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The Potato Index: UFC 102 Aftermath

(What do you get when you have a big left hand and not much else? One highlight in a losing effort. Photo courtesy of

This week the Potato Index confronts one of mankind’s oldest problems as we sort through the UFC 102 aftermath, and it goes a little something like this: How much does a fighter’s stock drop if he loses after getting his testicles kicked up into his throat?  On one hand, a TKO loss never results in a rise on the Potato Index’s arbirtrary numerical rankings scale, but on the other, simply not quitting and going off to sob in a dark corner is an accomplishment.  The answer to this age-old question, and others, awaits you.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira +213

So you thought Big Nog was done just because he looks like he’s a senior citizen and fought like one against Frank Mir?  Anybody can have a bad night.  He showed on Saturday that he’s still got some bullets in the old gun, at least as long as he’s fighting representatives from the UFC’s AARP wing.  Unless someone wants to see him killed, though, please keep him far away from Brock Lesnar.

Randy Couture -56
It’s hard to be too critical of a gutsy performance like that one.  He didn’t look old or haggard, and didn’t lose because he was too slow or too weak.  He just wasn’t the better fighter that night.  Now we wait to find out what’s next, and whether the UFC really plans to give him two more years worth of fights, or if it’s just a way of keeping him off the Strikeforce roster.

Thiago Silva +113
He needed less than a round to find Jardine’s increasingly suspect chin and notch a victory as an underdog.  He seemed to think of it as a sure sign that he’s back.  We think he’s got a longer climb ahead of him than he realizes.

Keith Jardine -97
We’ve seen him recover from harder left hooks before, but Jardine’s flash chin might be becoming too much of a liability.  Two straight losses is never good for your job security.

Nate Marquardt +149
No clash of styles, no epic middleweight contender battle, just one right hand.  Apparently Nate had somewhere to be on Saturday night and needed to wrap things up in a hurry.  That’s the kind of victory that title shots are made of.

Demian Maia -99
As we wait for the inevitable ‘I just got caught’ explanation, we pause to wonder whether this is a sign that being a specialist in one area can only carry you so far up the ladder.  Too soon to say, but we know what we’d spend the next few weeks working on in the gym if we were Maia.

Jake Rosholt +78
After showing some improved striking early on, Rosholt gets smart and decides to beat Leben on the mat after feeling his power on the feet.  With it he proved that he can take a punch and even dish a couple out. 

Chris Leben -72
Same old Leben.  When things get tough it’s all looping, telegraphed punches and foot stomps to the rescue.  The days when toughness alone could carry him to victory are long gone.  Time to find out if he’s got anything else in his repertoire.

Brandon Vera +65
We can’t criticize a guy for fighting smart, but we also can’t get too excited about “The Truth” if this is the kind of fighter he’s going to be.

Krzystzof Soszynski -63
The only thing worse than winning a lackluster decision is losing one.  K-Sos seemed game for much of the fight but never managed to get his offense working.  Lucky for him he’s earned a few second chances.  We’re eager to see what he can make of them.

Gabriel Gonzaga +59
Not the most sporting of wins, even if he didn’t punt Tuchscherer’s nuts on purpose, but he looked as vicious as ever in putting him away, proving that when “Napao” gets started he’s tough to stop.

Chris Tuchscherer -43
Tough son of a bitch.  Even after writhing in pain and nearly puking on the mat he still took a head kick like a man and never gave up.  Not the debut he’d hoped for, but we still want to see what he can do when he isn’t outmatched and groin-kicked from the start.

Portland fans +130
They may not have shelled out the kind of cash the UFC was hoping for, but the ones who did show up were enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and mostly avoided drunken brawls (so take that, Philly).  The UFC will be back, eventually, and when they do hopefully it will be with a better card and lower ticket prices.

Cagepotato Comments

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EzMoNeY- August 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm
lol, yea it sucks that ed soares has to do all the bitch work. urijah was cool, i got a picture with him afterwards when him and dan where signing stuff down by the cage. seems like you definitely get your moneys worth if you get ground floor seats. heres a q i was talking about, not counting the kick to the nuts, do you think it was a cheap shot when Gonzaga was like motioning for chris Tccsssh to get up, then just nailed him when it seemed like he was going to allow him to stand up?
portland mma- August 31, 2009 at 3:55 pm
No, I saw the EMT's standing around the guy but i had no clue what happened, but when the drunk chick ran through i had just spotted Urijah Faber and he was pretty close to her right when it happened so i saw the whole thing it was gold, the funniest thing was the way Ed Soares handled it.
Gorgzilla- August 31, 2009 at 3:28 pm
fishsticks Says:
couture still looked good out there...if he hadn't been rocked at the beginning he would of won.

Ah... the "if" game... Let me try:
I every fighter that lost, hadn't actually lost, they would have won!
Wow.. truly insightful!
Ceeph- August 31, 2009 at 2:40 pm

fishsticks Says:
couture still looked good out there...if he hadn't been rocked at the beginning he would of won

Right...and if Maia hadn't been punched into orbit, then he would've won by Submission.
BigCountrysCholesterol- August 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm
Never count out guys with top-shelf weapons. Aoki's subs, Crocop's high kicks, Rampage's slams - a select few fighters have "game-changing moves". Even if they are gettin whooped in every aspect of a fight, all it takes is one brief opportunity on which to capitalize and they can end a fight. I kind of roll my eyes when guys post with complete certainly about how so-and-so has no chance. ESPECIALLY if that so-and-so is Minotauro fucking Noguiera.
EzMoNeY- August 31, 2009 at 1:34 pm
i did see that chick, lol, there was almost a fight up in our section. somebody threw a beer from the top of the stadium, which led to one guy yelling at a dude in the box suite next to us, accusing of doing it. such highlights of his rant were him repeatedly saying over and over, "your a pussy, your a pussy" and "why dont you come down here and fight me you bitch?" hey, by chance portland mma or anybody who was there, did you see what happened to the guy who was like laid out on the ground with the emt's over by like were dana was sitting at? it was earlier in the night during the pre-lims.
Sho Nuff- August 31, 2009 at 1:31 pm
I'm with 1-2, Nog by armbar in the 1st, after rocking Lesnar with some crisp striking and taking him down. Lesnar on his back, that size and compact wrestler frame becomes a liability to the leverage of a great jits fighters.

EzMoNeY- August 31, 2009 at 1:13 pm
i feel like nog just has to wait until after new years to get a shot at the heavyweight title. seems to me that dana is working to flood the ufc with heavyweights right now so he can split the decision and make a super heavyweight title. its obvious, especially if you watched the justin "the Nsane1" Mcully fight Mike Russow, theirs two kinds of heavys, the ones closer to 230 (being mccully) and the others closer to 260 (russow). and honestly fights can really be boring like that one did where the smaller guy, even if he's a good fighter, just gets smothered by the bigger guy. hopefully more guys show up with talent like Todd Duffee (who kind of even has the Duffman look, fingers crossed for the nickname) who can make it a worth while division for fans to watch and brock to fight in.
portland mma- August 31, 2009 at 1:08 pm
I didn't see any fights in the crowd, but did anyone see that crazy chick rush up to Anderson Silva? That shit was fucking hilarious. Thank you guys again for the tickets, they were awesome seats and after work today or tomorrow i will post the pics i took.
KillDozer- August 31, 2009 at 11:41 am
i dont see how Big Nog can defeat Lesnar. Seriously, he is only what? 230 lbs??? Going against a 300 lbs solid wrestling machine? He's gonna get taken down and abused hard for as long as he can survive. Nog wont be able to flip Brock like he did with Randy or even stay on flat feet and try box with Lesnar. His fighting stance is a take down waiting to happen. If you look at Bob Sapp fight, he was thrown around like a doll. Out of all the fighters that kicked Sapp's ass, Big Nog had the most trouble putting him away. So even if you compare Brock to Sapp, it still doesn't make Big Nog look good. You gotta be realistic, Nog can only fight old timers from now on.
fishsticks- August 31, 2009 at 11:35 am
couture still looked good out there...if he hadn't been rocked at the beginning he would of won
Organ Donor- August 31, 2009 at 11:28 am
@ Demonicideals

How can you expect Lesnar to fight anyone with you swinging on his nuts like Tarzan? For his sake, please, release your fond embrace of his testicles!

Speaking of nuts:

@CP: where's the logic in rewarding Gonzaga with increased stock from that victory? Sure, it was unintentional. And sure, Gonzaga could give a shit what CP thinks. I just think that in cases like this the perpetrator should get punished (Disqualification, point deduction). As it stands, the victim gets punished, because there's no way Tuchsherer was fighting on all cylinders with squashed balls. And what, specifically, did he do to merit a stock downgrade?
One Two- August 31, 2009 at 11:26 am
@ dominicdeals
You know who else had size strength and intensity Houston Alexander, Brocks had 4 UFC fights and hasn't shown me shit besides a loss, a haymaker followed up by a running collision move? and some lay n pray, a lucky KO of an aging undersized randy and a impressive win over Frank (I'm not that good) Mir. I'll get back at ya when Nog woops his ass.
Mike Milbury- August 31, 2009 at 11:04 am
Not to mention Brock's BJJ defense is probably improving with each passing week (Not necessarily his BJJ offense).

Unless someone takes the belt away from him soon, he'll be champ for a LONG time, imo. He's just going to keep getting better and better.
ZMMAJUNKY- August 31, 2009 at 10:55 am
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I was lucky enough to catch Mark Munoz mask/hat when he threw it in the crowd during his entrance. It sucks that I can't find his entrance anywhere online. :(
ZMMAJUNKY- August 31, 2009 at 10:50 am
I'm so glad I decided to go see this fight card live!!! The undercard fights were just as entertaining as the main card fights. And just so you know, there were at least 2 fights in the crowd. They were right before the main fight (idiots). I would have recorded it like I did in Philly at UFC 101, but I didn't get to see it, just the aftermath. They were bloody and f'**ked-up!!
agentsmith- August 31, 2009 at 10:49 am
@ Mike Milbury:

I agree, I don't think this fight taught us much about either Maia or Marquardt... yes it made Maia look bad especially since Nate isn't that fantastic of a striker to begin with, but it really did seem like a "got caught" situation. Although it was a beautiful counter on Maia's kick attempt. But I've always felt that flash KO's like that don't tell you much about a fighter unless it happens to him repeatedly (Jardine?). Maia is still largely a question mark as to just how effective his BJJ is against the well-rounded top guys in the division, and personally I think it's still a question mark as to whether Marquardt has improved enough to do any better against Anderson Silva than last time.
Dmonicideals- August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am
@one two:

Just because you hate on someone for ridiculous reasons, does't make him any less of a real fighter. Your ignorant bias is clear, as you compare Bob Sapp to Lesnar. Any informed, halfway intelligent personn KNOWS that making that comparison is retarded. Lesnar is an elite athlete with an unmatched wrestling pedigree. He combines size, strength, and intensity like no other fighter ever has.

Do you think Nog is going to be able to do any more about getting pounded out from halfguard than Mir did? 285lbs of Brock holding you flat on the floor is something that a great many fighters are going to experience and then realize that yeah, maybe they should have taken Brock seriously, even though he is "just size, that's all".

I don't understand how people can claim to watch and love the sport, but srsly know so little about it.

It's all good though, keep being jealous of Brock, you bitter resentment has worked well for you so far.
One Two- August 31, 2009 at 10:28 am
lesnars 4-1 are you kidding me nog who would pick him apart on the feet and sub him if he even thought about taking it to the ground. you think nog would just lay in half guard getting pounded on like that dipshit mir? I can't wait for this fight and nog to get his belt back. Hopefully lesnar still has the belt after the carwin fight. You will all see.
KidDinomite- August 31, 2009 at 10:24 am
Can't hate on Vera for wanting to keep his distance. K-Sos is a good striker and a dangerous opponent. I think Vera just wanted to see if he could keep him out of range in order to land some good hits, which is something that Machida and Silva do right now. It looks as though Vera is trying to do his best impression by going that route by becoming sort of a counter-fighter/striker which is a good strategy against a power house like Soszyinski.

When you think about it, most counter-fighters in the UFC seem to win more than the guys who go balls out wild with strikes like Leben. Yes, the one-dimensional fighter days are over. You can't rush in all wild and expect a knockout anymore unless you're the one getting knocked out. Same thing goes for BJJ practitioners. I always wondered how a fighter would defend takedowns by BJJ guys and now it's something we see all the time with the Sprawl. It's just a simple evolution of the sport in general.
Jugger- August 31, 2009 at 10:16 am
Rosholt gets my vote for "most improved since his last outing". I hardly recognized him. He looked like a totally different fighter this time around. Props to him. A win over Leben looks good on the resume.

Nog looked pretty good, but I still think he's too slow to give Lesnar any trouble. In order to sub Lesnar he'd have to get him down and Lesnar is to Big Nog as Cheetah is to three-toed sloth.
Kindling- August 31, 2009 at 10:12 am
@One Two:

I agree with Gibs, plus comparing Lesnar to Sapp based solely on their size is like comparing Fedor to Fred Flintstone because they're built similarly. And I'm by no means comparing Fedor's skill to Lesnar's, btw. Lesnar is an athlete up and down. Sapp is size and only size (and awesome Japanese commercials). I think today's Nog goes down to Lesnar 8 times out of 10. He'd beat him like an egg. Egg Nog, if you will.
LBo- August 31, 2009 at 10:06 am
I agree with Jackal-- it's just a little too fashionable right now to hate on Brandon Vera, I actually thought he looked great in that fight.
the glza- August 31, 2009 at 10:05 am
yeah One Two, lesnar destroys nog. believe it.

and i agree with jackal -- ksos is a good young fighter but he was outclassed here. vera's got to start finishing, though. not necessarily in spectacular ktfo fashion, but finishing nonetheless.

smart fighters have to bore some people, but who cares about them. there will always be people who don't care about nuance in art -- i for one enjoy being amazed by fighters who out-think their opponents. machida and silva are the best at it right now, and maybe vera is starting to catch on. mir likes to think he does, but i don't know...
yerdoneson- August 31, 2009 at 10:01 am
Tim Hague, Damien Maia and Keith Jardine all taught fight fans a valuable lesson: Don't drop your hands while moving forward with your chin up against good strikers in the first two minutes of a fight.

How did Rampage not knock Jardine out?