MMA For Real and WKR have engaged in a little friendly debate over who’s on the chopping block at UFC 110. Wanderlei Silva, Stephan Bonnar, Keith Jardine, Mirko Cro Cop and Ben Rothwell are all coming off losses so they’re at the center of attention. That doesn’t necessarily mean all five are in danger of losing their jobs, but at least two of those fighters are approaching their fights with “must-win” attitudes.
“It’s just as important as my last fight and probably just as important as all the ones that are yet to come,” Bonnar said. “It’s do-or-die. That’s how it feels, but that’s how it feels every time I go out there.”
“I really haven’t felt any pressure until this last week,” Bonnar said. “I’m going to do what I do every fight and go 100 percent and fight my ass off.”
That’s always there, whether you’ve got some victories in a row, or, in this case, both of us are coming off losses. Both our backs are against the corner. It just always has to be a must-win attitude.
Of all things, go out and perform and put on a show. That’s most important. There’s guys (who) win, and if you don’t win impressively — you win and you go out and just try to hang on, or be boring just to get the win — they’re going to look to cut you too.
You’ve got to go out and put on a show. You’ve got to go out and perform. And that, to me, means more than anything. Just go out there and give it my all.
Of those five, I think Bonnar, Silva and Jardine are all safe regardless of what happens at UFC 110, though for very different reasons. Dana White has stated on numerous occasions that Bonnar will always have a place in the UFC for his fight with Forrest Griffin that saved the UFC. As cutthroat as Dana can be at times, I like to think he’d honor his word in this case. Wand is a true legend of this sport and the very definition of a fighter. He embodies what the UFC looks for in its fighters which is exactly why I think they’ll keep him around until he retires. Jardine has come close to title contention but always fell short. He’s on a two-fight losing streak, but he’s still a solid light heavyweight who’s never in a boring fight. If nothing else, he’s worth keeping around in a gatekeeper role.
Cro Cop and Rothwell however could be in trouble. Cro Cop has fallen way short of expectations thus far in the UFC. Another dismal performance and the UFC will have a tough decision to make. Zak Woods makes the argument that they’ll keep him just to prevent Strikeforce from signing another potential opponent for Fedor, plus he’ll always have name-value overseas, so there are reasons to keep him on the roster. But if he looks like he did against Dos Santos, will that be enough? I’m leaning towards no. Remember, they granted him his release before. Rothwell on the other hand doesn’t have any name-value outside the hardcore fanbase and wouldn’t give Strikeforce a compelling heavyweight contender, so if he has a poor showing against Cro Cop, especially if Mirko looks lackluster, I definitely think he’s in the most danger of being released after UFC 110.