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 137 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 137 with realistic odds and a brief explanation relating to the chances of being released based on an in-ring stumble on Saturday night:

  • Dustin Jacoby (10%) – Undefeated newcomer whose lack of name value doesn’t endear him to the roster but who will likely be afforded at least one loss unless he looks terrible
  • Clifford Starks (13%) – Same reasoning as above with a slightly higher number because Jacoby has finished all of his opponents will Starks has three decisions
  • Francis Carmont (25%) – Making his UFC debut with a mediocre 16-7 record, plus he has a loss on his record to Ross Pointon which in and of itself should prevent you from ever being signed to the UFC
  • Chris Camozzi (20%) – He’s been released before but was 2-1 in his most recent UFC run and is coming off a win over Joey Villasenor so he could get one final shot even with a loss to Carmont
  • Daniel Downes (50%) – Downes is a tough kid but a loss would put him at 1-3 in his last four fights for UFC/WEC and that’s not likely to cut it where avoiding a pink-slip is concerned
  • Ramsey Nijem (45%) – If Nijem loses the only thing he has going for him with an 0-2 record in the Octagon is personality and TUF credentials, enough to cling to employment by a thread but little more beyond that
  • Brandon Vera (100%) – Vera was only brought back because Thiago Silva tested positive for steroids and losing to Eliot Marshall would be a far more severe blow career wise than dropping a decision to Silva was
  • Eliot Marshall (100%) – He was re-signed as a late replacement earlier this year and got demolished by Luiz Cane so a second straight loss should definitely spell doom for his days in the UFC
  • Bart Palaszewski (5%) – A well-rounded veteran who is 4-1 in his last five fights, always entertains in the cage, and is making his featherweight debut should be safe no matter what happens
  • Tyson Griffin (8%) – Though Griffin is likely to hold on to his job even in defeat, especially since it’s only his second fight at 145 pounds, he’s still at some level of risk based on the fact he lost three in a row at lightweight before dropping down
  • Dennis Siver (1%) – Short of goose-stepping to the Octagon during his entrance Siver has nothing to worry about other than fighting Cerrone
  • Donald Cerrone (1%) – Like Siver, it would take an enormous lapse of judgment to follow the lead of Cerrone’s footwear and give “Cowboy” the boot
  • Jeff Curran (10%) – Curran is 4-1 since losing four straight in WEC so he should be okay even if he loses to Jorgensen but there’s always the chance his bosses could look at the fact he’s 34-years old and might not have a lot of gas left in the tank where fighting at an elite level is concerned
  • Scott Jorgensen (1%) – Jorgensen has a great record in UFC/WEC, has an exciting style, and is a fight removed from a championship clash so he’s as much of a lock to hold onto his job in the face of a loss as Paul Walker is to never win an Academy Award
  • Mirko Filipovic (100%) – Even if he wasn’t on his current contract’s final fight “Cro Cop” won’t be showing up in the Octagon again if he loses because he himself has said he’ll walk away from the UFC with a three-fight losing streak
  • Roy Nelson (90%) – There’s a slim chance the UFC could give “Big Country” one final go but with Dana White having already blasted Nelson’s belly publicly I think he’s skating on thin ice and that’s not a good thing for someone in his condition
  • Hatsu Hioki (1%) – The UFC needs more Japanese talent so it’s extremely unlikely they’d sever ties with Hioki after a single defeat
  • George Roop (35%) – I like Roop as a fighter but his record is fairly weak at 12-7-1 and he’s extremely inconsistent so, while I think he’ll be fine, there’s still a possibility he could get cut
  • Cheick Kongo (5%) – The 36-year old Kongo is also an up-and-down competitor, sometimes looking fantastic and others straight up baffling, so there’s an outside chance he could perform terribly against Mitrione and get the axe
  • Matt Mitrione (1%) – By opening up his MMA career with five wins in the Octagon there’s little to no chance Mitrione is sent packing after a single stumble
  • B.J. Penn (1%) – Penn has a job in the UFC for life unless he gets knocked out four times in a row which is about as likely to happen as Rachelle Leah is to hit me up tomorrow night for drinks
  • Nick Diaz (3%) – Diaz gets a small bump up from 1% because he’s a bit unpredictable where behavior is concerned and he did, after all, already blow a title-shot based on skipping a few of his professional obligations

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

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