent and he still finds a way to get a result. Makdessi continues to be underrated as a fighter in this weight class. Grade remains C+   Alberto Mina vs. Mike Pyle Mina: Dominant performance from Mina as he out struck Pyle throughout the fight and landed a highlight reel knockout to finish off his veteran opponent. Upgraded from C- to C Pyle: He never got his feet wet in this fight. He’s a slow starter and struggled with his opponent’s aggression and power. At 40 years old, it’s tough to know just how long he can continue to come back from a knockout like this. Downgraded from C to C-   Mitch Clarke vs. Joseph Duffy Clarke: This was a mismatch on paper and it was a mismatch on the cage. Nothing to learn here in regards to Clarke as this was always going to be him being finished early in the fight. Grade remains D+ Duffy: Absolute domination. Scored early, knocked his opponent down, and locked in the submission. Quick day at the office; should be put back in the Octagon as quickly as possible. He’s a dangerous fighter, but needs to show he can beat quality opposition. Grade remains B-   Alan Jouban vs. Belal Muhammad Jouban: He was excellent early in this fight. He’s an aggressive fighter with a variety of striking tools. Conditioning is his biggest issue preventing him from moving up the ranks. He’s one of the most exciting guys in the division and deserves to get bigger fights. Grade remains C Muhammad: Considering he’s been fasting during Ramadan, his conditioning in this fight was great. He showed a fantastic chin early in this fight and then followed it up with an aggressive control the striking approach late in the fight to nearly steal it in the end. Very good debut in defeat. Grade remains C   Derrick Lewis vs. Roy Nelson Lewis: He dominated the striking in this bout against a fighter with massive knockout power. He nearly lost this bout due to poor takedown defense, but he landed enough strikes in the third round to squeak out a close decision. Grade remains C Nelson: His offensive arsenal is too one dimensional, but he employed a smart approach by going after takedowns and wearing out his opponent. The methodology was a smart one despite losing on the scorecards. One thing is for certain, Nelson’s chin is absolutely incredible. Grade remains C   Eddie Alvarez vs. Rafael dos Anjos Alvarez: It took him a couple minutes to get into this fight, but once he had his chance he made the most of it knocking out the champion for the biggest win of his career. Alvarez is as game as they come and could be primed for a battle with Conor McGregor later this year. Grade remains A dos Anjos: His pressure style was doing well in the early minutes of the fight, but once he was clipped he was unable to fully recover. The decision to stop the fight was just and now dos Anjos has lost the title. Downgraded from A+ to A

Written by Jay Primetown

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