(Who’s getting shit-canned in the UK this weekend? We have a few ideas.)
Looking down the card of UFC 120, you can’t help but notice the large contingent of fighters whose Octagon careers are hinging on their performances on Saturday.
By our calculations, there are no less than eight fighters who really need a win in London this weekend.
The fighters in question are listed after the jump.
If he loses to Michael Bisping on Saturday – and it’s very likely that he will, Akiyama could earn the distinction of being the biggest flop to come out of Japan since they remade "We Are the World."
Most would argue that he didn’t really beat Alan Belcher in his UFC debut at UFC 100 and at UFC 116 he got tapped out by Chris Leben — a guy who previous to the bout had only submitted one opponent in his past twenty-odd outings, so to say his stock would be at an all-time low at two losses in a row in the UFC wouldn’t be off the mark.
Is it likely that the UFC will drop him if he loses, considering their intention to enter the Asian market and the fact that Bisping is a few fights from a title shot?
Probably not, but there is no rhyme or reason to why they do what they do sometimes, so you never know. Dana White still maintains that he cut Nick Diaz for back-to-back losses, even though he was riding a two-fight winning streak when he left the UFC, so it’s not like they need any real reason to cut ties with a guy who makes the kind of money Sexyama pulls in.
Maybe he can go back to Japan where the competition is easier.
When Pyle inked a contract with the UFC, it seemed like a great signing, but when he got finished in just over three minutes by Brock Larson in his UFC debut in just over three minutes and TKO’d by Jake Ellenberger two fights later, his future in the promotion looked bleak, especially after Larson got dropped for back-to-back losses.
A win over British up-and-comer John Hathaway would raise his stock in the UFC’s welterweight division immensely and would bring his record in the organization up to 3-2. To say he needs the win would be an understatement.
Besides a UFC 64 decision loss to Octagon washout Carmelo Marrero, Kongo has only lost to tough competition like Heath Herring and Cain Velasquez in the UFC and was only finished once by Frank Mir, so to estimate how close he is to getting his pink slip is a bit more difficult.
Looking at his past three fights he is 1-2, so another loss would likely see Joe Silva sit down to think long and hard about the Frenchman’s worth to the UFC’s heavyweight roster.
A loss to Claude Patrick this weekend would bring Wilks to 3-2 in the UFC and 1-2 in his last three fights. Considering he is a TUF winner and that historically, they are given extra chances to recover from losing skids, it isn’t likely that he’ll be dropped, but he likely will get a "Do you want to be a fucking fighter?" speech from Dana White.
0-2 in his last two fights, the former WEC light heavyweight champion’s UFC career has been a bust thus far, but thanks to a Ken Shamrock-esque knee injury he sustained in training yesterday, he won’t be able to compete tomorrow, meaning he will live to fight another day in the Octagon.
Fisher said in an interview with Sherdog this week that he’s thankful, yet surprised that the UFC has kept him around following back-to-back losses. I’m guessing wins over Caol Uno and Thiago Alves and the pair of three-round wars he had with Sam Stout bought him at least one "get out of jail free" card, but a loss to UFC newcomer Kurt Warburton won’t do much to plead his case for Zuffa to keep him on the payroll.
Holst didn’t look bad in his first UFC fight — a decision loss to John Gunderson at the TUF 11 finale in June, but if he picks up another "L" against UFC virgin Paul Sass tomorrow night we could see him return to Canada to add some more seasoning with a regional show like his countryman Tim Hague was made to do after a pair of straight UFC losses.
McSweeney is 4-5 could quite possibly have the worst record of any fighter currently on the UFC’s roster. Another loss is likely, considering his opponent Fabio Maldonado, who is a protégée of the Nogueira brothers, holds a professional boxing record of 22-0 and an MMA record of 17-3. Enjoy your career outside of the UFC, James. We hardly knew you.