Jay Primetown gives his thoughts on each of the fighters who competed at UFC 217 in New York City. Jay gives his letter grades for each fighter on TheMMA-Analysis podcast which can be found on MMAOddsbreaker.com.

Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi

Ramos: He did a good job focusing on the lead leg, but as the fight wore on he began to take some damage from his opponent’s jab. In a close fight in the third round, he was able to land a devastating spinning elbow in what is surely one of the knockouts of the year in the UFC. Grade remains C-

Zahabi: He did a nice job landing his jab and mixing in upper cuts. He very much had a chance to win this fight if he would have avoided the spinning elbow in the third round. It’s the type of knockout which could completely change the course of his career. Grade remains D+

Curtis Blaydes vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk

Blaydes: A dominant performance from the surging heavyweight as he beat up his opponent in both the striking and grappling exchanges. At this point, Blaydes has to be considered a top 10 heavyweight. Upgraded from C to C+

Oliynyk: He had no answers against the much faster, more athletic fighter. He was beat up badly in this fight and at 40 years of age, one has to wonder just how much is left in the tank. Downgraded from C- to D+

Randy Brown vs. Mickey Gall

Brown: After a poor second round, he came out well in the third to win the fight. Brown showed improvements on the ground and was able to generate significant damage against a jiu jitsu brown belt. Grade remains D+

Gall: He really struggled in this fight in the standing exchanges. He was on the back foot the entire time. He had a poor performance on the mat too. On his back, he really struggled. At this point of his career, he’s only proven effective in top control. Downgraded from C- to D

Corey Anderson vs. Ovince St. Preux

Anderson: He was doing really well in this fight forcing St. Preux against the cage and securing takedowns. Unfortunately for Anderson, his striking defense continues to let him down and he was finished in the third round. Unless, he improves his defense on the feet he will continue to be an also ran. Grade remains C+

St. Preux: He showed some nice variety on the feet including his head kick knockout. His grappling ability still remains a hole in his game and what ultimately keeps out of being a top contender in this division. Grade remains B-

Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris

Godbeer: He mustered very little offense in this fight, but was provided an out when he got hit with an illegal head kick. He was awarded a victory by disqualification which offers more opportunities in the Octagon, but the reality is he was outclassed in this bout. Grade remains F

Harris: He looked good early in this fight even showing some wrestling ability in the process. He made a terrible decision with a head kick after the referee halted the fight to a low blow and it costed him what was looking like an easy victory. Downgraded from D+ to D

Joe Duffy vs. James Vick

Duffy: He struggled in this fight with Vick’s length. As good of a boxer as he is, he couldn’t figure out how to land consistently. This loss was the first time he was finished in his career. A bad performance from the Irish fighter. Downgraded from B to C+

Vick: He fought a smart, tactical fight. He kept Duffy at range and landed his jab as well as lower leg kicks to keep Duffy back. He combined some nice punches late in the second round which gave him a finish. A big victory for the American as he rises up the rankings. Upgraded from C+ to B-

Paulo Costa vs. Johny Hendricks

Costa: He did what he was expected to do and that was to beat Hendricks by knockout. His cardio continues to be an issue and it will need to improve as he begins to face the division’s better fighters. Grade remains C

Hendricks: He did a good job of staying in this fight for as long as he did, but at this point he’s just nothing like the fighter he was during his title reign. Grade remains C-

Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson

Masvidal: He was able to land an occasional punch in this bout, but ultimately struggled with the unorthodox striking of his opponent. Masvidal can compete with the division’s top fighters, but each time he’s been a notch behind. Downgraded from A- to B+

Thompson: His striking was very good in this bout. He caught Masvidal clean a few times and won each round on the scorecards. He will have issues with the division’s best wrestlers, but in terms of pure striking he is the best in the division. Grade remains A

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas

Jedrzejczyk: Her first ever loss inside the Octagon and the end of an era. She had a chance to become the longest reigning champion of any of the women’s divisions in the UFC, but simply did not have it in this fight. She was dropped by Namajunas and was unable to recover from the ground and pound. A stunning loss for the great fighter. Downgraded from A++ to A+

Namajunas: Perhaps the performance of the year in the UFC. In a fight where she closed a +500 underdog, Namajunas beat the champion at her own game outclassing her on the feet and dropping her in the first round. She followed up with ground and pound to get the finish. The key question is can she repeat this performance? We shall see, but for this night she’s the top of the division. Upgraded from B to A+

TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt

Dillashaw: He survived a near knockout in the first round to get a finish in the second round and become champion. A tremendous win for Dillashaw to become champion again. Grade remains A+ 

Garbrandt: He had Dillashaw badly hurt at the end of round one and if there were five more seconds if he would have gotten the win. Instead, a head kick sent him spiraling in round two and he ended up being finished to lose the title. Five seconds in round one was all the difference between being champion still and losing his title. Grade remains A+

Michael Bisping vs. Georges St. Pierre

Bisping: He had his moments in this bout landing some huge punches on the feet and cutting St. Pierre, but his chin let him down as he was rocked in the third round and submitted to lose his championship. No longer with the belt, the motivation for Bisping is questionable moving forward, so expect him to consider retirement. Downgraded from A- to B

St. Pierre: This was mainly a striking battle that went back and forth, but it was St. Pierre landing the huge knockdown in the third round and following up with ground and pound. When Bisping began to try to get back to his feet, St. Pierre took advantage of the opportunity taking his back and getting a rear naked choke to win the middleweight championship. A tremendous accomplishment for St. Pierre to win titles in two different weight classes. Grade remains B+


Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links and MMA Odds Breaker will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.