Who’s up, down, and all around after UFC 268? There’s only one cryptic and arbitrary metric you can trust to sort it all out. The Potato Index has you covered.
Kamaru Usman +474
Yep, still really good at fighting. You can’t really threaten him with wrestling. His hands only seem to get sharper with time. Maybe the worst thing you can say about him is that he doesn’t go all out for the finish when he could, but let’s not act like we wouldn’t bury him for poor fight IQ if he tried that and screwed it up. It’s just, is it too much to ask that we refrain from freaking out with the GSP comparisons? Could we possibly maybe just let Usman be Usman without getting mired in pointless GOAT arguments? No? Okay, just checking.
Colby Covington -411
This sorry motherfucker. Loses his second fight to Usman. Gets dropped and bloodied and never really comes close to winning the fight. Gets caught by cageside audio sounding humbled with that ‘it was all just to hype the fight and get paid’ bullshit, but then has magically transformed back into a gaping asshole by the time he shows up at the press conference. Fuck outta here, b.
Justin Gaethje +391
My god. What stuff is this man made from? Think he ever goes into the garage and hits himself upside the head with a monkey wrench just to delight in how little it seems to affect him? No one in MMA does almost-losing-before-you-start-winning better than this fucking guy. Wherever he goes, he brings that Fight of the Night energy with him. All he needs is someone willing to match out, usually at their own peril. Islam who? Nah, son. Rockhead Gaethje got next for the lightweight strap. Doesn’t matter who’s wearing it by then.
Michael Chandler -3
It is a truth, divinely writ on the golden scrolls of CME wisdom, that it’s always better to win a fight than to lose one. But when you lose like that, going balls out with all types of blood dripping from your face, still standing after taking several shots that should have sent you to the ER or maybe even the morgue? Well then you don’t fall that far in our collective esteem. Hard to think of anyone who’s gone 1-2 in his first UFC fights yet still so thoroughly convinced us of his awesomeness.
Rose Namajunas +230
“Thug” Rose had to dig deep and fight smart this time, but she got it done. And still, motherfuckers. But, hold up, why aren’t we immediately slotting Carla Esparza in for that next title shot? Why is it even a question? As much as we might wince at the idea of yet another rematch for Namajunas, at least this one isn’t immediate, plus it also makes too much sense not to do.
Zhang Weili -16
She put up a hell of a fight and surely deserved to win in lots of people’s eyes. Then again, the same could be said for Joanna Former Champion back when Weili edged her out on the scorecards. That’s just how it goes with those close five-rounders. She’s still one of the best fighters in the division and likely a nightmare for most people not named Rose Namajunas. And hey, maybe we could actually appreciate her in this fucking country and not make it so she has to include preparation for asshole American crowds in her pre-fight training? Just saying.
Marlon Vera +112
Your dude “Chito” probably woke up on Sunday morning to a message from the front desk saying they had a package for him. Then he goes down there to check and it’s a sweet leather jacket with a silhouette of someone front-kicking a dude in the face stitched onto the back. The note attached just says, ‘You’re one of us now.’ It’s signed Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida.
Frankie Edgar -89
This one hurt to watch, man. The knockout. The aftermath. The punchface to end all punchfaces. Do we want to see shit like this keep happening to Old Man Edgar? We do not. He’s 40 years old and has already given more blood, guts, and brain cells to this sport than all of the top five in his division combined. And yet whenever he gets asked about retirement his answer is essentially, ‘I would prefer to die in the cage.’ That’s … concerning. Because with his name and pay tier, the UFC probably isn’t going to serve him up too many gimmes. And at 135 pounds? Bro, there aren’t many gimmes to be had in the UFC, even if matchmakers were so inclined. Do we need to show up in a hotel conference room with mics and cameras and all his family, asking if he’s willing to accept the help we’re offering him today? Because dammit, we will.
Shane Burgos +91
You just know he watched Gaethje and Chandler and said, ‘fuck, well there goes any hope for the Fight of the Night bonus.’ Still, first win in two years has to feel like a giant relief.
Billy Quarantillo -17
Leave it to your man Billy Q to prove that just because you can’t really walk anymore that doesn’t mean you can’t still limp across the finish line in a close fight.
Alex Pereira +72
Let’s see here, come into the UFC as a decorated kickboxer, get smothered by grappling in the first round, then say fuck it and end things with a flying knee KO to start the second? Yep, that all checks out. You have our attention now.
Phil Hawes -44
He would have won if he hadn’t lost.
Chris Curtis +44
He would have lost if he hadn’t won.
Chris Barnett +69
In his mind, he’s an acrobatic 170-pound man. In our minds, we absolutely fucking love that for him.
Edmen Shahbazyan -37
He’s 23, has a ton of physical talent, yet keeps getting put in the worst match-ups possible, as if they’re trying to ruin him. Who the fuck is responsible for guiding this man’s career? Oh. Right.
Bobby Green +51
Still not totally sold on the facial hair design that looks like he’s angling for a bit part in a “Fifth Element” remake, but that combo to drop Al Iaquinta in front of all his fellow New Yorkers? That shit was cleeeaaaan.
(Photo by Louis Grasse)
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