Five fighters in danger of being cut

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

As UFC president Dana White is quick to point out, the window of opportunity in this sport is short. Some fighters, like Antonio McKee, have been cut after a single loss. Two losses in a row is going to happen on average to 25% of the fighters, and is not necessarily a cause for release. Three in a row is close  to being certain exile.

Below is a selection of fighters who are likely one loss or at most two away from being gone.

1) Dan Hardy
Not many men have bounced back from losing four in a row to go on to have successful UFC careers. Hardy’s tilt at UFC 146 on May 26 against Duane Ludwig may be his last chance to avoid the chopping block.

2) Thiago Silva
Silva has never beaten a legitimate top ten light heavyweight, as he struggled against top-notch contenders like Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida and Alexander Gustafsson. A loss Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 149 might spell the end of the line for Silva.

3) Luiz Cane
Cane has lost three of four, with all three defeats coming by way of knockout. The 31-year-old light heavyweight, may need a win over Yushin Okami at UFC 150 to avoid release.

4) Duane Ludwig
Ludwig has lost three of his last five bouts, and a loss to Dan Hardy at UFC 146 may be enough to oust him from the league.

5) Yoshihiro Akiyama
The UFC showed plenty of patience by not releasing him after he dropped a unanimous decision to Jake Shields in Feb., but a loss to Thiago Alves in July at UFC 149 would push his losing skid to five.

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Beyond these five, what fighters do you think are a loss away from being released?