MMAjr Staff Grades: UFC 184 edition

Jeff Bottari|Zuffa LLC|Zuffa LLC

Jeff Bottari|Zuffa LLC|Zuffa LLC

Following every event, the MMAjr staff grade the event based off of how stacked the card was, how good the fights were, finishes, and more.  They also grade the winning main card fighters on their performances. UFC 184 took place live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA on Feb. 28.  In the main event, UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defended her belt against No. 1 contender Cat Zingano, breaking the record for fastest UFC title win ever, submitting 'Alpha' in 14 seconds. In the co-headliner, Holly Holm defeated Raquel Pennington via split-decision, winning her highly anticipated promotional debut. Also on the card, Jake Ellenberger got into winning ways with a tapout win over Josh Koscheck, Alan Jouban stopped Richard Walsh via TKO, and Tony Ferguson picked up his biggest career win to date against the UFC veteran Gleison Tibau. EVENT GRADES Nick: Often times, events that very few people are anticipating ends up being very entertaining events, just because fans don't expect much from them.  I wasn't expecting UFC 184 to be filled with great fights and performances, mostly because the pay-per-view card was far from stacked, with minimal ranked and well-known fighters.  Therefore, UFC 184 was actually a pretty good card top to bottom, and if you skipped the card to save money for other events, that may have been a bad move.  Although no fights stood out and won the 'Fight of the Night' bonus award, there were lots of fantastic individual performances including Rousey's submission over Zingano, Ferguson's first-round finish over the Brazilian Tibau, Tim Means' epic TKO win over Dhiego Lima, and more.  For those reasons, I grade UFC 184 a B+. FIGHTER GRADES Ronda Rousey Nick: You can't really get better than a 14-second submission win over arguably the second best women fighter in the UFC.  Nothing can top Rousey's submission win over Zingano, so I grade her performance an A+. Holly Holm Nick: Holm's UFC debut was highly anticipated and I simply expected more from Albuquerque's Holm, considering she was fighting a mixed martial artist with a now-.500 record.  With that being said, she fought smart and didn't let Octagon jitters get to her, and if she did, it wasn't apparent to the viewing audience.  I may have been somewhat disappointed from her performance because I was expecting more from her.  She was a huge favourite in the Las Vegas betting odds, and was simply supposed to win this fight.  I'm not sure how a judge could score the fight 29-28 for 'Rocky' but a judge did, and although a bad judging call, that still shows the fight was rather close.  I grade her decision victory performance a B-. Jake Ellenberger Nick: Ellenberger finally got back into winning ways, after dropping two losses to current champ Robbie Lawler and Kelvin Gastelum in 2014.  He was in a must-win situation here, and although I'm not sure what a win over Koscheck means in 2015, he still picked up an unexpected submission win over the former title challenger.  His stoppage wasn't as impressive as the others on the card that also won performance bonuses, but overall it was a decent showing for 'The Juggernaut'.  I grade his stoppage win performance a B+. Alan Jouban Nick: Jouban showed the world on Saturday night that the controversial decision loss to Warlley Alves back in November was not a setback at all, with a first-round stoppage win over Walsh.  He rebounded successfully, but the win was not a surprise, for me, anyways.  I expected him to walk into the Octagon and be out in a matter of ten minutes or less, and that's exactly what he did, in devastating fashion.  Despite he didn't receive a post-fight $50,000 bonus check, he'll definitely be receiving an undisclosed "locker room" bonus, and deservedly so.  I grade his excellent stoppage performance an A. Tony Ferguson Nick: Ferguson picked up his biggest career win to date this past weekend, a first-round choke over Gleison Tibau.  Ferguson was the favourite going into the fight and I personally picked him to win, but I didn't think he would get the stoppage.  Tibau is very durable and is excellent at grinding out close decisions, and despite the fact fans don't often enjoy the Brazilian's performances, he gets the job done.  Not on Saturday, though.  Ferguson submitted him in the first round, and proved he's ready for a step up in competition.  A performance that earned a 50 thousand dollar bonus award deserves easily an A+, in my books.

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