That’s some hit, man. (I’m so sorry.) PicProps: Esther Lin / MMAFighting
So BG is gone this week, I assume to yet another wedding, because once he bought the tuxedo he was determined to get the mileage out of it. Seriously, he’s got the whole bit: natty little straight cane with the white tips, monocle, top hat, the whole nine. It’s dashing, but apparently it’s expensive as hell. That or he’s running some kind of scheme where he collects disposable cameras and plastic champagne flutes? What the fuck are you building in there, Goldstein?
So anyway, I’m poking around his office here at CP headquarters, kick over a box of CagePotato Hall of Fame t-shirts, and damn if i didn’t stumble over the ol’ arbitrariest of MMA supercomputers: the Potato Index.
Turns out it’s been hooked up this whole time, so I decided to pull up the numbers on UFC’s Fight Night 27, just for old times’ sake.
The Octagon Girls +16
The new Octagon Girls are lovely. Chrissy Blair is the archetypal California Girl; think Christie Brinkley in a Ferrari, but blonder. And the new brunette one getting tattoos exactly like Brittney Palmer’s was a nice touch.
Kansas City fighters + 42
Zak Cummings [+19] and Jason High [+23] both picked up their first UFC wins with good-looking performances. Jason High had previously lost to Erick Silva in June and Charlie Brennamen back in 2010, mostly because Joe Silva likes to call High on short notice for not-easy fights. The Kansas City Bandit gets a big bump with a quick win.
Abel Trujillo +11
Trujillo picks up the best kind of No Contest: the kind that comes from a foul that is both uber-agressive and debatable. Attacking grounded fighters with knees will always stir the passions; if Trujillo were a savvy marketer, he would start coming to the cage in a Hannibal mask and a straight jacket. A straight jacket covered in sponsor patches. Dana White would get a visible boner.
Roger Bowling -5
Unfortunately, according to (arbitrary) opinion, it’s better to take the loss in the cage and get the NC declared later. But enjoy your short-term memory and normal brain function. (Pussy.)
Darren Elkins +14
Elkins survived a vicious body attack in the first and a dangerous grappling attack in the second and third. “Surviving” does not tend to lead to big gains in esteem, as witnessed by Elkins being bounced to the prelims despite a 7-2 UFC record, and minimal gains here.
Hatsu Hioki -27
Attacking Hatsu Hioki on the ground, with a leg lock, should be like picking a fight with Iron Man while wearing your own home-made power armor. But that’s exactly what happened, after Hioki had failed to put away a visibly hurt Elkins in the first round. Hioki is now 0-3 in the UFC, so don’t expect to see him before the organization returns to Japan.
Brandon Thatch +38
There’s a first appearance, and then there’s a debut. One you need to look up, and one just stands out. In 1 minute and 23 seconds of full-blown Tekken button-mashing mode, Thatch introduced himself to a whole bunch of new people.
Justin Edwards: -23
Poor Justin Edwards. Where previously he was always being mentally associated with this guy, now people are always going to mentally associate him with 82 seconds of gloriously violent interpretive dance. Expect Edwards to get another chance to redeem himself, but that’s a harsh beating to take.
TUF 18: Rousey vs Tate: +8
The latest incarnation of the Ultimate Fighter competition show continues to draw buzz with its first female inclusion, while Cat Zingano [-4] has been effectively forgotten. At least the UFC has a legitimate challenger after Tate suffers her second disarticulation loss.
Dylan Andrews: +18
Andrews looked to be losing a grappling match until he uncorked an economy three-pack of Aussie brand Uppercut that tucked Papy into Abedi in the third round. [Ed. note: The computer is unable -or unwilling - to apologize for this.] Carrying that kind of power late into the fight, even when injured, makes Andrews a scary opponent. Andrews lost points for calling his uppercut his “money shot”, because human fluids are disgusting.
Papy Abedi -11
Abedi kept his grappling attack entertaining, with some slick trips and a high-amplitude slam. His chin looks to be suspect, but that shouldn’t stop him from getting a call again, particularly when friend Alexander Gustafssen is on the card, or the UFC is visiting Europe.
Brad Tavares +17
Tavares showcased some powerful strikes without going complete Manhoef, possibly pacing himself for a tough fight. It was a good performance in that it showed potential, but it was outshone by a card packed with stoppages.
Bubba McDaniel -19
If your name is Robert, but everyone calls you “Bubba”, you have to be a tough SOB and you have fight to scare people [See also: "Tank", "Barbie"]. McDaniel is not living up to expectations – late rally notwithstanding – and he’s only a couple of wins away from being “Rob”. If he taps to strikes he goes straight to “Bobby”.
Takeya Mizugaki +17
Mizugaki gets a bigger bump than the judges would indicate, with an intelligent performance that affirms his place in the bantamweight elite.
Erik Perez -6
No shame in a loss to Mizugaki, but it will slow the hype train. Perez stayed predictable enough for Mizugaki to counter sharply, and this should be an excellent learning opportunity for the 23 year old Perez.
Court McGee +5
Reports of McGee’s demise are greatly exaggerated. He is still very much alive and active, and earned a slim split decision in a very close fight. This fight is notable in that scores vary wildly from all sources, including the official judges, who scored the bout 30-27, 29-28, and 27-30. The notable aspect is that none of these official scores are indefensible. It is a curious, aberrational result that indicates a different scoring protocol should be investigated.
Robert Whittaker -5
Whittaker was on the losing end of a curious, aberrational result that indicates a different scoring protocol should be investigated, so now would be an opportune time for someone to approach him with a petition. The close result would seem to make the two interchangeable in the rankings for the near future.
Kevin Gastelum +36
Gastelum steps out at welterweight for the first time, and steps up on the Index with a convincing showing of boxing offense to augment his touted wrestling base.
Brian Melancon -21
Melancon was a late replacement for Paulo Thiago, which is enough to by him enough goodwill for another fight. That said, anybody at 170 pounds (always a packed division) that came from Strikeforce is on thin ice to begin with.
Rafael dos Anjos +34
Any winner over Cerrone puts the division on notice. A matchup against a convalescing T.J. Grant has been suggested, and seems entirely appropriate later this fall.
Donald Cerrone -16
Donald Cerrone has solidified his role the gate keeper at 155, which is not terrible by any stretch. He’s solidly in the Top 10, and he’s 584% more entertaining than a “You must be this _______ tall to fight the champ” sign.
Carlos Condit +37
A convincing win that completely erases any previous loss, Condit is riding high. Future Twitter fights or a well-phrased YouTube video could cause another slide on the Index, however. Like Cerrone, Condit is a perfectly-placed yardstick at 170 pounds — there doesn’t appear to be anyone not named St. Pierre* better than Condit.
Martin Kampmann -21
Look at Kampmann’s face when Dean waves the fight off. He’s not arguing, he’s bewildered – Kampmann’s just hoping someone got the license plate of that low-flying gang of ninja monkeys that just attacked him. (His face after the fight wasn’t much better.) Expect the Danish Hitman to come back with a vicious win after this, possibly rocking a different look going forward.
*Or Hendricks, as reader Scott Johnson rightly points out. Clearly, the Potato Index Super Computer IS BUGGY AFTER NOT BEING USED FOR SO LONG GAH. Asshole.