Being cut from an MMA promotion is part and parcel of an MMA fighters career, unless you’re a fan favourite a la Forrest Griffin or the greatest of all time Anderson Silva. For most fighters currently competing in the UFC, they don’t have the luxury of being in such a privileged position, so they need good performances to ensure that their future in the company is safe. Here are five of the the more high profile fighters, who’s next outing will determine whether or not they play any part in the future of the UFC.
Alistair Overeem hasn’t been the fighter the UFC were hoping for when they brought him in to the company. Since defeating Brock Lesnar on his debut, the Dutch Heavyweight has gone 0-2, against Antonio Silva and Travis Browne respectively. Both times Overeem suffered come from behind KO losses at the hands of his opponents, leaving him in a precarious position in the division and a loss to Frank Mir in his next fight will seal his fate in the organisation.
Frank Mir is a former heavyweight champion, that as you would expect, carries some weight in the ZUFFA towers but when you consider Mir last held a title in 2008, his grace period starts to wear a little thin. Mir is 0-3 in his last three fights, and while they may have come against top ten/top five opposition, they are still losses and have relegated Mir to the gatekeeper position in the heavyweight division. A loss to Alistair Overeem would be devastating for Mir and could send him tumbling out of the company that he has fought in for twelve years.
Oh Shogun, how the mighty have fallen. Once destined for big things, Rua has suffered a radical decline in his UFC career since losing his title to Jon Jones back in 2011. Rua hasn’t looked the same fighter since that loss and in his last outing he suffered a devastating submission loss to Chael Sonnen, a bloated middleweight. In his prime Rua was devastating but in his last 2 fights he’s looked far from that. With an announced fight against James Te Huna coming up in November, Rua has one more opportunity to show why he deserves to be in the UFC.
Josh Koscheck has been a staple of the UFC roster since 2005, when he joined the company as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter season 1. Despite becoming a staple of the top ten in the welterweight division, Koscheck has gone 0-2 in his last two fights, losing in dramatic fashion in his last outing to a rejuvenated Robbie Lawler. Koscheck will be well aware of quickly the UFC can lose favour with a fighter, after his team mate Jon Fitch was cut by the company. Koscheck will need to pull off all the stops in his next fight, to stay in the company.
Who? WHO? I hear you shout. Despite not fighting on a UFC card for over a year, Akiyama is still a signed fighter with the UFC, however he is currently sitting on a four fight losing streak. Whilst Akiyama may not be a huge name for the American market, he will be a huge name in the Asian market and will may be needed in the company for any push they have, however if Akiyama loses his next fight, whenever it’s announced, it’s safe to say he’ll be gone from the UFC.
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