At UFC 110 this weekend several well known MMA stars will be fighting in the knowledge that a loss could put their future in the UFC in jeopardy.
With a crowd-pleasing ‘all or nothing’ approach to fighting, a famous history in the PRIDE organization and an easy-going, fan-friendly persona outside of the cage, there’s no question that Silva is one of the most beloved stars in the sport.
That being said there’s no disguising the fact that his 1-3 record since returning to the UFC in 2007 is very poor, and if it wasn’t for his past achievements then it would be reasonable to assume he would have already been let go.
How likely is he to be cut if he loses to Michael Bisping?
A loss to Bisping would be his third in a row, which normally equates to a cast-iron guarantee that a fighter is set for the chop. The fact that this will be Silva’s first fight at 185lbs will more than likely give the UFC an excuse to give him a stay of execution however.
Jardine doesn’t have the star power of Silva, but he has gained respect as a solid main card fighter who’s fought many of the light-heavyweight divisions best, and holds notable wins over Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell and Brandon Vera.
Unfortunately, all-too-often in recent times he’s left the octagon with another loss on his record – four times in his last six fights to be precise, with three of those ending with him being knocked out, including in his last bout against Thiago Silva.
How likely is he to be cut if he loses to Ryan Bader?
The manner of his defeat may have a part to play here. If he were to be KO’d for the fourth time in three years then that brings up concerns over his health as well as his ability, and I believe would lead to him being released. A closely fought decision loss may convince the UFC to keep him around for one more fight, but it’s not something that the 34 year old can count on.
Mirko Cro Cop:
After his loss to Junior Dos Santos last time out at UFC 103 even Cro Cop himself suggested that retirement was a distinct possibility. The Croatian has achieved legendary status in the sport thanks to his time in PRIDE however, and a desire to prove he still has what it takes at the age of 35 has convinced him to get back in the cage again.
Cro Cop has found the going tough in the UFC however, and admits to suffering from a crisis of confidence in the octagon that has played a part in three of his five bouts ending in defeat, one by KO.
How likely is he to be cut if he loses to Ben Rothwell?
Having threatened to retire after his last fight, a similar performance may see Cro Cop taking matters into his own hands and make it official this time round. I also believe he’s in the last-chance saloon with the UFC, and if he doesn’t turn in a performance that at least hints at his former glories in PRIDE then I think he’ll be fighting in the promotion for the last time.
Cro Cop’s opponent Ben Rothwell is also fighting for his future in Australia. Despite being a 37 fight veteran, the 28 year old has only just reached the big stage, and so compared to the other fighters on this list he doesn’t have the star power that could afford him extra time to claim a much needed win.
Rothwell does have a solid career record of 30-7 that includes wins over current UFC fighters like Roy Nelson and Krzysztof Soszynski, but in the UFC his only fight so far ended in defeat after being dominated by Cain Velasquez.
How likely is he to be cut if he loses to Mirko Cro-Cop?
It’s a distinct possibility. It’s rare for UFC fighters these days to be given more than two fights to get a win under their belts and Rothwell will surely view this fight as a do-or-die moment in his brief UFC career.
Bonnar is of course famed for fighting in a bout with Forrest Griffin at the culmination of TUF season 1 that many people, including Dana White believe is the most important bout in UFC history. The fight has helped ensure that the 32 year old has remained part of the company despite more downs than ups in recent years.
Bonnar’s record in the UFC currently stands at 5-5, and he has just two wins in his last six fights. His last outing was a disappointing decision defeat to a 45 year old Mark Coleman. Adding to his woes he was banned for 9 months in 2007 after testing positive for steroids in the aftermath of his rematch with Griffin.
How likely is he to be cut if he loses to Krzysztof Soszynski?
He’s lost his last two fights, and if it wasn’t for his legendary fight with Griffin it’s doubtful that Bonnar would still be around to compete at UFC 110. If he loses again it would be difficult to argue why he should stay. Despite that, Dana White has publicly stated that Bonnar will always have a place in the UFC, so only time will tell what the future holds for him.