Updated Fighter Grades: Post-UFC Fight Night 94

Michael-Johnson-Wins-PNGJay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC Fight Night 94 in Hidalgo, Texas. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com   Albert Morales vs. Alejandro Perez Morales: Solid debut for the California based fighter. He outlanded his opponent in the opening two rounds and likely deserved the nod on the judges’ scorecards. He’s a bit too hittable on the feet and his over aggression will cost him down the road, but he certainly showed he belongs in the UFC. Grade remains D+ Perez: He continues to show improvements in every fight. His striking power is a cause for concern, but his boxing and his wrestling game continue to get better. Upgraded from D to D+   Randy Brown vs. Erick Montano Brown: His size and striking prowess make him an intimidating fighter, but he really needs to work on his wrestling ability. He’s been taken down in the majority of his bouts and controlled in that position. He needs to make serious improvements or he will be dominated by even a capable grappler. Grade remains D+ Montano: He avoided the big strikes and appeared to be in decent position heading into round three, but left his next exposed which allowed Brown to latch on a choke. It’s difficult to see Montano lasting long in the UFC as he has no tools that could scare an opponent. Grade remains D   Joey Gomez vs. Jose Quinonez Gomez: His endurance really let him down in this fight. Even in the striking, he was outstruck by someone he should have the advantage against in the boxing exchanges. He entered the UFC with a decent amount of potential, but appears to have regressed. He’ll likely be cut after this performance. Downgraded from D+ to D- Quinonez: A lot to like from this performance by Quinonez. First, his work rate was outstanding keeping a great pace throughout his bout. He combined this with a nice mix of striking and wrestling to outwork his opponent in all facets to get the win. Upgraded from D to D+   Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Leonardo Guimaraes Carlos: He dominated this fight from start to finish by being the more active fighter and then following it up with takedowns and easily out grappling his opponent. It wasn’t an entertaining fight, but he did score the late finish. Grade remains C- Guimaraes: A poor performance from Guimaraes who was hesitant to throw strikes on the feet and was too willing to stay on his back and not try to get back to his feet when taken down by his opponent. He didn’t win one minute of this bout. Grade remains D-   Augusto Montano vs. Belal Muhammad Montano: He had a decent kicking attack in this bout, but he didn’t defend well on the feet or on the ground and was beat up by the much better conditioned fighter. With two straight losses, Montano likely needs to win his next fight to stay in the UFC. Downgraded from D+ to D Muhammad: He started off better than he does in most fights and really turned it on in round three to get a finish. He’s the first fighter to ever finish Montano, so a feather in his cap with this victory. He’s a solid fighter and looks to be someone who will have a lengthy career in the UFC. Grade remains C   Gabriel Benitez vs. Sam Sicilia Benitez: He made some nice improvements having trained with AKA. He utilized a lot of leg kicks wearing away the leg of his opponent. When he had an opening he locked in a submission and put Sicilia to sleep. A solid win in what was booked as a competitive fight. Grade remains C- Sicilia: Disappointing performance from the American fighter. He wasn’t aggressive enough on the feet and was once finished by an opponent. Sicilia has now been finished in three of his last five fights and it’s becoming a recurring pattern. Downgraded from C- to D+   Maximo Blanco vs. Chas Skelly Blanco: This fight ended quickly and it didn’t go well for Blanco. He gave up his neck and that was it. Blanco continues to put in head scratching performances. Downgraded from C- to D+ Skelly: He caught Blanco in the opening exchange and followed it up with a beautiful submission. The switch in fight camps appears to have paid off. Quick win for Skelly and fully deserving of a bigger challenge in his next fight. Grade remains C   Islam Makhachev vs. Chris Wade Makhachev: In a battle of wrestling and scrambles, Makhachev wore out his American opponent dominating the final two rounds of the bout to get a decision over a solid veteran. Makhachev still has limitations, but has a style that is very difficult to defend against. Grade remains C+ Wade: He did well to reverse positions at times on the ground with Makhachev, but what tonight showed is that is wrestling simply isn’t as good as his Russian opponent. He struggled late with conditioning which cost him a chance to win the fight. Grade remains C   Roan Carneiro vs. Kenny Robertson Carneiro: Despite the win, this was a very close fight. His inability to fight a consistent pace makes me think the move to welterweight will not go well. Downgraded from C+ to C- Robertson: He simply couldn’t get his striking going at all in this fight. He was able to sweep the high level BJJ fighter a couple of times in this bout, but ultimately when forced into a standup exchange in round three he wasn’t able to get the better of the exchanges. Robertson appears to have hit his ceiling. Grade remains C-   Evan Dunham vs. Rick Glenn Dunham: Just a beautiful performance overall. He controlled this fight from start to finish with a fantastic pace landing strikes and securing takedowns throughout to win an easy decision. He’s really developed into a very good fighter and is deserving of a top 10 opponent in his next bout. Upgraded from B- to B Glenn: He took this fight on short notice and up a weight class. He certainly continued to push forward throughout, but he didn’t have the tools to hurt Dunham on the feet and was completely outmatched on the ground. I’d be curious to see how he does at featherweight. Debut grade is D+ at featherweight Derrick Brunson vs. Uriah Hall Brunson: Tremendous punch that floored Uriah Hall and got him the early finish. He’s a real threat in this weight class. Upgraded from B to B+ Hall: First time he’s been floored by a punch in the UFC. Perhaps it was an early stoppage, but he was badly hurt by the left that Brunson landed. Outside of that stunning knockout of Gegard Mousasi, Hall’s UFC career has been a disappointment. Grade remains B-   Michael Johnson vs. Dustin Poirier Johnson: His counterstriking was absolutely on point in this fight. His hands are as fast as anyone in the lightweight division which makes him an absolute threat against title contenders. Upgraded from B+ to A- Poirier: His problem continues to be he can’t win fights in big spots. His chin has not held up and he’s been hurt in too many fights due to his subpar striking defense. Difficult loss for Poirier who had built up his record nicely prior to this fight since jumping up from featherweight. Grade remains B+

Written by Jay Primetown

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