(Guida turns taking a shot into an art form. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)
After another fun, free MMA weekend we turn once again to the Potato Index to tell us where everyone stands. Those of you who are confused by what the numbers mean, just think of every fighter starting at his own particular zero coming into the event. Then we make up a number to reflect how far he’s climbed or fallen after his latest fight. Kind of like the stock market, but way more fun and only slightly more bullshit.
Diego Sanchez +104
Whatever you think the final scores should have been, Sanchez won that fight. He was a whirlwind on the feet and even managed to be the aggressor from the bottom when it hit the mat. But does a decision victory here equal a title shot? We wouldn’t mind seeing Sanchez vs. Gray Maynard to establish a clear contender.
Clay Guida -27
He may have lost, but he did better than we expected and proved that he can take a shot with the best of them. Despite a disastrous first round Guida kept on coming and probably could have gone two or three more rounds after the fight was over. You don’t have to like him, but you should at least respect him.
James Wilks +58
One of the more forgettable TUF cast members from season nine turns in an exciting and dominant performance in the finale, pulling off a minor upset. Now let’s see the UFC’s promotional muscle try and sell him as a genuine threat in the welterweight division. Something tells us that it will be a subdued effort on their part.
DaMarques Johnson -51
The biggest talker and probably the best fighter on the American team looked absolutely overwhelmed from that start. Chalk it up to Octagon jitters? He’s still got enough raw talent and marketability that he’ll get another chance to prove himself, but he’d better make the most of it.
Chris Lytle +72
After telling us that all he wants are exciting, bonus-worthy fights Lytle goes out and produces exactly that. He took Burns’ best shots and then gave them right back to him down the stretch. After a fight like that we’re eager to see him in the Octagon again, maybe against former Burns foe Anthony Johnson?
Kevin Burns -49
He found out the hard way that hurting Lytle is not at all the same thing as finishing him. The gritty performance is nothing to be ashamed of, but two straight losses never helps your job security in the UFC.
Ross Pearson +43
He did just barely enough to win the lightweight finale and the “six-figure contract,” though it wasn’t a memorable fight by any means. He’s going to have to build his reputation from scratch in a very tough division. Maybe now would be a good time to bring up the cautionary tale of Mac Danzig.
Andre Winner -40
His speed and athleticism seemed to evaporate in the clinch, which is where 90% of this fight took place. A conservative approach may have been his undoing. Now let’s see if he learned anything from it.
Joe Stephenson +57
He needed that win in a bad way. It wasn’t a thriller, but it wasn’t a loss either, so he’s got to be pleased. If he becomes a regular at Greg Jackson’s maybe a minor revival is in the cards for “Daddy.”
Nate Diaz -51
You can complain that your opponent fought a boring fight, but that’s an argument that gets progressively weaker every time you employ it. Diaz is a tough, resilient fighter, but he can’t show off his skills if he’s getting outwrestled all the time. Now that everyone’s seen that hole in his game he can expect every opponent he faces to try and exploit it.
TUF 9: US vs. UK -87
Can we all agree that the nation against nation format is more interesting in concept than it is in practice? The general lack of exciting talent on this season sure didn’t help, and it’s hard to get excited about the winners and their future in the UFC. Let’s try and put this one behind us and hope Rashad, Rampage, and Kimbo will deliver next season.
As much shit as we give Goldberg sometimes, this is the best duo in MMA broadcasting right now and the chemistry between them on Saturday showed why. If only they could add the brilliantly detailed analysis that Pat Miletich has brought to Strikeforce.