(Carwin looked impressive, but how about a tough opponent next?)
You’re wondering who’s up and who’s down after UFC 89. The Potato Index’s system of arbitrary numbers devoid of any unit of measurement will tell you. It’s kind of like the stock market, only less depressing. We spent all weekend doing the math and here’s what we came up with. You’re welcome.
Michael Bisping +16
“The Count” won a fight he was supposed to win. Via decision. He never took any chances, didn’t show anything extra special, but he fought smart and he got the win. As a reward, he gets the TUF coaching job and the fight with the Hendo/Ace winner that was already his anyway. At least he didn’t screw it up.
Brandon Vera -132
Once upon a time Vera was the heir apparent in the heavyweight division. Now he’s a mediocre light heavyweight who doesn’t even put on much of a show anymore. What happened? He’s no longer exciting or effective, and he’s far too conservative. He’s making too much money to be doing so little.
Chris Leben -8 1/2
Leben chased Michael Bisping for three rounds and only got a little frustrated and reckless toward the end. A sign of his maturity? Sure, but also a sign that middleweight gatekeeper is about as high as he can hope to climb. He’s still exciting, so he’s not going anywhere. He also won’t be back in the main event any time soon.
Joe Rogan’s tribute beard +18
Sounded a little hokey at first, but it turns out that facial hair can be an effective homage to a fallen champion.
Luis Cane +284
The biggest win of Cane’s career, by far, and one that should get him noticed by the UFC brass. We called his record padded before, but he added some meat to it on Saturday night.
Did he only plan for the first two and a half minutes of the fight? He came out fast but slowed quickly and looked almost disappointed to still be fighting in the second round. Hard to say if that breakdown was mental or physical, but it sure wasn’t encouraging.
Keith Jardine +22
He fought smart. He got the win. He didn’t blow anyone’s mind with his performance. Still, it’s a start back down the right path. Now let’s see if he can string two wins together.
Marcus Davis +42
A more tactical “Irish Hand Grenade,” but it paid off with a submission victory. We’d like to see you in Ireland, too, Marcus. But don’t beg. It’s not dignified.
British fans +95
Knowledgeable and energetic, if perhaps a bit drunker than American crowds. Plus you can’t deny that there’s something cool about the soccer chants during a fight.
Shane Carwin +49
He puts another ruthless beatdown on a very beatdownable opponent. Raw power is impressive, but let’s see him do it against someone who matters before we get too excited.
Chris Lytle +30
Showed he can still put on a show when he gets an opponent willing to do the same. Might need to improve his cardio if he wants to put people away, though. Next bout, versus Marcus Davis in Ireland? Why not.
Akihiro Gono -2 3/4
Poor Gono. Losing a split decision to a man fighting in his home country will always leave a bad taste in your mouth. He’s an entertainer, though, so hopefully we get to see him back on TV soon.
If they’d have asked us to pay for that card, we’d be pissed right now. They didn’t, so we’re not. As a free TV lead up to UFC 90, we deem it satisfactory. Hoping to get more for our money this weekend.