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US Hapkido Han Moo Kwan Association
Master <br />Crystal Ahmed

Crystal Ahmed


President Dr. Ibraham Ahmed
Grand Master
10th Degree Black Belt
President World Martial Arts College
Vice President Michigan Tae Kwon Do Association
International Master Instructor
World Certified Referee
Over 50 years in Martial Arts
Black Belt holder in Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, and Judo

UFC Fight Night 40 Grades

By GM Dr. Ibraham Ahmed • May 15, 2014

By Brett Okamoto |

Matt Brown finally has our attention, and it took only seven consecutive wins.

As a journalist, I do my best to refrain from having a rooting interest in a fight. You can train yourself to do it fairly easily, believe it or not.

I’ll admit, though, when Brown went down in the first round this weekend from a wicked body kick by Erick Silva, part of me was genuinely heartbroken for the guy.

Heading into the weekend, Brown had won six in a row, including five knockouts. He had finally been booked to a potentially career-changing fight against Carlos Condit in December, only to have to pull out of it because of injury.

For his return, the UFC matched him with an unranked opponent, who was quickly declared the betting favorite. At least the bout took place in Brown’s home state, but even that didn’t offer him much support. Attendance at the event was 6,143, about 10,000 less than the number the UFC’s last card in Cincinnati pulled.

It already felt like Brown had been done wrong before the fight, which brings us back to the fight itself. One loss doesn’t erase six wins, but had Brown succumbed to that kick, a lot of the magic he’s built up in the past two years would have dried up.

And I guess, had that happened, it wouldn’t have been completely tragic. If you can’t survive a round with Silva, you’re probably not surviving five with Johny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler or some of the other beasts at the top of the 170-pound division.

But as it was occurring, I couldn’t help but think that Brown deserved better. If his streak has to end at some point, he’s earned the right to have it end against a proven world-class welterweight — which, at the moment, Silva is not.

Hopefully, Brown’s thrilling comeback on Saturday has guaranteed that. If Brown faces any opponent outside of the top 10 in his next bout, the UFC will have an outcry on its hands. It took seven fights, but Brown has our undivided attention.

With that, here are the grades from this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night and Bellator 119.

Daron Cruickshank A+

Daron Cruickshank

Yahtzee. The “Detroit Superstar” cashed in a jackpot of a finish over a heavily favored opponent. And it’s not as if he landed a lucky punch. Darron Cruickshank outlanded Erik Koch significantly before the head kick and showed poise in the finish. Well done.

Matt Brown A

Matt Brown

Can’t award a perfect score because of his shaky start, which figures to be Brown’s potential undoing in a big fight. His striking defense is listed at 57 percent, nearly 5 percent less than what UFC champions currently average.

Chris B+

Chris Cariaso

Solid overall performance by Chris Cariaso, as he dealt with a significant size disadvantage in this one. He attacked submissions from multiple positions (including off his back), scrambled well and was efficient with his counter striking when he needed to be.

Soa Palelei B

Soa Palelei

This was pretty easy pickings for Soa Palelei, as Ruan Potts had absolutely nothing for him once it hit the ground. Palelei never panicked during a guillotine attempt by Potts and displayed remarkable power with the short left-hand knockout.

Costas Philippou B

Costas Philippou

This fight certainly didn’t prove whether Costas Philippou has patched the hole in his defensive wrestling, but it served as a reminder of what he can do on the feet. He’s not the trickiest middleweight in the UFC, but he’s capable of throwing some leather.

Neil Magny B

Neil Magny

The progression of this year’s Neil Magny model compared to 2013’s is fairly stunning. Don’t book him a title fight just yet, but Magny basically shut down southpaw Tim Means on the feet before turning to his wrestling game late. It might’ve been his best win in the UFC.

John Alessio C+

John Alessio

John Alessio earned a much-needed win in a catchweight bout against Eric Wisely. The result was never in question, which almost makes the decision a little disappointing. It can be hard to finish a guy who comes into a fight in survival mode, as Wisely did, but Alessio probably should have found a way to end this one early.

Erick Silva C

Erick Silva

Wheelbarrows full of heart. No doubt. At some point, though, you have to bring up the elephant in the room: Erick Silva tends to gas. Early. This could have been his coming-out party. Instead, he suffered his fourth loss in seven fights.

Lorenz Larkin C-

Lorenz Larkin

It wasn’t an awful fight by Lorenz Larkin, who has been known not to show up in the past. You’d think, from his days at 205, he would be used to dealing with the type of physical pressure he saw in this one. Apparently not.

Erik Koch D+

Erik Koch

Do not count Erik Koch out. He’s 25 with more than enough time to figure it out. That said, this wasn’t his best night. Seems like he relies too much on athleticism sometimes as opposed to actively, technically setting up his offense. Also, simply put, he gets hit too much. Potential is still there.

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