If Palhares (14-5) hadn’t decided to move down to welterweight there’s a chance he would have already been handed a pink-slip based on first-frame knockout losses in his last two tilts. He’s a talented submission specialist, but he’s failed to produce any truly notable wins despite 5+ years as a member of the UFC and being one-dimensional can only get you so far when facing the sport’s elite. With Mike Pierce on the horizon, not to mention his need to cut additional weight, Palhares has tough test in front of him yet one he absolutely must past in order to avoid facing free agency. There’s a chance Cariaso (14-5) and Santos (27-8-1) could avoid the proverbial axe in defeat based on how shallow the flyweight talent pool is, but that’s far from a guarantee since each man is facing the possibility of a third straight defeat. Additionally, Santos has yet to win in the Octagon, whereas Cariaso can at least lay claim to some success as a bantamweight in the UFC/WEC. Still, the bulk of Cariaso’s victories have come as a result of the scorecards rather than stoppages, and the UFC has made it clear finishing is almost as important as winning when it comes to employment in the organization. Oliveira came into the UFC with a ton of hype and immediately delivered by submitting Darren Elkins and Efrain Escudero in back-to-back bouts. Unfortunately, he’s 2-4 since his initial success with three of the defeats featuring a finish. The 16-4 Brazilian has a beatable opponent on the horizon in Jeremy Larsen, but the duel is also a double-edged sword in that falling to an underdog will further damage his stock and almost certainly guarantee his release from the UFC. Noons (11-7) and Sotiropoulos (14-5) have looked sharp in the past but it’s been awhile since either impressed. Noons has fallen in five of his last six scraps including three straight, while Sotiropoulos is also on a three-fight skid with two losses coming via knockout. The Aussie has also been out of action for nearly a year due to injury. Based on their recent futility, the loser of their October 19 outing will definitely be sent packing barring some sort extremely controversial decision/stoppage. Fans who like stand-up wars are no doubt a fan of Sakara’s. However, the 15-10 striker has dropped his last three tilts and is skating on thin ice sure to break if he falls to Magnus Cedenblad in Manchester. He’s also prone to being finished and, unfortunately for Sakara, Cedenblad has scored stoppages in all but one of his eleven victories.
In case there was ever any doubt, the
UFC’s recent decision to cut Top 10 middleweight Yushin Okami confirmed no fighter’s job is safe when coming off a defeat. Such is especially true when discussing competitors struggling to find consistent success in general let alone losing a single time. With three cards scheduled for October – , and UFC Fight Night 29, UFC 166 – there are absolutely a few athletes who are far from safe in terms of avoiding a release unless they are able to secure a victory in their respective rumbles. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC Fight Night 30