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The Potato Index: WEC/Strikeforce Double Feature

Andrei Arlovski” />
(How’s taste this career-shattering loss? Photo by Esther Lin for Showtime Sports.)

What a weekend of fights, and amazingly, all without the benefit of the initials “UFC.”  Instead we had Strikeforce and the WEC (okay, a Zuffa property, but still) teaming up to blow our minds without charging us fifty bucks for a pay-per-view.  Now we begin the difficult task of using the Potato Index’s completely arbitrary numerical rankings system to see who’s up and who’s down after the eventful weekend.

Mike Brown +209
He beat Faber fair and square, no flukes needed, and he also proved he can last through five tough rounds.  Instead of making broken hand-related excuses for Faber, let’s finally all give Brown the unqualified props he clearly deserves.

Urijah Faber -37
We can play the ‘what if?’ game with his broken hand all we want, but that’s the fight game.  That he still fought well and fought hard afterwards, even in a losing effort, deserves to be mentioned.  But he’s not the world’s best featherweight as long as Brownie is around, and that deserves mentioning too.

Jake Shields +198
Quick win over a well-respected fighter in a weight class above his proves Shields is as good as advertised.  The big question is, what now?

Robbie Lawler -96

Nothing brings about a drop in the ranks like looking very unimpressive in a loss to a lighter fighter.  He’s too seasoned a fighter to get caught that easily.  Almost makes you wonder if the move from MFS to the HIT Squad wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Jose Aldo +92
Guess who didn’t have time to screw around on Sunday night?  Aldo fought like he was late for a date with two stewardesses, and Swanson obliged him by crumpling up right away.  Now, can he do it against someone at or near the top of the division?

Cub Swanson -79
Despite a name that sounds like an awesome private detective, he’s proving to be no match for the better fighters in the division.  Good guy to have around to help young up-and-comers prove their worth, but for how long?

Nick Diaz +143
No one in MMA matches Diaz for pure volume of punches thrown, even if most of them are arm punches that look more annoying than anything else.  He’s proved his worth of late, and now he just needs better opponents who can really push him.  It’s up to Strikeforce to find him someone who fits the bill.

Scott Smith -85

No one will question his toughness, though they ought to question his defense.  Taking a beating in order to give one only works if you can manage the second part.  Maybe a Benji Radach rematch is in the cards?

Josh Grispi +77
He may have ushered Pulver into retirement with a quick submission, though it’s hard to say what a victory over “Lil Evil” is really worth at this point.  Still, a win’s a win.

Jens Pulver -82
The sun has set on Pulver’s career, whether he realizes yet or not.  Let’s hope the WEC gives him a job that doesn’t involve more diminishing returns inside the cage.

Brett Rogers +91
Okay, so it wasn’t the most technical display, but it was a knockout of a top ten heavyweight, which is more than any of us expected from The Grimm.  Now let’s see him against Overeem so we can find out just how far a strategy based on rushing people with a series of hooks can carry a man.

Andrei Arlovski -101
The fighter who could have been great, if not for that cursed glass jaw.  There’s no upside here at all for Arlovski, who just saw his stock plummet in the MMA world.  Might as well try out boxing and see if the extra padding in the gloves won’t help him stay on his feet a little longer.

Joe Riggs +81
“Diesel” looked like a complete fighter as he took Baroni apart over three rounds, even if he couldn’t figure out how to put him away.  That he did it with two broken hands is both impressive and disturbing.  He’s going to need stronger bones and soon if he wants to capitalize on this success.

Phil Baroni -70
The good news is that he didn’t get totally exhausted.  The bad news is that this was pretty much the extent of the good news.  He still hypes a fight as well as anyone, but at his age he isn’t getting any better inside the cage. 

“Cowboy” Cerrone +63
He got a fairly easy opponent and did what he was supposed to do with him.  The rematch with Varner is the only logical next step.  Hopefully this time we’ll see a more satisfying conclusion.

James Krause -51

A rough introduction to the next level for a previously unbeaten fighter, but sometimes that’s what it takes to up a guy’s game.  His next fight is where we’ll learn what kind of future he really has.

Mike Whitehead +38
A slow, plodding, uninspired decision victory over an aging Randleman is only worth so much.  His most impressive display was in getting up from that knockdown and recovering in such a hurry.  Other than that, not a whole lot of bright spots for “Iron” Mike.

Kevin Randleman -31

The new Randleman looks a lot like the old Randleman, only not quite as explosive.  He had his moments in this fight, few though they were, but he just couldn’t capitalize.  Getting outwrestled is not a positive sign for a guy who’s built his career the way he has.  Should have fought “Feijao,” after all.

Cagepotato Comments

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The Harvester- June 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm
I just wanna say that Randleman won that fight with Mikehead... And also on the WEC card that Banuelo or whatever his name was that came out with Chuck, did not win his fight either. It scares me every time a mma fight goes to decision and its not blatantly obvious.
Lysol- June 8, 2009 at 5:29 pm
Phenylalanine Says:
Mon, 06/08/2009 - 13:45
Arlovski went down harder than Brett Michaels at the Tony Awards

Phenylalanine +195
Blackleg- June 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm
Scott Smith needs to have his 'fighting style' on his sheet changed from Muay Thai to Boxing. Anyone *that* fucking clueless in the clinch needs to go back to the beginner class.

Brownie is the man - period. The ass-chinned donkey breaking his hand was, I'm sure, a welcome wrinkle for Brownie but it didn't automatically make it a cakewalk. Even one-handed Faber was still dangerous.
tree_choppa- June 8, 2009 at 5:10 pm
Diaz +420
Cathedron- June 8, 2009 at 3:22 pm
"Okay, so it wasn’t the most technical display, but it was a knockout of a top ten heavyweight, which is more than any of us expected from The Grimm."

Actually, some of us thought that was incredibly likely. And with 3 to 1 odds, a few people got rich.

Regardless, I really want to see Faber/Brown 3. I don't expect a different result, but I think it would be awesome. Brown knew Faber was fighting with one arm tied behind his back so he was putting himself in situations that he normally never does. I'd like to see what would happen if Faber actually posed a genuine threat to him for a full five rounds.

Faber should change his theme song to "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees.
Chri534.- June 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Someone PLEASE find a .gif of Aldo's dance after he won...hilarious...
Bob Loblaw- June 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm
Faber obviously had a broken right and a probably injured left, and Brown still couldn't put him away.
Phenylalanine- June 8, 2009 at 1:58 pm
Faber won round 1 although it was close, the broken hand clearly affected his gameplan of sticking and moving and keeping distance from Brown. It also hindered his ability to stop takedowns and grapple. Urijah had to start throwing that lunging elbow strike which put him right in Brown's clinch. He threw kicks to keep distance for a while but stopped them towards the end of the fight because they left him too open for a takedown. Brown did a great job of recognizing Urijah's injury (he seemed to hit him on the forehead with the shot that broke it, i doubt it was broke on Brown's "iron jaw") and adjusting his gameplan to take advantage of it. As far as Brown always having Faber's back, its widely known Urijah gives his back up on purpose so I wouldn't gauge that the same way I would if it happened to another fighter. And while Brown used takedowns to control the fight, he really didnt do anything impressive to Urijah when he had him on the mat. Great fight, really wish Faber's hand didnt break because it would have been a different rounds 2-5.
Phenylalanine- June 8, 2009 at 1:45 pm
Arlovski went down harder than Brett Michaels at the Tony Awards
Lysol- June 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm
Flying Knee +305
The technique lost a lot of credibility in the MMA world after Arlovski vs. Fedor, but it has more than redeemed itself after Jose Aldo used it to completely ruin Cub Swanson's shit.
Amancio- June 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm
It sucks that Faber's hands were broken, but there is no question that Brown was the better man that night. He earned both wins.
My Fight Wiffa Cheeto- June 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm
fftankr Says:
Mon, 06/08/2009 - 14:51
"brown had 4.5 rounds to finish faber, minus one hand, and he couldnt do it. thats says alot to the potato index i would think."

It says nothing to the arbitrary number assigned by the Ben(s). Broken hand or not, Faber doesn't have the strength to put Mike Brown away. Even when Lil Fabie would attempt a sub Brown would pick him up and almost drop him on his head or roll out to escape the choke. Brown was all over Faber like a stripper at an empty Gentleman's Club. Take down. Pass Guard/Take Back. Repeat.

My Fight Wiffa Cheeto- June 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm
Brownie stole the first round with his takedown and guard passing at the end of it. Faber had shit for him. Brown took his big right, it broke on his face and he just stared "The California Kid" down. Ring this fight in again in a year when the hand is healed, you'll get the same result.

Mike Thomas Brown is the truth. Now someone sign "Kid" Yamamoto over here so Lil Fabie and Brownie can fight him.
LoneWolf- June 8, 2009 at 12:45 pm
One Two Says:
Mon, 06/08/2009 - 10:59

Aldo awesome flying knee +10 ridiculously gay dance afterwards -110

I couldn't agree more....But what a freaking flying!
PingPong- June 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm
I don't see how Faber breaking his hand dilutes Brown's(second) victory at all, I mean first of all we don't know if it was it a hairline fracture or an open fracture with exposed bone.

Faber is a fighter, he broke his hand hitting another guy in a match, it's part of the job, no quarter asked for or given, maybe we should all be giving props to Brown for having a hard skull.

Faber is a warrior no doubt, but fighting with an injury is just part of his job description as far as I am concerned.
Chiggs- June 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm
Agreed fftankr, bout my sentiments on the fight as well. Fact is, Brown COULDNT finsh an injured Faber who almost tapped him out two or three times, spite having a broken hand. No doubt it was a huge handicap and was the difference of him winning or not winning. And by Browns statements after the fight, pretty sure he knows he didnt beat Faber, although Faber never beat him either..
Canadian Chronic- June 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm
Brown is the man. Way to go and put Faber in his place. People can come up with whatever excuses they want for Faber not winning, Brown will reign for a long time. I'd be considered tough too, if all i did was throw an elbow and then run for my life, stop, thow an elbow, run for my life, repeat ad naseum. that shit was worse than when Kenflo spent the fight running from R Huerta. Its a pretty easy fight if all you wanna do is run from your opponent. Get off Fabers balls, he lost. Hard to finish a man when he runs round the ring away from you.
fftankr- June 8, 2009 at 11:51 am
sorry ben, but i'm gonna have to use the "calikid broken hand" card, thing is, faber won that first round even by breaking his hand halfway thru. a lesser fighter would of pulled out, and never resorted to throwing elbows with that arm just to stay in the fight. plus his subs, the clinch game, and takedowns all could of made the difference in his winning and all 3 needing both hands.

my bigger take is, a so-called champion, brownie, could not finish a fighter with a handicap? brown had 4.5 rounds to finish faber, minus one hand, and he couldnt do it. thats says alot to the potato index i would think.
dxhernandez- June 8, 2009 at 11:50 am
I completely disagree with the Brown/Faber results. Everyone, including Brown himself, thought Brown was going to put Faber out early on.This Only proves their first match-up was a fluke and that Faber really can hang in their with him. losing your right hand in the first round (which we saw Faber use beautifully to stop almost all of brown's advances and take down attempts in the 1st) was crucial in the fight, his hand being broken that severely was obviously affecting his grappling and take down defense....and that's where Brown won that fight...I believe a 3rd re-match is definitely in order.
MMAMoneyLine- June 8, 2009 at 11:37 am
No love for Mike Kyle? He KOed a can't miss prospect in Cavalcante. Even if he is of "questionable ethics", he should definitely be considered dangerous.
Clayton- June 8, 2009 at 11:00 am
Meh. Arlovski doesn't have the greatest chin in MMA, but it's not really even below average, and certainly not a glass jaw; no, he just has horrible defense when he's being pressured and despite technical prowess, doesn't make consistently good reactions/decisions at critical moments. Every heavyweight punching in his direction is packing KO power with almost every punch, and Arlovski, time and time again, presents a perfect target at the worst time.
One Two- June 8, 2009 at 10:59 am
Aldo awesome flying knee +10 ridiculously gay dance afterwards -110
831 Son- June 8, 2009 at 10:53 am
Damn im impressed too with both the events this weekend.

What the fuck is up with Anderson getting all the boos in the event?
Art Gibs- June 8, 2009 at 10:52 am
I'm from Sacramento and was definitely disappointed by the crowd when they booed Brown. Brown is such a nice guy; there's no reason to boo him.

I do think that Faber's broken hand detracts from Brown win, though. Faber won the first round, which was the only round in which his hands weren't broken. Unfortunately for Brown, there are still unanswered questions out there. If Brown is still the champion for a while, obviously we're going to see another rematch.
Krazy Kracker- June 8, 2009 at 10:48 am
Sacremento Crowd -120
Stay classy Sac-town. Guess a couple of people from Stockton made the trek in their Cutlass Supremes to disrespect a guy who could beat the shit out of all of them.