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The Potato Index: Strikeforce Aftermath

(‘I don’t want to freak you out or anything, Brett. But having you here in my arms, it just feels right, doesn’t it?’ Photo courtesy of

After a brief layoff for scheduled maintenance to its supercomputer, the Potato Index is back to sort through the winners and losers of Saturday night’s Strikeforce event on CBS with its arbitrary numerical rankings system.  Huzzah!

Fedor Emelianenko +86
It’s hard to get a big boost in the Index when you’re a 5-1 favorite going into the fight, but he delivered with another right hand murderball, and even gave the casual fans a little blood for their trouble.  But were the ratings good enough to get CBS’s attention?

Brett Rogers +4
So he didn’t shock the world.  Honestly, who expected him to?  He still landed some good shots and took a couple as well, but the biggest positive for him is how he performed on the mat.  He’s still got some improvements to make, but he showed that he’s not all hype and a trendy haircut.

Jake Shields +67
Give him credit for sticking to his game plan and doing exactly what he wanted to, but it didn’t make for a thrilling fight.  ‘Methodical’ and ‘efficient’ are not adjectives typically used to describe fan favorites, but they’re fitting for Shields.  If Strikeforce ever wants to make a main eventer out of him, they need a big name opponent to help with the hype. 

“Mayhem” Miller -11
He may have been within a few seconds of submitting Shields at one point, but for most of the fight he played his opponent’s game and paid for it with a decision loss.  Will his popularity take a hit for it?  Almost certainly not.  But he sure could use a high profile win right about now to remind people that he’s got more in his bag of tricks than just a bunch of zany antics.

Gegard Mousasi +54
A slow start made resulted in a delayed, though inevitable beatdown for Sokoudjou.  Whether it did anything to further boost his profile among American viewers is doubtful.  What “Sweet Sassy” really needs is an opponent in the light heavyweight top ten.  Too bad they’re all in the UFC.

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou -49
Remember when Sokoudjou was the hot prospect who came out of nowhere to KO Arona and Nogueira?  Feels like ages ago now.  Once again he looks decent for the first three minutes, but as the fight keeps going he stops believing.  Best of luck in the Super Hulk.  We can think of no better place for you right now.

Fabricio Werdum +62
He didn’t dazzle, but at least he won, as did all the odds-on favorites on the televised card.  Calling for a fight with Fedor afterwards may be fashionable, though we’re not sure how competitive it would be.  Give us Fedor vs. Overeem first, and let Werdum prove himself against Brett Rogers in the meantime.

CBS announcing team +3
Gus Johnson is mostly dead weight, Mauro Ranallo has thankfully learned to tone down his usual schtick just a bit, and Shamrock offers some actual insight when the camera’s not on him long enough for us to be distracted by his braces.  But why put Pat Miletich on the ShoMMA JV team?  When it comes to technical analysis that the average fan can still digest, he’s adept enough to deserve the network job.

Strikeforce -8
They avoided major disasters in their CBS show, but mid-level production values, a main event that ends in the second round and still runs long, plus the decision to cut the Miller-Davis fight entirely make them seem like they still have a ways to go to be a real rival to the UFC.

Cagepotato Comments

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Overhand Murderballs- November 10, 2009 at 8:23 am
Lesnars "Key to Victory" before every fight is - Do not enter cage with Fedor.
halfbreed23- November 9, 2009 at 7:54 pm
Fedor would arm-bar Lesnar easily if his first right hand didn't touch Brock's chin. It's crazy some are saying the 31-1 guy has to prove himself against the 4-1 guy who has yet to face a top MMA HW. Brock Lesnar will lose a fight in the UFC before Fedor ever makes it there.
Nealio- November 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm
Fedor is the most overrated fighter since CroCup. Everyone said how guys in the UFC had no idea what CroCup could do, but now we've seen how awesome he is at sucking..
Fedor versus any of these guys would give him a loss:
Velasquez, Gonzaga, Mir, Lesnar, shit even Couture...
axhed- November 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm
maybe big john wasn't at 104 because he hasn't reffed for the ufc in almost two years.
Jubbie- November 9, 2009 at 6:16 pm
Not to bring this back to Kimbo but the Grimm is basically doing what Kimbo should've been doing from the get go if he was actually serious about MMA. Both are power punchers but one actually looks like he's been training a ground game.

Aside from the Shields fight, the event was pretty damn entertaining with a good mix of ground and grappling skills shown rather than just brawling.

The level of striking power Shields has is the equivalent of a middle tier featherweight at this point. I knew he couldn't strike on his feet but his ground striking was even more pathetic.
tallkitchenbags- November 9, 2009 at 5:18 pm
"Brock will be Fedor's asterisk"?

don't you the opposite? fedor don't need to prove shit. it's dana and brock that need fedor.
tallkitchenbags- November 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm
also sok suks
tallkitchenbags- November 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm
fedor rules the world. rogers has a future. shields is boring but effective. mayhem needs some takedown defence. mousasi needs some legit opponents.

i'd take rogers over the current crop of ufc heavies, save for lesnar.

strikeforce put on a pretty good show. i was surprised and hope their business model is more robust than t-shirt sales. competition is good and i hope dana feels some heat from this showing. 5 million people is pretty good considering what a marginal sport MMA is still. strikeforce put together fights that people want to see. your move mr. white... and please don't give us randy vs. big nog again.
ArmFarmer- November 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm
Totally agree about sokoudju, whenever things aren't going his way he finds a way out. Sok has loads of talent but that doesn't mean jack if you have no heart.
MachidaVsSilva- November 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm
Every Sokodju fight looks like he takes a dive. I agree that he gives up when the fight isn't going his way.
Barc- November 9, 2009 at 11:43 am
Anyone else notice the "Brett Favre at Lambeau Field" comment? Seriously, who let those douche nozzles into the show, let alone so close to a microphone.
MachidaVsSilva- November 9, 2009 at 11:34 am
CBS did not adequately promote this fight. Fedor didn't look as muscular for this fight but his cardio wasn't a problem. I would give my left nut to see Fedor knock out Brock but it will never happen. Brock will be Fedor's asterisk.
Fight Fan- November 9, 2009 at 11:06 am

I hear ya. Still curious as to what that cut of profits would look like.
p0wn- November 9, 2009 at 10:53 am
Here's my Aftermath:

Fedor: +30. He won, in good fashion with a lot of heads watching. He didn't look indestructable, and speaks no english, so he's not winning a lot of fans over. Nut huggers aside, I doubt he will ever be a draw, especially with the glaring lack of talent in Strikeforce's heavyweight division.

Rogers: +10. He lost, and looked nervous as hell at the beginning, but put on an ok performance. I think way too much pr and distractions before the fight, plus the immense pressure of main eventing a nationally televised card against a fighter everyone in the promotion says is going to destroy you has something to do with it. In the end, he's still pretty green, the next 2 years will decide whether he will ever ascend to the elite level. Flash ko's don't last forever.

Shields: -1 billion. Who wants to see this guy hump a guy for 25 minutes again? He's the new 'old koscheck'. The koscheck that had only 3 fights.

Miller: -10. He lost, in a boring fight, but tried to press the action. Can someone teach this guy how to defend a shot? He's still way more marketable, and exciting than shields.

Sok: -1000. He always quits! He was doing damn good in the 1st round, great tosses, really had mousasi in some precarious positions. Everytime this guy fights, gets a little tired, and ends up on his back he quits. It's sad, for some reason I'm always rooting for him, and i'm always dissapointed(bob sapp certainly doesn't count).

Mousasi: even. He won, but didn't really run through sok, until sok quit. He destroyed babalu, but had a lot of trouble with sok.

Werdum/Silva. boring. Seriously, who wants to see Werdum fight fedor? Snore.
imakeutap- November 9, 2009 at 10:46 am
@ Fight Fan

Fedor's payout will mean nothing since he is a part owner of M-1 Global and will be profiting off the show's production. He will probably show a small salary just like he did in Affliction. The money he is making doesn't have to be reported to the athletic comission.
831 Son- November 9, 2009 at 10:34 am
@ agentsmith- Dana and the rest of the athletic commisions only have a "business friendship." They arent close at all with the NSAC besides being in Nevada and the UFC has no say whatsoever in who refs or judges a fight or else alot of things would be different and Cecil "mentally challenged" Peoples would not be judging. I really cant explain why Big John wasnt at UFC 104 seeing how it was in Cali though.

I agree with Lonewolf too that that shields fight should have been stood up at least 5 times. Shields is a joke and I hope he loses all the fans that he has, if he even had any. There needs to be more rules concerning people wasting time and doing the lay and pray for the whole round. Stand them up if they are being tools and take away like 1 or 2 points if they keep doing it. Its getting ridiculous and only hurts MMA.
jfjjfjff- November 9, 2009 at 10:15 am
+3 for the announcers? more like -33
agentsmith- November 9, 2009 at 10:07 am
@Art Gibs:

Yes, it's the commissions that decide and the UFC has no direct control, but make no mistake, it probably wasn't just a coincidence that Big John wasn't used at UFC 104 even though it was in California where he is licensed. He reffed several of the fights at the Strikeforce event this weekend, but not a single one at UFC 104... how odd.

And the Nevada athletic commission has all but admitted that his application to get re-licensed there has basically been shuffled to the bottom of the pile... undoubtedly because of his negative comments about the NSAC, and maybe about the UFC too. Dana White and the Fertita bros are quite close with the boys at the NSAC too, by the way.
Defender- November 9, 2009 at 10:00 am
I'm taking some of what I said back.

5 Million viewers is pretty good honestly...and truth be told, it was Fedor that pulled that number. Some of the ratings suggest that Jake Shields single-handedly killed a full ratings point himself.

But I will still say until Fedor can fight Brock, Carwin, Velasquez, or hell...even Roy Nelson, he wont get the kinda paycheck he could.
Fight Fan- November 9, 2009 at 9:59 am
I just want to see the payouts. Fedor's take-home might provide some insight as to whether we might ever see him in in the Octagon.
LoneWolf- November 9, 2009 at 9:57 am
Dude, was anyone else as annoyed with Big John as I was during the Shields Miller fight? I mean stand the fight up if there is nothing going on, on the ground!!! WTF. Miller got robbed and robbed himself...effing asshole.

-50 for Big John McCarthy
NinJay- November 9, 2009 at 9:49 am
I have to agree with MKO. As much of a d-bag as Goldeberg is I can't help but appreciate him when I see these other promotions announcers. I can't stand Ranallo, that guy drives me crazy with his stupid catch phrases. Plus his voice bugs me because it doesn't match his looks at all. The worst of all was that guy from Affliction with the raspy voice. I hope to never hear him again.

I thought it was a pretty good card. I had my 82 year old Grandfather in town visiting and he sat down to watch it with me. 5th round of the Shields fight I felt like an asshat as I tried to tell him that fights usually aren't this boring. He was pretty entertained by Miller's ring entrance though, as was I.

I was impressed with Sokoudjou. But the entire fight I was counting down in my head for when he got beaten down. " Gegard kills him in 3....2.....1.." It lasted longer than I expected but the outcome was inevitable. Awesome job on the 1 commercial in between rounds and fights. Fail on the 15 minutes of commercials before the Fedor fight. I thought my brain was going to melt.

CP: Maintenance?? Tell GoDaddy to knock the bs off.
Art Gibs- November 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

I don't think DW has direct control over which refs are in the ring. It's the commissions that decide, I think, but DW can probably influence them. So Big John could presumably ref a UFC fight in a state where's he's licensed and where DW doesn't have influence.
Defender- November 9, 2009 at 9:46 am
The entire "aftermath" can be summed up by simply saying:

Good thing it was free.

I was at a bar playing some pool leading up to the Fedor/Rogers fight. Pretty good sized place with only two TVs (thankfully by the tables) showing the fights. There was an impressive crowd around for the main event, and when Fedor got his nose busted...I seemed to be the only one that knew it wasn't gunna set the Russian back.

It's easy to be an "armchair corner man" but how did Rogers not know he was hurting Fedor with those punches? Then again, soon as he did let loose...he left an opening big enough to drive a bus through (ie: Fedor's right hand).

Most of the people in the bar had no idea who was fighting...just that a black dude was fighting a Russian. Which means..CBS did buns with their attempt to find a new crowd.

Soon as the Neilson ratings become available...we will see the UFC replays got a bigger draw than this did. And until Fedor wants a real up the M1 crap and goes to the one is really going to care who he fights.
Art Gibs- November 9, 2009 at 9:44 am
@Hamma Fist Eblo:

I agree, Sokoudjou just gave up. He's done that in several fights. It's like he doesn't believe he can win, which is so strange because he definitely looked like he could've won based on his first-round performance; he had awesome throws and nasty leg kicks. He's wasting his talent; it's a shame.