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The Potato Index: UFC 97 Aftermath

(A tough night in so many different ways. Photo courtesy of

Even our supercomputer had trouble dealing with the data from a bizarre main event at UFC 97.  We had to hit it with a broomstick a couple times just to keep it chugging.  Not a great Saturday night for the UFC, but at least it’s over now.  Let’s see who’s up and who’s down.

Anderson Silva -129
Against Cote, the computer was willing to cut him some slack based on past performances.  But two lackluster showings in a row, followed by an inability or unwillingness to comprehend why fans might have been unsatisfied, that equals a big drop.  Is this the Silva we can look forward to from now on?

Thales Leites -176

You get the opportunity of your lifetime and spend most of it flopping onto your back?  We think you’re going to regret that decision.  How Leites thought this strategy might yield a victory is a real mystery.  What the UFC can do with him now is another.

“Shogun” Rua +92
We still don’t really know what kind of shape he was in, but it was obviously good enough.  He did what he had to do to stay relevant, and who knows, maybe it’s the beginning of a Frank Mir-esque comeback for Rua.  Now put him against someone who isn’t on the downside of their career and let’s see how he does.

Chuck Liddell -78
It’s been a hell of a career, but ending it now is the right choice.  He’s simply not the same guy he was, and you have to be thankful to Dana White for insisting that he come to terms with that fact.  Thanks for the memories, Chuck.

Sam Stout +55
He looked resilient in victory over a tough opponent.  The fact that this was Fight of the Night says more about the general weakness of the card than it does about this performance, though.

Matt Wiman -49
He’s a credible fighter who also puts forth a great effort, but he’s starting to feel like a permanent middle of the pack lightweight at this point.  For job security purposes, that’s a bad place to be.

Krzysztof Soszynski +63

He barely broke a sweat submitting Stann, and pocketed an extra $70,000 for his trouble.  There is life after TUF for “The Polish Experiment."  He’s earned it.

Brian Stann -59
A tough way to go out in your UFC debut, but what did we expect?  The guy has fewer than ten pro fights.  Give him time to develop more, possibly on Spike TV Fight Night cards.

Cheick Kongo +68

Putting a beatdown on a guy who’s not making his UFC debut is a welcome change for Kongo.  He’s an absolute beast when he wants to be, but a title shot is definitely a fight or two away.  First he has to prove that he can hang with the big wrestlers in the heavyweight division.  Kongo vs. Carwin, anyone?

Antoni Hardonk -60

He looked lethargic and overwhelmed almost immediately.  Makes you wonder, what’s an 8-5 heavyweight doing on the main card of a UFC pay-per-view?  Are they that hard up for big men?

Luis Cane +49
He just might have what it takes to turn into a legitimate light heavyweight contender.  He fought smart and didn’t get overly aggressive, though he knows how to hurt when he wants to.

Steve Cantwell -41

“The Robot” hung tough but was simply outclassed for much of the fight.  Up next, a rubber match with Stann?  Might make for a decent night of free fights.

Nate Quarry

Some signs of life from Quarry, who used vicious elbows to open up and put away a tough Jason MacDonald.  That should put him back in the middleweight hunt, though his potential rise seems limited as long as guys like Silva and Maia are at the top.

Jason MacDonald -48
All the love from the Canadian crowd couldn’t help him, even though he got the fight to the mat like he wanted.  Again he looks to have too few answers for a good ground-and-pound attack.

Denis Kang +40
Finally got his first UFC win after shooting himself in the foot during his debut.  Now let’s see if he can return to form against an opponent who really matters.

Xavier Foupa-Pokam -33

A difficult first bout in the UFC yields predictable results.  At least he hung in there for three rounds.

Ed Herman +46
Hey, remember him? Almost won “The Ultimate Fighter?”  No?  Well, turns out he’s still around and can still pull out a victory when he has to.  How ‘bout that.

David Loiseau -49
You’ve gotta feel for “The Crow.”  Things just never come together for him when he really needs a win.  Guess he’s still good to have around if you’re putting on a show in Canada, though.

Eliot Marshall +36
Beating the guy who made the finals is a good way for a recent TUF alum to prolong his career.  Or maybe it’s just another sign that making the finals doesn’t necessarily mean that much.

Vinny Magalhaes -50
Gets knocked out by the wrestler Bader, then decisioned by fellow jiu-jitsu black belt Marshall.  What’s left for him?  Unemployment, if he can’t prove he belongs in the Octagon soon.

UFC 97 -83
The fight card was noticeably weak aside from the top two bouts, and only one of those delivered.  Seems like the UFC can phone it in and still sell out in Montreal, but how long will that last after this disappointing show?  Let’s put it behind us and look forward to a stacked summer. 

Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 8:18 pm
It cost $225 for your seat?
We're pissed that we paid $45 and we feel we should be extended a free UFC event for it. That event sucked. Dana says that the Chuck/Rua fight was amazing? WTF! Are you kidding me? I'll tell you, the thing that reaaaallllyyy gets under my skin is the way the UFC talks to their fans like we are total morons and we aren't seeing what we are seeing. Mike Golberg is awful and Dana thinks that was an AMAZING battle? Unbeleivable. I'm UFC from day 1 but I'm welcoming the Strikeforce, Affliction, Dream, Elite and anyone else who's actually going to give us fans the respect that we've earned. We buy these events and go on these sites, Cagepotato being my #1 by the way, and yet Dana says things like that like I'm suppose to go back and look for something that wasn't there. Bullshit!
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 8:00 pm
oops meant ufc 96 in cbus
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 7:59 pm
I think Anderson went hollywood on us , so he acts like a baby when someone doesnt get knocked out by him . I thought a true champ composes himself and doesnt do dumb shit , he got criticized for it in his last bout , and then does it again. If the fight isnt going your way adapt or fight with respect. If he didnt do all that stupid shit during the fight then I wouldnt of had a problem, even if he just stood there. Those kicks to Thales knee were in poor taste and could possibly effect Thales career with future knee injuries. Anderson turned into a tool plain and simple. I feel the booing during fights just shows how new people are to this sport , when I was at 97 in cbus the boos were every 2 minutes ,oh and another thing what is with the USA chanting during a fight , so fucking dumb .
Jonny5- April 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm
I already had Cane in my personal top ten at LHW b4 this fight now I think its time for CP to do the same.
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 6:07 pm
If anderson silva is so good, I wonder how he would do against say Gegard Mousassi. too bad that would never happen, a guy can dream though. Also id like to add Anderson Silva can go fuck himself.
uzithrasha- April 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm
Well I don't think anderson would fight the dragon because in a interview he says he wouldnt wouldn't run for the light heavyweight belt because it belonged to machida
GSPN- April 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm
does anyone know if that contents is still going on?
Dana White rules!- April 20, 2009 at 3:50 pm
Dana White just announced that Anderson "The Spider" Silva will now be called by his new nick name Anderson "The mosquito" Silva. Due to the fact that a mosquito is like a little annoying pest and only takes a little bit of your blood.
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm
dana white's business decisions have always been and always will be the most terrible oppressive bullshit on the face of the planet.
FreddyFangers- April 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm
Personally, I do not think it is up to anyone but the fighter when choosing retirement. If chuck still wants it, then as long has he can get permission from the athletic commission let him fight. Sure, he might be past his prime and he might tarnish his legendary status(I dont think he will) but this is about wanting to fight not whether or not he should fight. If you force chuck into retirement, why isnt Coleman forced out? He gets to keep fighting because he makes shitty financial desicions and needs the cash. Colemans performance against Rua was epically bad. At least chuck still pushes it. And if you Liddell has to retire then what of Wandy? This is the guy Liddell beat on this 1-5 ballgame.Rampage destroyed him in 2 minutes max. Sure I guess due to contractual obligations Liddell might be forced to at least wait till it runs out or risk losing the cush job he must be getting with the UFC, FUCK IT! If he wants to fight, ask Coker how much he can shell out to have Chuck beat on some light heavys or heavys in Strikeforce.....Dana White has no right, friend or not, looking out for his best interest or not, to dictate someones retirement from a sport. Cut him from the UFC stable? Ok.
SCM- April 20, 2009 at 2:26 pm
Yellow Cards: Awesome, reasonable idea. DecipleOfMagus' first comment, as well as Old Bald and Irish's first comment were great. CAPS LOCK HAL, your still a fag. And I would still never bet against Anderson, until he loses. I would like to see him fight someone in 205 like Jardine, or Shogun. All the haters are sitll wrong at the ened of the day.
War Fedor- April 20, 2009 at 1:43 pm
Why not just introduce cards like they had in Pride? Push the action or lose your paycheck...
Jubbie- April 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm
Silva's BJJ guard is pretty solid. If you saw in half-guard, Leites couldn't get his leg out and it just ended up transitioning into full.

I think especially later in the fight, Silva could've freelanced a little more with striking from above. I think in the last round he even started pounding him and bloodied his nose. If he could've done that in the last round, he could've done that in the 3rd or at least the 4th. But instead half the match was just Silva throwing feeler strikes and Leites falling on his ass.

In a way, what people seem to be saying is we're willing to accept a loss if the fighter was being aggressive to win i.e. Faber(although that was kinda dumb but would've been sweet if he had connected). The impression I got was Silva was such a dominant striker that he could destroy people through his will. Now it almost feels like he's afraid to put himself out there because it risks his streak.
1 GLOVE- April 20, 2009 at 1:38 pm
So is it Silva's job to win or give us a show? He beat TL easily and probably doesn't have even the slightest bruise on his body. I was bored by the fight but I am also bored with Nascar unless there is a huge pile up. What Silva did was display the fact that he is in another league all together. Other fighters are more exciting to watch but how is their health, Chuck is done, Wanderlei is moving down in weight, Jardine is taking a step back, and all because they stand and bang.
Nut Puncher 9000- April 20, 2009 at 1:10 pm
@ the arsenal

I am simply saying that as a champion in the UFC you should at least be able to force the action. If he was not afraid of being taken down, say rounds 3-5, (because I will admit that early on you dont want to get pointed out of rounds) then he should have been attacking with intentions of finishing the fight.

Again, punching legs, shoulder shakes, and soccer kicks/trips dont end fights and If you are not worried about going to the ground then press the action and beat him up a bit.

Would we even be discussing this if Anderson had been attacking to finish the fight? The whole reason this is a discussion is because AS failed to look like a champion...plain and simple.

I say again, GSP will never have a fight like this.

Lysol- April 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm
One of the few times I'll agree with Dana White's methods of dealing with fighters concerns the way he plans to deal with Chuck Liddell. Chuck will always insist he has some quality fights left in him; all fighters do. But, just like Ken Shamrock and Tank Abbott, how long do you let them continue when they're no longer threats to beat anyone? Chuck has been the victim of two brutal KOs, and at his age, it's now dangerous for him to step in the octogon for the wrong reasons. Keep him around for his celebrity appeal, but nothing more. Maybe use him as a talent scout. Or, like many teams do with their corproate boxes, use him for autograph sessions and meet n' greets. But please, no more fights. Just like no one wants to remember Favre with the Jets, no one wants to remember Chuck as the guy who got KTFO by Houston Alexander.
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 12:49 pm
CZ - I hope you were saying AMEN to my gingers comment, cuz I am having a hard time finding others who despise them. They are a race unto themselves and I think it is high time they are segregated. They can't even stand themselves. You never see them date each other. I am not kidding around about this.
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm
I booed because of mob mentality. May have been hurt if I hadn't. Seriously though, even with good seats, it was diffucult to appreciate the small things the Spider was doing in there. I didn't see any of the cool shit until I watched the ppv last night. Still, I think he needs to be more aggressive. I didn't pay 225 to see punches to the thighs, I paid for BLOOD!!!!
CZ- April 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm
Bocek -10 for being tough, but a ginger nonetheless.

Beiklheden - 1,000,000 for losing to an ugly ginger bastard like Bocek
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 12:37 pm
Although I hate 'GINGERS' , CP also forgot about Bocek, who dominated a game Bieklheiden.
Go-Go-Gadgetplata- April 20, 2009 at 12:36 pm
What was Silva's excuse in the Cote fight? He certainly wasn't afraid of Cotes ground game.
Anderson did seem to have an answer for the ground game, and that was nice and early when there wasn't as much sweat and Leites was still fresh and energetic.
By the third and fourth round, Silva should have found a way to finish the fight.
Doing "just enough to win" isn't the behaviour of a champion.
Even when GSP fought Fitch you could tell he was at the very least TRYING to finish the fight, even if he wasn't able to do it.
I don't think punching Leites in the thigh was a brilliant offensive tactic. It was just pure show-boating.
I don't think Anderson Silva even wants to fight in MMA any more. He expressed his desire to finish out his contract this year and retire.
I think this is his response to the UFC not agreeing to his request to box Roy Jones Jr.
I'm also not convinced regarding his "best p4p" label. In my opinion he's had some good wins against 2 or 3 quality opponents. Franklin, Hendo, and Marquardt.
I don't think Cote or Leites, or Lutter, are legitimate number 1 contenders, and I'd like to see this new lazy Anderson Silva against Marquardt or Hendo. We might see an upset.
Decipleofmagus- April 20, 2009 at 12:34 pm
How could anyone boo someone that pulled a soccer kick and made it look good, if anything you should have booed Thales for falling down all the time, and forcing Silva into a position which made him seem less that amazing.
Anonymous- April 20, 2009 at 12:30 pm
It certainly looked better on tv. I was there live and it looked horrible. I think the crowd was so desperately wanting Silva to look impressive as the undercard fights were not very exciting. Silva needs to stop training with the Dragon and start murdering people again so all the noobs will stop complaining like its the end of the world. ..but I booed him.
Decipleofmagus- April 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm
I am so sick of everyone giving Silva so much shit. How can you expect someone to fight when he is given opponents who aren't even in the same league as him? He did attempt to finish the fight a couple of times, only to be met with a butt flop, he was visibly frustrated and upset, so why not make Thales look like a chump. I feel that at this point in his career he also needed to test himself a bit just to see if he could go the full 5, why not? Personally, i loved that fight, it reminded me of the final fight scene in "The Drunken Master" where Jackie Chan kept switching styles, just because it wasn't a knockout, doesn't mean he didn't put on a show. In the press conference as well as the post fight interview i think Silva was sending a message to the UFC fan base which is: MMA is not all about spectacular knockouts so stop expecting them, I have technique and i like to test it on chumps that won't fight back.

So everyone just get over it!