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Who’s On the Chopping Block at UFC 120?


(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.


Yoshihiro Akiyama
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.

Mike Pyle
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.

Cheick Kongo
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.

James Wilks
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.

Steve Cantwell
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.

Spencer Fisher
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.

Mark Holst
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.

James McSweeney
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.

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Moises Rexwinkle- February 13, 2011 at 3:19 am
Pretentious info about Nicholas Robert Diaz and men and women born on Aug 1 leap or Aug 2 common years: “The given person just isn't prepared to multi-task. This lady does every thing in order. Nonetheless, on the one hand, she does not at all understand what is meant by “limits” or ” bounds”, and also it is possible to state that she does not possess a very clear sense of precisely what terms like "enough" and "sufficient" indicate.” - Catalog of Human Population (CHP) - birthday
ghostboner- October 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm
Also, Kongo losing to Cain was a joke. Cain got dropped 3 times and failed to do any damage to Kongo. It was the worst robbery ever until Mousasi-Mo.
ghostboner- October 17, 2010 at 10:59 pm
@Clyde - It was at 170. Caught him in a triangle. I haven't seen it in forever but it seems like it was on tuf? I just remember it didn't look like a very big room to have an octagon in. Anyone else remember/not too lazy to look it up?

Also, fuck you, guy who said to cut Fitch or Kos before cutting an entertaining loser. No explanation necessary, just fuck you.
itsgalf- October 16, 2010 at 12:46 pm
UFC won't be cutting Sexyama. Dana White has said in one of his interviews that Akiyama is a very entertaining fighter. It was either a draw or a win in his fight against Belcher, and his scrap with Leben was an entertaining back and forth. Plus, he's just too damn sexy
Daley- October 16, 2010 at 6:49 am
I'm from England and I find it depressing that douchebags like McSweeny, Bisping and even James Thompson end up being our representatives in MMA. It gives us all a bad name. I'm hoping Bisping loses as he is thoroughly loathsome and unfortunately gym rats and morons over here think hes one of the best in the world becaus of the UFC hyping him and giving him average competition like Sexyama and also the Sun newspaper (essentially brightly patterened, xenophobic toilet paper) is the only mainstream coverage of MMA over here.

Also slightly off topic but who seriously considers Mir a top 5 heavyweight anymore? You must mean top 5 within the UFC not MMA and even then I wouldn't necessarily agree.
fatbellyfrank- October 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm
McSweeney is STILL in the UFC? and Mike Pyle v Hathaway? I gotta feelin Hathaways gonna make the home fans happy, should be a good fight
Clyde- October 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm
I was about to correct you on something before checking wikipedia and seeing that it's true; I had no idea that Spencer Fisher beat Thiago Alves. Was that at welterweight or did Thiago somehow make 155 once? Either way I'm surprised.

I wish Akiyama the best because he's fighting Bisping. Cheers BTW Raymond, we're not all twats this side of the pond. It just seems like only our worst examples seem to get famous outside the UK.
Patrick- October 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm
Mark Holst...you could just be making him up to fuck with us, I certainly wouldn't know any better.

I'll try...

Chadwick Dipster - In his first outing at UFC 106 he lost via split decision to Todd Squibler. After winning a boring decision over Carl Bundy he was KO'd in the first round of his next bout against Terry Bean. With a lackluster UFC record of 1-2 against lower level opponents, he is definitely in desperate need of a win over Corby Tender.
RaymondClarence- October 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Well said Kracker.
JCVD as Timecop- October 15, 2010 at 2:47 pm
I have something to say: In just over three minutes.

Thank you.
Krazy Kracker- October 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm
But it's Mir, He's a top 5 heavyweight and even he was up for talk about the axe after a few dull/bad performances and his mouthy son's twitter account. MMA fans have the shortest memories of any other sport in my opinion, by far. "You got knocked out twice in two years? Time to hang 'em up, ya washed up pussy'
fiveforfive- October 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm
"Enjoy your career outside of the UFC, James. We hardly knew you, but still pretty much determined you were an asshole."
Stak40- October 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Congo got knocked out in like 2 minutes by Mir, no ground game or sprawling ability would have helped him there. Kongo is a batch and has only one fight where he looked like a monster.
Jaycorr- October 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm
true
Krazy Kracker- October 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm
I disagree the UFC should be cutting entertaining fighters because of a shitty string of performances or not posing a threat to beat the champion. I'd sooner cut unentertaining fighters *cough*Koscheck*cough*Fitch* who have great records and are a chore to watch. It'd be different if they suck, but I can't think of a boring Spencer Fisher fight, and Kongo would be a monster if he learned some ground game escapes and sprawls
Art Vanderley Silva- October 15, 2010 at 11:23 am
WAR MARK HOLST
PortlandMMA- October 15, 2010 at 11:19 am
If the UFC cuts Spencer Fisher I'd be pissed and I'd definitely boycott them for like 8 minutes. Seriously thought Fisher is the man, Stout vs Fisher 1 is one of my favorite fights ever.
BONGTAR- October 15, 2010 at 10:55 am
MRUSS that sir was clever. And the use of the word moot on a Friday was smoove.
Kimbos Bread- October 15, 2010 at 10:47 am
After I defeat the AN, every Bison dollar with be worth 5 British pounds. That is the exchange rate the bank of England will implement after Bison kidnaps their Queen.
Smitty- October 15, 2010 at 10:41 am
After Bisping loses to Sexy, I hope he loses his next fight too, and then goes on the chopping block. Oh, this list wasn't about who we WISHED was on the chopping block?
Travis.Logan- October 15, 2010 at 10:38 am
MAY THE MMA GODS BLESS US AND THIS FREE UFC CARD AND SUPPLY US WITH AWESOME KNOCKOUTS AND SUBMISSIONS, that is all that can be hoped for 120 or any card for that matter. Now with desperate measures in mind im going to go jump into a volcano well sacraficing a goat in the hopes these match ups prove better than 119.
RaymondClarence- October 15, 2010 at 10:20 am
God I hate Michael Bisping. I don't hate England. I just hate that dude, and he happens to be English. I am in heavy favor of fighters starting rounds with "Negative Douche Points" that they have to earn back, much like the (10 was it?) kilo advantage deal from Pride. Based on that, Bisping would surely lose this fight unless he finished Sexyama as he would never get more than a "1" in any round completed. This rule would also affect Diego Sanchez, KJ Noons, that stupid fucking Bruce Leroy kid, and Chael Sonnen.
RaymondClarence- October 15, 2010 at 10:19 am
God I hate Michael Bisping. I don't hate England. I just hate that dude, and he happens to be English. I am in heavy favor of fighters starting rounds with "Negative Douche Points" that they have to earn back, much like the (10 was it?) kilo advantage deal from Pride. Based on that, Bisping would surely lose this fight unless he finished Sexyama as he would never get more than a "1" in any round completed. This rule would also affect Diego Sanchez, KJ Noons, that stupid fucking Bruce Leroy kid, andChael Sonnen.
King Kong Kim- October 15, 2010 at 10:19 am
Sexy's not going anywhere if he loses. They need him for the Korean/Japanese audience.
dwmwtv- October 15, 2010 at 10:17 am
Thanks for the info on Fabio Maldonado. I'm off to change my picks on Fightpicker!
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