(‘Seriously Brandon, quit it. I’m not going to tell you again.’ Photo courtesy of UFC.com)
The data is in for UFC 105, and now the Potato Index’s arbitrary numerical rankings system is here to tell you who’s up and who’s down after this weekend’s UK action.
Randy Couture +25
It goes down as another win on his permanent record, but it just as easily could have gone the other way. He’s still great when it comes to executing a game plan, and any man who can bounce back from those kicks to the body is a tough S.O.B., but a methodical, debatable win over a mid-level 205’er doesn’t herald the dawning of a new age for Randy the light heavyweight.
Brandon Vera -21
As close as this fight was, Vera can’t complain. He spent most of the bout with his back on the fence, and when he finally put Couture in trouble he let him off the hook rather than trying to finish him off. Sorry, Truth. Looks like the middle of the pack is where you’re going to stay.
Dan Hardy +54
It wasn’t necessarily a spectacular win, but he came in as the underdog and earned a clear-cut decision over a tough opponent. His reward? A win bonus and a little bit of press before a championship beatdown at the hands of GSP. Enjoy the pre-fight press conference, Dan, because that’s as close as you’re likely to get to that belt.
Mike Swick -37
Losing a fight you were supposed to win always hurts. Losing a number one contender bout you were supposed to win hurts even more. Swick may not be the most naturally gifted welterweight in the UFC, but he works hard and always comes to fight. Too bad that’s not always enough. Though, as Rogan put it, maybe this is one fight where it’s better, at least for the sake of your long-term facial structural integrity, to lose.
Michael Bisping +60
Nothing helps to erase the memory of an embarrassing knockout loss quite like a hard-fought finish against a quality opponent in your own backyard. Bisping worked his way through some difficult moments and came out on top in a fight that should provide him with a major confidence boost. The only question is, what will he do with it now?
Denis Kang -53
After coming to the UFC with so much promise and potential, Kang has only lived up to it in brief spasms. Typically those spasms come early in a fight, just before he gets finished. That makes for an impressive first round, but not a successful career. As of right now, Kang looks like Fight Night material.
Matt Brown +48
We knew “The Immortal” would be a tough guy to finish. That’s just common sense. But more and more he’s looking like a truly dangerous individual, perhaps only more so when he’s in trouble. Note to the welterweights out there: if you want to beat Brown, the only sure way is to cut off his head.
James Wilks -35
Even though we know what his game is, somehow his slick jiu-jitsu still seems like a surprise. It’s probably no consolation right now, but most people would have tapped to that kimura. It’s his bad fortune that Matt Brown is not one of those people.
Ross Pearson +41
He seemed like he might be headed for a TUF hangover beating, but Pearson looked like a seasoned fighter. He stuck to a very specific game plan and made it into his kind of fight, brutalizing Riley en route to a doctor’s stoppage. Maybe this kid is something worth getting excited about after all.
Aaron Riley -27
When you lose via cut stoppage you can always tell yourself it was just bad luck, but Riley didn’t look like a man headed for victory anyway. He’s a working man’s fighter, and no one will ever question his heart or his toughness. Neither will they confuse him with a future world champion.
Andre Winner +39
A win over Roli Delgado is never going to be considered a triumphant career moment, but Winner made the most of it with that highlight reel KO. This guy is explosive, and once he closes up some holes in his game he could really go places.
Roli Delgado -38
The UFC is a lot like spicy food, Roli. It isn’t for everyone. Have you considered law school?
Alexander Gustafsson +30
He wasn’t in there long enough for us to learn too much about him, but at least we know he can punch. After that display we’re eager to see what else he can do, and who he can do it against.
Jared Hamman -29
Cheer up, kid. People have come back from worse UFC debuts to make a career out of it. I can’t really think of any off the top of my head, though.
Manchester crowd +/-0
Enthusiastic and boisterous as always, but how do you steal Couture’s hat and still feel good about yourselves? If that’s how the Brits behave, all the UFC’s fighters had really better keep a close eye on their gear when they head to Australia in 2010.
Tito Ortiz -12
Even in a brief hype interview with Joe Rogan he manages to come off poorly. Sporting sunglasses and a gelled coiffeur, wordsmith Tito opines: ‘Everything in my life is coincidental; everything happens for a reason.’ Tito, let me tell you how you feel right now…