UFC 163 – Fighter Grades


Anthony Perosh – The overwhelming majority of people wrote Perosh off before his fight with Vinny Magalhaes, but it took the Australian just 14 seconds to finish the fight. While it’s unlikely the 41-year-old will ever be in the top ten, his victory shows that he has a place in the UFC for some time to come.

Ian McCall – When he came into the UFC early last year, Uncle Creepy was billed as the top Flyweight in the world, but since went 0-2-1 to Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benevidez. He needed a win in Brazil against Iliarde Santos and he got it in a big way, dominating most of the fight en route to getting the decision and the first win in the UFC.

Santos was making his debut at this event, but that doesn’t impact McCall’s grade given that the Brazilian had a full training camp for the fight.


Cezar Ferreira – As expected, Ferreira wasted no time in finishing his fight against Thiago Santos. It took just 47 seconds for the TUF: Brazil winner to choke Santos out to make in two UFC wins in a row. The only reason he doesn’t get an A+ is simply because Santos was making his UFC debut on short notice.

Amanda Nunes – It was a successful UFC debut for the Brazilian Bantamweight as she finished Sheila Gaff in the first round. While Gaff is not a top contender in the Women’s Bantamweight division, the strength, power and striking skill displayed by Nunes showed that she could have a successful career in the UFC.

Sergio Moraes – It was a solid display by the TUF: Brazil runner up, finishing Neil Magny in the first round, which won him the Submission of the Night award. Moraes’ submission against Magny shows that he has what it takes to be a mainstay UFC fighter, and he will likely get a step up in competition following this victory.


Thales Leites – It was a successful return to the UFC for Leites after an almost 4-year hiatus from the organisation. The Middleweight dominated Tom Watson on the ground and showed improved striking in his unanimous decision victory.

He did show a lack of cardio in the second half of the fight, however, which is something he will need to rectify if he aims to be a contender in the division once again.


John Lineker – He finished UFC debutant Jose Maria Tome to make it three UFC wins in a row. But, besides his punching power, Lineker did not make a compelling case that he is a threat to the division’s top contenders.

Firstly, he missed weight for the second time in four UFC fights. He also came close to being finished by Tome, which does show Lineker’s immense toughness, but also shows vulnerabilities that need to be rectified. The 23-year-old has loads of potential, but needs to improve if he stands a chance of dethroning Demetrious Johnson.

Jose Aldo – It wasn’t the showing many expected from the Featherweight Division’s King, but he got the job done and got the TKO victory. Despite getting the better of the Korean Zombie for most of the fight, Aldo did not look like the dominating monster many fans know him as being.

Perhaps it was the fight that he was originally preparing for Anthony Pettis, or that Chan-Sung Jung has an unpredictable style of fighting. Whatever the reason, it certainly was not Jose Aldo’s best title defence.

Phil Davis and Lyoto Machida – Regardless of the controversial outcome of their fight, neither Davis nor Machida showed that they have what it takes to be a threat to Jon Jones. Neither fighter dominated at UFC 163, which means both of them need to alter their game plans if they wish to have a chance at ever winning the Light Heavyweight title.


Chan-Sung Jung – It was a shame the fight ended due to the Korean Zombie obtaining a shoulder injury. Jung put up more of a fight than many expected, which was particularly surprising considering he took the fight on short notice against one of the most dominant UFC champions.

That may have been the reason why he was highly hesitant for most of the fight, an unusual change from his usual balls-to-the-wall style. The change was not effective, however, as Jung posed little threat to Aldo for most of the match, though that did appear to change before the freak injury.


Vinny Magalhaes – Many fighters in the UFC have been caught by a hard strike in the past. It is simply a part of the sport that is MMA. Magalhaes, however, was the huge favourite to win this fight and he talked a lot of trash in the lead up to his bout against Perosh.

The fact that he was so cocky and dismissive of Perosh’s skills before the fight and could not back it up during the fight is the main reason why Magalhaes gets an F. There is no denying the Brazilian’s top notch submission and grappling skills, but in the UFC it takes more than submission skills and trash talk to have a successful career.

From Perth, Australia, Bruno has been an MMA fan on and off (mostly on) for 10 years. He did Taekwondo for a few years as a kid and dabbled in BJJ and Muay Thai as an adult, but is more an MMA fan than anything else. He is also an experienced journalist and writer, having written a number of articles on an array of topics.