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The Potato Index: UFC 92 Aftermath

(Sonic Boooom!  Photo courtesy of NBC Sports.)

On my way through the MGM Grand to the arena on Saturday night I stopped near the food court to drink my coffee and affix my press credential.  A twenty-something guy saw the UFC logo around my neck and started talking to me about the fights, telling me what a huge Frank Mir fan he was and how he thought Mir was going to kill Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

“I don’t think so,” I said.  “I think Mir’s got the least chance to win of all the guys on the main card.”

“Really?” he said.

“Really,” I told him.  “But hey, if you think he’s going to win, put a bet down.  He’s going off at 3-1.  Although there’s a reason the odds are so high.”

“Yeah, no,” he said, making a face like I’d just told him Santa Claus wasn’t real.  “That’s okay.  Thanks.”

I don’t know who that guy was, or whether he reads Cage Potato (I assume he does, being both an English-speaker and an MMA fan), but I want to apologize to him.  My friend, I’m sorry.  Really, really, sorry.  I hope you, and to a lesser extent, Frank Mir, will forgive me.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s see who’s up and who’s down after UFC 92 via the enjoyably arbitrary numerical ratings of the Potato Index.

Rashad Evans +218
Every time Evans fights he looks more versatile, more dangerous, and more confident.  His stoppage of Griffin proves he deserves to wear the belt.  Maybe now the fans will cut him some slack and recognize his skills.

Forrest Griffin -42
Good game plan, good execution early on, but this is MMA and one punch can change everything, especially when it’s followed by thirty more.  Humble in defeat as in victory, he’s still as likeable as ever, but his chin is increasingly suspect.

Frank Mir +512
And the first man to stop Big Nog is…Frank Mir?  He looked good doing it, and fought smart from start to finish, so he deserves the belt now.  If you’d told me six months ago that we’d see Mir-Lesnar II for the unified UFC heavyweight title, and that it would be a legitimately interesting and absolutely huge fight, I would have punched you right in the back of the head as soon as you turned around.  Such is life in the MMA world.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -63
Big Nog seemed to have aged ten years since his fight with Tim Sylvia.  He looked slow and simply outclassed.  Is Mir simply that good, or are past battles catching up with the former champ?  A fight with Couture makes sense, but the loser will have to re-evaluate his career.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson +124
He looked sharp and confident from the minute he came charging across the Octagon.  The knockout of Silva only proves how much better he is now than in his Pride days.  Forget a Griffin rematch for now, Rampage-Evans sounds like a hell of a fight.

Wanderlei Silva -50

You can say he just got caught, but how many ugly knockouts can this guy take before something bad happens?  Eventually the beatings will pile up, and his wide open style won’t help him any.  Up next: Silva vs. Griffin?

Cheick Kongo +42
He looked like a monster awakened by a knee to the groin, but what’s with the title shot talk?  His last two wins are both against UFC newcomers.  Beat an established UFC heavyweight, maybe one with a ground game, then we’ll see.

C.B. Dollaway +12
It takes a certain kind of talent to remain so unlikeable, even in victory.  At this point he should just run with it and play the role of the Brock Lesnar-esque heel.  It’s not as if it will lose him any fans.

Dean Lister -132
One of the worst UFC showings this side of Kalib Starnes.  Getting knocked out would have been better for his career.  If you only want to fight on the ground, Dean, you have two choices: 1) develop a wicked takedown/sweep from the bottom combo, ala Demian Maia, or 2) stick to grappling tournaments.  No way he should stay in the UFC after that performance.

Matt Hamill +43
He showed more than just wrestling ability in the stoppage win over Andy.  Now he needs to show he can do it against tougher competition.

Pat Barry +31
We still don’t know enough about his ground game, but with leg kicks like that he may not need much of one.  Who’s going to be able to shoot for a takedown after two or three of those?  He’s still small for a UFC heavyweight, but he’s got more talent than he knows what to do with.  This guy can go places.

Dan Evensen – 78
They sure looked painful, but who quits from leg kicks in the first round?  Not someone who wants to hang around in the UFC.

Antoni Hardonk +22
Three wins in a row for the Dutchman, but you get the sense he was greatly aided by facing an opponent who didn’t have the cardio due to taking the fight on short notice.  It’s still a long way to the top from here.

UFC Rookies -15
Only Barry shined in his Octagon debut, while Wessel and Al Turk flopped.  They both deserve another chance on a Fight Night card somewhere.

UFC Matchmaking (aka Joe Silva) +102

The revolving door of light heavyweight titleholders and the multiple upsets proves that the UFC is willing to make the best, most competitive fights it can without protecting anyone.  That’s really all you can ask for from a promoter, and UFC 92 reaped the rewards of that strategy.

Cagepotato Comments

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Denny Kappes- December 30, 2008 at 12:03 pm
Definitely what I want to happen.
Torque- December 30, 2008 at 6:02 am
I'm a big Forrest Griffin fan, I admire his toughness and his very respectful sportsmanship. But after the loss with Rashad, I can clearly see a hole in his fight strategy. Don't get me wrong, Evans is a highly skilled fighter who has improved by leaps and bounds since winning TUF. Forrest seems to suffer severe damage from every opponet when he goes to the mat and he's on his back in guard. I think he needs to concentrate on more training on a combination of things like being more aggressive fighting in the clinch (i.e. Anderson Silva), tune up his takedown defense with a better sprawl and upgrade to a more aggressive ground & pound attack. His striking and movement are top notch but he still lowers his head when he chargers in with big straight shots or overhands. If he is going to go to his back like he does, he WILL HAVE TO TRAIN MORE JITZ with an Elite BJJ camp. His training at Couture's gym is great and has helped him dramatically, but I feel this style is being adapted to, and he needs to have Black Belt quality Jitz and an accomplished ground game to protect him from being pummeled like the Tito, Jardine and Evans fights. But again, this is only my opinion.
Anonymous- December 30, 2008 at 3:58 am
since when did cb dolloway turn into a legitimate homo, like what the fuck he has a lisp and pretty much asked joe for a handy?
Chri534- December 30, 2008 at 1:18 am
My two favorite quotes...For one, I actually laughed out loud (and I still do every time I read it...nice job). For the other, I just couldn't agree with it more and I'm also glad to see I'm not the only one that calls her horseface.:

1.) "If you’d told me six months ago that we’d see Mir-Lesnar II for the unified UFC heavyweight title, and that it would be a legitimately interesting and absolutely huge fight, I would have punched you right in the back of the head as soon as you turned around."

2.) mentasm:

"The article is missing the line
UFC Ring Girls +100
Logan sure beats the hell out of horseface"
Joey- December 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm
@ Imbecile

Nate Quarry didn't want to go to the ground with Maia and look what happened to him (Hint: Bitch got subbed!)
Anonymous- December 29, 2008 at 9:27 pm
chuck liddell babayyyy!!!!!!!!!!
Shady- December 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm
"Every time Evans fights he looks more versatile, more dangerous, and more confident. His stoppage of Griffin proves he deserves to wear the belt. Maybe now the fans will cut him some slack and recognize his skills."


I don't think anyone has ever questioned his skill fans just don't like him. I don't think anyone has ever liked this guy since his time on TUF 2. Honestly, I think most people consider him a nipple twisting, penis kissing douch bag that deserves to get knocked into next week. But, hey who needs fans when you've got skill?
Imbecile- December 29, 2008 at 3:23 pm
...And I think CP should cut Dean Lister a little slack. To say he should develop a takedown/sweep game like Demian Maia is just laughable. Lister may have put on a boring performance, but he is every bit the ground wizard that Maia is, and I doubt Maia's takedown game is much better. I know Maia's nuts are the latest fun bags for bandwagoners to swing from (and I like the guy a whole lot too), but let's see how Maia looks against Marquardt and Okami. My guess is those fights would go much the same way as with Lister. Marquardt is simply too well rounded, and easily gets out of bad situations, and Okami is just too big and strong for either Lister or Maia to force to the ground. Everyone who loves Maia so much should see what may well happen when he steps up in competition against guys who won't go to the ground with him.
mentasm- December 29, 2008 at 3:22 pm
The article is missing the line

UFC Ring Girls +100

Logan sure beats the hell out of horseface
Imbecile- December 29, 2008 at 3:09 pm
Lyoto Machida should first have to fight a big name fighter before he has a title shot, or at least a fighter who has beaten a big name fighter. And don't tell me Tito Ortiz counts, since he hasn't been relevant since 2004. He hasn't so much as beaten a Keith Jardine yet in the UFC, so step it up.

Machida should also have to win at least one of his next two matches in a fashion other than a decision. Once those conditions are met, then he should be granted a fully deserved title shot. Otherwise, I don't care to ever see him fight for the belt. This isn't a point-karate match.
TUF Guy- December 29, 2008 at 3:02 pm
And I still want to lick Lesnar's cock tattoo.
Anonymous- December 29, 2008 at 2:30 pm
im not a forrest griffen fan but i'm arguing that he should have been in the +, sure he lost but i think he showed that it wasn't luck vs rampage. an overall good fight vs an undefeated black guy!
Chuck Norris- December 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm
you are alll wrong
TUF Guy- December 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm
I'm never wrong. I was wrong once and that was in 2002 when I thought I was wrong once.
Chuck Norris- December 29, 2008 at 1:40 pm
your alll wrong
Ray Dove- December 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm
@Angry Monkey

CB did tap, i was screamin for it in the was basically the same tap as how he lost in the TUF finale, he tapped twice then changed his mind...except this time the ref didn't f'in see it somehow.
weatherman2012- December 29, 2008 at 1:21 pm
Excellent Potato Index! Very accurate in my opinion. Pretty amazing that titles keep rotating so quickly, but the point was made that the match making is responsible for that, which I would certainly agree with.

I hated seeing Wandy KO'd like that, but I'm a Rampage fan too so I'm happy for him. That stand up exchange that lead to the KO was a thing of beauty. It looks like Rampage has been studying solid technique and it paid off well. Not sure what Wandy should do next, but damn, his last 5 fights have not been a high point in his career.

Does Lyoto Machida deserve a title fight? Yes.
Will he get one before Rampage does? Questionable.

Personally, I would love to see Rashad vs. Rampage next, and Rampage certainly deserves a shot back at the title as much as anyone. His only loss in the UFC was a close decision, and he just keeps getting better.

And what about Hendo? He's gonna be looking for a title shot soon also. I think he'll KO Rich Franklin and if he does than Joe Silva will likely be thinking a title match for Henderson.
UFCinCalgary- December 29, 2008 at 1:03 pm
Where was the "variation" of the nipple tweak?

I think it should be Evans vs T. Silva UFC 102 in Calgary.

Anonymous- December 29, 2008 at 1:01 pm
Okami is 7-1 in the UFC why the fuck do they still have him on the undercard
TheWarsawExpress- December 29, 2008 at 12:40 pm
1. Mir and Nog took off time for TUF. Mir just needed time to get to his former status as a badass after getting hit by a car.

2. Page and Griffin took off a lot of time for TUF.

3. Machida/Thiago Silva seems like the logical choice for the next title contender as they are both undefeated and you should probably have to win at least two fights to get another shot at a title bout (right? unless everyone is on your nuts but you suck anyway?) I wouldn't mind a championship bout between two undefeated opponents.

4. Machida would probably have more wins agains more notable opponents if people would get in the ring with him.

5. Lesnar is scary. I bet he has a few people in HW shitting their pants. He totally dominated Mir. Too bad he didn't notice Mir was trying for subs while he was laying into him. Am I the only one who saw the 50 punches Mir took before he got that leg bar? Did he deserve a title shot yet? No, but the UFC isn't about who deserves a title shot, it is about what matchups make the most $ and to a secondary extent who deserves it.
TheWarsawExpress- December 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm

The winner of Machida/Thiago Silva match should fight Evans next. Unfortunately, Machida is not a fan favorite.
Douchebaggery- December 29, 2008 at 12:16 pm
"Dan Evensen – 78
They sure looked painful, but who quits from leg kicks in the first round? Not someone who wants to hang around in the UFC"

I don't think he had much of a choice, his knee looked jacked
cleanshirt- December 29, 2008 at 12:13 pm
randy should have taken noguiera on when it was for the belt!
Clyde- December 29, 2008 at 12:10 pm
Well, I guess we all need to be behind Mir now. Don't let us down Frankie boy.
johnjohn8- December 29, 2008 at 12:10 pm
Machida is a great fighter, boring at times but he does know what he is doing, everyone has to give him that. I just dont think hes going to be able to to stop an aggressive opponent. And please dont mention Ortiz. I mean a actual prime fighter. I like Machidas style, but Daniel San just wont cut in the UFC.