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CagePotato.com Presents: The 2014 Potato Awards

The Gilbert Yvel Award for Outstanding Creativity in a Cheating Performance: Yoel Romero for “Stoolgate” (9/27/14)

Tim Kennedy had Yoel Romero hurt bad as the horn sounded, ending the second round of their fight at UFC 178. Romero wobbled over to his corner and slumped down on his stool as the UFC production team fired up the round’s highlights.

When we return to live action, Romero is still on the stool and the Nevada commission stooge is yelling at his cornermen to get out of the cage. They do so, verrrry slowly, which Joe Rogan was quick to note to the fans at home. Tim Kennedy grows agitated, wondering what’s up. Referee John McCarthy tells him to get back to his own corner. Rogan raves a bit longer before things finally clear up and the fight restarts. Romero rocks Kennedy fifteen seconds in, and less than a minute later McCarthy is stepping in to stop the fight.

We later figure out that McCarthy kept Romero on the stool because the cut man globbed on the Vaseline a little too thick, and he wanted that cleared up before beginning the third round. All told, the whole fiasco gave Romero an extra 28 seconds (I counted) of recovery time, which was more than enough to clear the cobwebs and put Kennedy down.

- Mike Fagan

Greatest Hype Inflation: Conor McGregor‘s Meteroic Rise


(McGregor celebrates following his win at UFC 178, along with UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta [left, draped in Irish flag]. Photo via CombatLifestyle.com)

Who the fuck is Conor McGregor? J/k. Everyone knows who Conor McGregor is, in part because the UFC is marketing him as a phenom who seemed to come out of nowhere. In fact, McGregor has been fighting professionally for almost seven years, amassing an impressive record of 16-2. He’s won all four of his fights in the UFC, three by first round TKO. Impressive, indeed. However, 14 of his 16 wins have been by KO/TKO, with one decision and one submission. His two losses were both by submission, and what no one can explain is why the UFC hasn’t matched him up with any fighter known for his grappling. This is true of his upcoming bout against Dennis Siver, as well. In his four fights in the UFC, McGregor has beaten:

- Marcus Brimage, who has 3 takedowns in 6 fights.

- Max Holloway, who has 0 takedowns in 10 fights.

- Diego Brandao, who has 13 takedowns in 7 fights (8 came against Daniel Pineda).

- Dustin Poirier, who has 11 takedowns in 13 fights (5 came against Jason Young).

Dennis Siver has 10 takedowns in 18 fights. That’s a total of 37 takedowns in 54 fights, or an average of roughly 0.7 takedowns per fight.

Chad Mendes (39 takedowns in 13 fights) and Frankie Edgar (56 takedowns in 17 fights), combining for more than three takedowns per fight, should represent the kind of talent you have to beat to get a title shot. Or even top ten fighters like Nik Lentz (49 takedowns in 14 fights) and Dennis Bermudez (28 takedowns in 9 fights) would provide some context for McGregor’s capabilities against an opponent who routinely utilizes his wrestling. But we haven’t seen McGregor fight someone who could mount any real grappling threat.

So what’s the UFC’s play here? Is it solely hype? Because if McGregor can’t win with striking every time and doesn’t have the grappling skills otherwise, he might earn 2015′s Greatest Hype Deflation Potato Award. If he gets the title shot everyone’s talking about, maybe we’ll find out.

- Sydnie Jones

Best Use of Social Media: Jason “Mayhem” Miller Live-Tweets His Own Police Standoff (10/9/14)

There have been some pretty awesome uses of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by fighters this past year but Jason Miller’s play-by-play of a SWAT standoff involving his OWN apprehension that took place in his front yard has to be the absolute greatest utilization of social media during 2014. For a once-intriguing fighter who has seen his relevance fade into obscurity with each passing batshit nutty action, this at least made Mayhem’s pseudo fame matter for five more minutes.

Is he a domestic abuser?
Maybe?

Is the guy a comedic footnote in MMA lore at this juncture?
Absolutely.

Did he invite all his fans over to his house while heavily armed authorities set up the Roach Coach outside?
HELL YES!

Regardless of the charges pending against him or the innocence/guilt of Miller, he used Twitter to give a better blow-by-blow than Jim Lampley back when boxing mattered and all the while letting authorities know that he didn’t mean them any harm. At this point we are all pretty sure that the Jason Miller Story is going to end in a very sad and possibly morbid way, but during his latest act of strife, he used social media to his benefit which probably saved his life…for now.

- Nathan Smith

Best MMA Personality Appearance in a Non-MMA Setting: Mike Goldberg Calls an NFL Game (10/12/14)

Believe it or not, UFC play-by-play man Mike Goldberg exists outside of the MMA bubble. He’s acted as the studio host for college football on FSN. He’s called hockey games for the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, and Detroit Red Wings (including the infamous brawl with the Colorado Avalanche in 1997). He’s called preseason games for the Arizona Cardinals. He’s even the point man for the Lingerie Bowl.

But Goldberg’s never made a mark in the mainstream sports world, and that’s because Mike Goldberg is a lazy toad with a loose grasp on the sport he’s called consistently for nearly 20 years. Yet for some reason, Fox decided to let ol’ Goldie loose on the NFL public during a week six game between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.

As the highlights above show, Goldberg crashed and burned as every MMA head expected, and the backlash was fierce on Twitter. Goldberg said some not-so-nice things back, which led to Fox getting out of the Mike-Goldberg-calling-NFL-games business.

- Mike Fagan

Honorable mention: Randy Couture’s not-completely-embarrassing run on Dancing With the Stars.

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