When you’re in the UFC, you’re at the top level of Mixed Martial Arts. However, with all the events taking place, and all the fighters under contract, a couple bad performances can be all it takes to lose that spot and be back on the circuit looking for fights in smaller organizations trying to earn your way back. Here’s who might be in danger if they lose this weekend inside the Octagon
Chris Camozzi – He’s a good, young fighter, but a loss here against Nick Catone would drop his UFC record to 3-3, including losses in 3 of his last 4 UFC outings. He’s 16-5 as a professional, and likely will continue to develop and evolve as a fighter, but in today’s UFC, you’re being paid to be a top level talent now, not in a few years. The odds of Camozzi being released with a loss are pretty high. Catone is a tough kid, so Camozzi’s back is definitely against the wall.
Ken Stone – Ken Stone is a talented fighter out of American Top Team, but if he were to lose Friday night to Dustin Pague, it would mark his fourth loss in his last six fights, and drop his UFC record to 1-2. That’s not enough to stick around in the UFC’s talent rich Bantamweight division. His back is up against it Friday night, and you can expect both of these men to try and search for a submission victory in this one.
Ricardo Funch – His name is always on this list it seems, and once again he finds himself in the unenviable position of literally fighting for his UFC life Friday night. Funch has failed to get his footing since joining the UFC, and his 0-3 record inside the UFC indicates as much. It’s an interesting notion that Funch is being given this opportunity, but he had better make the most of it. He’ll be competing against Dan Miller, a UFC veteran making his Welterweight debut.
Dan Miller – What’s good for Funch is also good for Dan Miller. He’s lost two consecutive and has dropped five of his last seven fights. If he loses in his Welterweight debut to Ricardo Funch, it would likely be the end of his tenure in the UFC. Dan has been in there with some of the best in the UFC, and he hasn’t been able to cut the mustard at that level. If he were to lose to Funch, it would signify clear proof that he needs to fight elsewhere and improve.
Rick Story – It’s almost unthinkable including Rick Story in this list, but the truth is, a loss Friday would be his third consecutive and that’s the magic number in the UFC. What makes it so difficult to imagine him being released is prior to his losing two in a row, he won six in a row. Consecutive loses to Charlie Brenneman and Martin Kampmann has him on edge, and he might not be as much in danger as others on this list, but he is in some danger.
Spencer Fisher – Spencer has to be on this list, despite the rumblings that he’ll be retiring after this fight, win or lose. A mainstay in the UFC, Fisher has dropped four of five, and would be on his way out with a loss here. It would be a very heartwarming story if he could stop his slide, and go out with a victory. I doubt that Sam Stout would feel the same.
Cub Swanson – Win, loss, win, loss, win, loss, win. That’s how Cub’s last seven fights have gone. You don’t need to be Will Hunting to know what might be next. If the trend continues and Cub loses to Ross Pearson, it could be the end of his tenure in the UFC. Swanson has legit skills, but has not been able to consistently put good performances on inside the cage. If Cub isn’t able to pull off the upset Friday night, his next fight will likely be somewhere else.
Felipe Arantes – Fighting Saturday night in Brazil, Felipe is 1-1 in the UFC and a loss would take him to 1-2. That’s not the main reason for him to worry however. His fights in the UFC have both gone the distance, and that’s not something Dana and company love. If you have a losing record inside the UFC and you are not a finisher, you’ve got problems. If Arantes loses Saturday, we may have seen the last of his Cowboy hat.
Rodrigo Damm – He’s been the loser in four of five and a loss here will mark the first and only time we see him fight inside the Octagon. He has good stand up and is a threat to knock anyone out. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to put together recent victories. It could be one and done for the Ultimate Fighter Brazil competitor.
Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva – These two are both on the downhill side of Hall of Fame careers and I don’t think either would be out and out released, but with a loss, Dana will want to sit down and “have the talk” with one of them. They are both warriors and this rematch will send one of them one step closer to retirement. Niether fighter will be signing with Bellator or MFC anytime soon. Whoever loses this fight will likely look to step away from the sport, rather than be fired.