When it comes to continued employment in the UFC there is no question winning is paramount. Zuffa structures contracts in a way allowing them to terminate a deal following any loss meaning victory is the only sure way a fighter can guarantee he still has a job the morning after having competed the previous evening.
The same set of circumstances hover over Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 2 lineup, as they do every event, and without question more than one Mixed Martial Artist is likely making his final appearance inside the Octagon for the foreseeable future if not forever.
Below you will find every fighter scheduled to take to the cage at UFC on FOX 2 with realistic percentages relating to the chances of being released based on an in-ring stumble on Friday night (as well as a brief explanation behind the reasoning). Any fighter not listed is one that should be obviously safe so there’s no need to waste anyone’s time with analysis of why:
Chris Camozzi (75%) – We’re starting out strong this week as Camozzi was recently released and earned another shot after picking up a win outside the Octagon; he lost his return bout at UFC 137 and isn’t likely to get another opportunity if he falls on FOX
Dustin Jacoby (35%) – Like Camozzi he’s at risk of losing a second straight fight but he’s still a relative newcomer and should get one more crack at victory even with a stumble on Saturday
Shane Roller (50%) – This is a coin-flip since he’d have three straight losses but usually comes to fight and has been a longtime employee meaning he could get one final shot even though it certainly wouldn’t shock me if they axed him in defeat
Michael Johnson (20%) – No truly safe fighters thus far as Johnson has gone 1-1 since losing the TUF 12 title and can’t afford to drop another bout
Charles Oliveira (1%) – Oliveira is young and extremely talented with a good record so his job is secure even if he gets knocked out in the first round
Eric Wisely (5%) – Just signed with the UFC and looked great as a lightweight against Pat Healy so his spot on the roster is safe
George Roop (20%) – He should be fine given his past performances but I could also see the UFC cutting ties with him after acknowledging he’ll never be more than a mid-level Mixed Martial Artist
Cub Swanson (50%) – A loss would put him at 0-2 since coming over from a 2-2 run in WEC and that can’t bode well as far as his future on the roster goes
Joey Beltran (20%) – Even though he’d be 1-4 in his last five fights and certainly not a UFC caliber fighter talent-wise, Beltran is a fan favorite who slugs it out fearlessly in every outing and the kind of guy who will get every chance possible to win before receiving a pink-slip
Lavar Johnson (35%) – Usually the UFC doesn’t opt to go a one-and-done route but Johnson lost two straight in Strikeforce before signing to fight on FOX and may not have the luxury of a second shot with that being the case
John Olav Einemo (35%) – He wasn’t impressive in his UFC debut and losing to Russow would decrease his stock significantly
Mike Russow (1%) – One of the few “safe” fighters on the card, Russow has won ten in a row so a loss to Einemo won’t hurt him at all
Evan Dunham (15%) – It may seem like a high number but Dunham is 1-2 in his last three and didn’t look as good against Shamar Bailey in the win as he should have
Nick Lentz (15%) – A second consecutive loss could spell doom for Lentz but probably won’t given his five other wins in the Octagon
What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!