UFC Live 6: Grades for the Main Card Fighters
Over the course of five rounds, Cruz used his unique footwork, reach advantage and wrestling prowess to defeat No. 1 contender Demetrious Johnson.
In other matches, heavyweights Stefan Struve and Pat Barry started off slow, but Struve was able to win via a second round submission. Welterweight Anthony Johnson showed he is one of the most dangerous strikers in the division by scoring a first round TKO victory over Charlie Brenneman. Lightweights Matt Wiman and Mac Danzig put on a show for three rounds.
Regardless if they won or lost, how did each fighter perform?
It is that time again to dish out grades to all the main card fighters from UFC Live 6.
Dominick Cruz: A-
Once again, Dominick Cruz was able to successfully defend his bantamweight title, and look very impressive in the process.
Challenger Demetrious Johnson showed he was every bit as quick at Cruz, but Cruz' superior movement, striking and wrestling proved to be the main factor of the bout.
Everything that Johnson could do was done just a little bit better by Cruz.
While there may be a few worthy challengers to Cruz' title, it is difficult to see him losing the belt anytime soon.
Pat Barry: C-
During his bout against Stefan Struve, Pat Barry seemed to be a little lost inside the Octagon. No matter what he tried to do, Barry couldn't seem to overcome the huge height advantage Struve held over him.
Barry was somewhat able to hold his own during the lackluster first round, but had no answers once the fight hit the ground in the second. He tried his best to get out of what ended up being the fight-ending triangle choke by Struve, but his best just seemed to make the submission even tighter.
After losing four of his last six, one must now wonder if Barry is at risk of losing his job in the UFC.
Anthony Johnson: B+
During Anthony Johnson's battle with Charlie Brenneman, Joe Rogan called Johnson, "the biggest middleweight in the UFC."
Johnson had much more size and power than Brenneman could handle, and Johnson was never in any real danger during the bout. After blocking a takedown attempt from Brenneman, Johnson unleashed a flurry of punches and followed with a head kick that ended the fight.
It is now time for Johnson to take a step up in competition to find out if he can be a contender in the welterweight division.
Stefan Struve: B+
While Stefan Struve was not overly impressive in his bout against Pat Barry, Struve was able to use his height and superior ground game to get a victory Saturday night.
While they were on their feet, neither fighter seemed to be able to get an advantage over the other. But once it hit the ground, Struve was able to exploit a big weakness when he locked Barry in a triangle choke.
Barry tried to slam his way out of the choke, but Struve braced himself for the impact, kept the submission in tact, and forced Barry to tap out.
It doesn't seem that Struve is ready for the best the heavyweight division has to offer, but he will be a handful for anyone who is a step below the contender level.
Mac Danzig: C+
Mac Danzig was seeking revenge against Matt Wiman after their controversial bout at UFC 115, where Wiman won via a submission that never caused Danzig to tap.
Danzig gave it all he had for three rounds, but it was Wiman's night.
Danzig landed his fair share of punches, but the damage done by Wiman's elbows was too much for Danzig to overcome.
Charlie Brenneman: D+
In his fight against Anthony Johnson, Charlie Brenneman did everything he could do to win the bout.
Unfortunately for Brenneman, his best wasn't good enough Saturday night.
Johnson's size and superior striking was too much for Brenneman to handle. The fight was probably stopped too early after Johnson landed the fight-ending kick to Brenneman's jaw, but it's always better to err on the side of caution if you are a referee.
Matt Wiman: B+
If you think elbows are only used to cut people, go talk to Matt Wiman.
In one of the preliminary bouts, Josh Neer showed the superficial effects of elbows. Wiman, on the other hand, showed how devastating elbows can be.
After a very entertaining three rounds of action, Wiman left Mac Danzig's face all sorts of swollen thanks to the dozens of effective elbows he was able to land during the course of the bout.
Demetrious Johnson: C+
Demetrious Johnson proved to the world that he is a tough match for anyone in the bantamweight division. While he gave Dominick Cruz his toughest bout since becoming the UFC bantamweight champion, he was unable to bring anything to the table that the champion could not handle.
Johnson's lack of physical stature seemed to be his downfall. While he seemed every bit as quick as Cruz, he never found his punching range.
When the fight hit the mat, Cruz was too big for Johnson to control on the ground.
Johnson still has a chance of wearing UFC gold, but that chance will more than likely come in the flyweight division.