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The Potato Index: Strikeforce/WEC Aftermath

(King Mo accidentally gets some Rockstar in his mouth while attempting to lather the mat with it. Photo courtesy of Fight Magazine.)

Two competing MMA events on Saturday night made for a busy weekend of arbitrary numerical calculations for the Potato Index’s super computer. We didn’t even get to play our customary Sunday game of “Oregon Trail,” that’s how hectic things were. But the numbers are in from Strikeforce: Evolution and WEC 45, so let’s take a look at who’s up and who’s down after Saturday night.

Scott Smith +109
A technically brilliant performance it wasn’t. Smith was clearly overmatched, but he hung tough, wore Le down, and then put his power to good use. It might not have been the best performance of his career, but it’s one people will remember for a long, long time.

Cung Le -77
He can say his acting career had nothing to do with the loss, but something made him fade down the stretch. He got tired and he got lazy and then he got knocked out. It’s almost as if taking a fight between movie roles as a favor to your boss is a good way to get your nose smashed into a pulp.

Donald Cerrone +72
A win is a win, even if it comes after the other guy’s junk has been turned to mush. Obviously the groin strikes weren’t intentional, but you can only have so many fights where inadvertent fouls play a prominent role before people stop giving you the benefit of the doubt.

Ed Ratcliff -48
A hard-fought battle and a tough loss show that while he has some skills, he’s just not at that level yet. Chin up, 9mm. A loss to a guy like the Cowboy is nothing to be ashamed of.

Gilbert Melendez +82
He forced Thomson to fight his fight and took over in the later rounds, showing significant improvement since the first meeting. He deserves to be called the Strikeforce lightweight champ, though everyone knows that’s little more than a consolation prize in a division where B.J. Penn is clearly the overall king.

Josh Thomson -34
The good news? His leg held up well and his cardio didn’t seem effected by the time off. The bad news? His timing wasn’t quite where it needed to be, and the result was a clear-cut loss. Everyone loves a trilogy, right?

Anthony Njokuani +63
A rangy lightweight with explosive striking could go far in the WEC if his takedown defense and/or ground game is solid enough. That may take some time, but we’re excited to see where this guy can go.

Chris Horodecki -51
Walking away from an opponent who’s been picking you apart makes you seem a little too relaxed in your WEC debut. Horodecki clearly isn’t going to be the best kickboxer in the division, so he needs to round out his game a little more. That, and don’t turn your back. Ever.

“Jacare” Souza +79
Not only did he put on a clinic once the fight hit the mat, but his striking looked sharper than ever. Could it be that the submissions wiz has finally found the last missing piece of the puzzle?

Matt Lindland -65
He had no answer for Souza on the feet or on the mat. He’s still a wily competitor, but maybe no longer a truly formidable one. It happens to everybody, even “The Law.”

Joseph Benavidez +43
Dynamite comes in small packages, and if you don’t shut Benavidez down early he will blow your ass up. Is his lack of height and reach enough to keep him from ever seeing the top of the division?

Rani Yahya -38
It’s nice to have great submissions, but as we all know by now, it isn’t enough.  Ask Dean Lister.

“King Mo” Lawal +62
Lawal’s unorthodox striking style out of a wrestler’s stance could create problems for lots of guys, particularly if they’re as easily countered as Whitehead. Strikeforce has a real commodity here, and bringing him along at the right pace will be essential.

Mike Whitehead -59
The cut to 205 may be difficult for Whitehead, but when he doesn’t make it he lets himself get too big and much too slow. You’d think he would have learned that by now.

Strikeforce announcing team +/- 0
Between the hard sell from Mauro Ranallo, the flashbacks from “The Legend” Frank Shamrock, and the awkward post-fight interviews from Stephen Quadros, it’s a long night on Showtime.  Still better than some, but they make Rogan and Goldberg look like the best eva.

Cagepotato Comments

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CanadianGreaser- December 22, 2009 at 8:16 am
Cung Le sucks. Sure he has good kicks but he can't punch for shit. His ground game is nonexistent and he hand picks his opponents. He needs to retire.
richorama- December 22, 2009 at 8:14 am
@ swedish

you might notice the misuse of there, their, and they're quite often on comment boards. welcome to the internet.
Swedish- December 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm
@meanfinger -- Hahaha EPIC FAIL dude

It's YOU'RE an idiot.... not "your" an idiot. Go back to kindergarten fool
itsgalf- December 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm
I just wanted to say that Cung Le makes me proud. He bagged a blond haired white girl. Nicely done.
Kim Couture is a cunt- December 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm
Is it just me or does that remind you of a caged baboon drinking out of a water dispenser. I know thats horrible but fuck me, look at that pic.
winklepicker- December 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm
OpShut- December 21, 2009 at 11:50 am
...That's it, I'm changing my fantasy football team name to "gary busey's zombie cousins"....
portland mma- December 21, 2009 at 11:01 am
I agree with skeletor about Quadros too, he looks like a fucking meth dealer and his interviews make me feel awkward. I also thought someone had told Mauro to tone it down until I heard his 9 analogies after the Smith vs Le fight. The craziest one was when he said Le was "pounding on Smith like Ron Jeremy does to labia tissue"...well he should have said that, its much better then "he just got dropped like names at a hollywood party," or "he went down like a dress on prom night"
meanfinger- December 21, 2009 at 10:56 am
swedish your an idiot.. cung le used to be their champ until he gave up the belt. how is he not a star? go comment on a lego website u child. u never have any good comments..

Ya strikeforce needs bas rutten in there to do the post fight interviews.. or maybe swap him out with quadros completely.. keep him in the back where he's not scarin people, he looks like gary busey's zombie cousin..
portland mma- December 21, 2009 at 10:53 am
Melendez definitely proved he's a top 10 lightweight in the world.

Seriously robthom? Smith isn't a world beater (and he knows that) but he has had some other awesome fights too. His fight with Benji Radach was good and so was his fight with Pete Sell. The first Lawler fight wasn't bad either, while it lasted...Also I could have went without him saying "that was one hell of a rock star finish."
Swedish- December 21, 2009 at 10:32 am
Ohh no one of SF "stars" lost.

Who will they match Smith up with now? Robbie Lawler for the 5th time?

robthom- December 21, 2009 at 9:56 am
I think that might have been the best performance of scott smiths career. I'm sure I haven't seen them all but I cant recall any particularly better ones.

He sucks.
skeletor- December 21, 2009 at 9:54 am
Strikeforce announcing team could only not lose points if you expected them to be that bad witch I did. But I was sitting around watching this with about 10 dudes and we all lost our shit when Quadros screamed "LET GO MY WRISTS!" Also that dude looks like he came strait out of the makeup chair at the mortuary.

Seriously can we not be forced to refer to Frank Shamrock as the legend. I wonder if Mauro came up with that or if Frank makes him say it.
ubidoob- December 21, 2009 at 9:35 am
Anyone notice Cung Le's distorted nose after the fight? Looked worse than Rich Franklin's after both times he faced Anderson Silva...