Opening Round: Odds Are…

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 this weekend’s UFC 138 lineup as they do every event with more than one Mixed Martial Artist likely making a final appearance inside the Octagon at the show for the foreseeable future if not forever.

Below you will find every fighter scheduled to take to the cage at UFC 138 with realistic odds and a brief explanation relating to the chances of being released based on an in-ring stumble on Saturday night:

  • Vaughan Lee (80%) – He is only on this card because he’s from Birmingham, where the event is being held, and because he’s finished ten of the eleven opponents he’s beaten (too bad he’s also been stopped in all six of his losses)
  • Chris Cariaso (85%) – A loss would drop Cariaso’s record in Zuffa to 2-3 with his wins involving decisions so he’s likely to lose his job with a defeat / Would really benefit from a flyweight division
  • John Maguire (10%) – One of the many British newcomers on the card but Maguire has chops and should get a second shot based on his five-fight winning streak and 16-3 record
  • Justin Edwards (35%) – Edwards future will depend on his performance meaning a decision loss might earn him one last try whereas a TKO/submission stumble puts him at much more risk of receiving a pink-slip
  • Che Mills (10%) – Mills is a fan-favorite in the U.K. and is currently on a winning streak so he’s all but guaranteed one more go in the infamous eight-sided cage
  • Chris Cope (25%) – There isn’t a tremendous amount of upside to Cope but he did beat Chuck O’Neil at the Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale and should get a do-or-die dance to cling on to his job even if Mills beats him this weekend
  • Rob Broughton (65%) – The percentage would be much lower if he’d change his nickname to “It’s Already Been” but, that being said, Broughton is 1-1 in the UFC with a 15-6-1 overall record and no real flash so far meaning his job is far from safe
  • Philip De Fries (10%) – Another British newbie I can see the UFC hanging onto since a loss to Broughton would only be the first of his career and he’s submitted all seven of the opponents he’s faced thus far in his career
  • Michihiro Omigawa (90%) – The only reason the UFC might hang on to him is based on their February show in Japan but other than that the 35-year old is done if he picks up another loss in the Octagon
  • Jason Young (35%) – Young was involved in a highly-entertaining fight with Dustin Poirier earlier this year and will probably get a third shot at victory if he loses to the more experienced Omigawa
  • Cyrille Diabate (35%) – Though he’s 38 the Frenchman is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Steve Cantwell and Luiz Cane so he should receive the benefit of the doubt if he falls to 2-2 in a few days
  • Anthony Perosh (75%) – He’s only a year older than Diabate but 39 is 39 and Perosh is fighting in the UFC on borrowed time
  • Terry Etim (5%) – Etim has been in the UFC for four years, is still only 26 years old, and is 4-1 in his last five, so he should be safe barring some sort of disastrous showing
  • Eddie Faaloloto (100%) – He’s 0-2 in WEC/UFC and only 2-2 overall meaning he’s fighting for his job at UFC 138
  • Thiago Alves (40%) – I understand the number might seem a bit high but consider that Alves would be 1-4 in his last five with a loss, not to mention the slip coming against an unknown like Abedi, plus the “Pitbull” hasn’t finished an opponent since 2008
  • Papy Abedi (15%) – He’s undefeated and new so a loss to someone with Alves’ reputation won’t result in a release
  • Brad Pickett (1%) – Pickett is one of the top 135ers in MMA and has nothing to worry about given his exciting style and overall record
  • Renan “Barao” (1%) – Being in his mid-twenties with a 26-1 record equates to no worries where drawing a UFC paycheck is concerned no matter how he performs
  • Chris Leben (1%) – Not only a fan-favorite but an original Ultimate Fighter = safe
  • Mark Munoz (1%) – Similarly to the last few names, Munoz is a respected competitor with a solid record and some big wins so he’ll be back in the UFC again barring some sort of bizarre decision to wipe his ass with the Union Jack

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!

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