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.