Which UFC mixed martial artists need a win in order to keep their job. In this edition of Who's On The Hot Seat we will take a look at UFC 122 and see who maybe unemployed come this next time next week.
Beginning with UFC 122 which is in Germany, the UFC will host four of their next seven events in an international location. UFC 124 will be held in Montreal, UFC 127 is slated for a return trip to Australia in March and last, but not least UFC 128 will see the organization return to Abu Dhabi.
UFC 122 has some interesting bouts lined up including the main event which is for all intents and purposes a battle to determine who will face the winner of February's middleweight championship bout between champion Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort. Nate Marquardt vs. Yushin Okami is a worth main event, especially when the pay-per-view is free. Both men have faced Silva before with Okami winning due to an illegal upkick and Marquardt losing via first round knockout at UFC 73.
This card is full of fighters on the fringe and there usually is nothing more exciting than watching a mixed martial artist fight knowing their job is possibly on the line. The UFC lightweights in particular are sure to be on pins and needles with the infulx of the WEC lightweights coming in beginning in January. Let's take a look at Who's On The Hot Seat.
The man formerly known as "The Kimbo Killer" made his return to the octagon at UFC 116 against Ricardo Romero in what was a really exciting bout. He had Romero hurt a few times, but was unable to finish the job before succumbing to an armbar in the second round. He may be exciting and have a certain flair for the dramatic, but in the UFC wins count more than anything, especially in the stacked light heavyweight division. If he has another solid performance, but still comes up short he could still have a job, but a win is really what he needs here.
Vemola made his UFC debut at UFC 116 in July against Jon Madsen and suffered a unanimous decision loss. He will now try his hand as a light heavyweight as he takes on Petruzelli. Before facing Madsen, Vemola was undefeated in seven bouts with all seven ending in the first round. He finished his bouts quickly. The longest he ever fought was 3:14 with his other six bouts ending in well under two minutes. It's tough for a fighter to lose his first two UFC bouts and keep his job. Vemola is certainly no different.
This British lightweight is in desparate need of a win. Having lost his first two UFC bouts, Osipczak really has no other choice if he wants to remain with the organization. Facing off against Duane Ludwig will not be an easy task. It's win or a pink slip for this Brit.
This bout will mark the return to the welterweight division for Ludwig. He returned to the UFC as a late replacement for Sean Sherk and Tyson Griffin to face Jim Miller at UFC 108. He was forced to lose a lot weight in a short period of time and suffered a 1st round submission loss. His luck was no better in his next fight as he faced Darren Elkins at the first UFC event on the Versus Network. He technically lost via TKO, but it was due to a nasty ankle injury he suffered. So while he has two losses in a row, he does have a valid argument for both of them. I'm just not sure it will help him if he is to lose on Saturday.
Having lost two of his last three bouts, Soszynski finds himself in need of a win here. His last two bouts were barnburners with Stephan Bonnar. The first took place at UFC 110 and ended with a referee stoppage because of a cut Bonnar sustained. Replays later showed that an accidental headbutt is what caused the cut. The two men met again at UFC 116 with Bonnar winning via 2nd round TKO. They were awarded the fight of the night bonus for their back and forth fight. Losing two in a row and three out of four could spell trouble for the Ultimate Fighter season eight cast member. He needs a big win here to remain employed.
This will be Reljic's fourth bout in the UFC and besides his fight of the night win against Wilson Gouveia back in May of 2008 at UFC 84 he hasn't looked good. Maybe it was the drop to the middleweight division, but in back to back losses to C.B. Dolloway and Kendall Grove, Reljic has looked lackluster to say the least. He's moving back up to 205 for this bout against Soszynski, but another loss will mark the end of his UFC career for the time being.
The only reason Sobotta is on this card is because he is part German. He has lost his first two UFC bouts against Paul Taylor and James Wilks. Unlike his opponent Amir Sadollah he doesn't have an engaging, charasmatic personality that can help him avoid the firing line with another loss. At least he will have the fans behind him on Saturday. He's going to need some support if he comes up short again.
That just about does it as the other fighters on the card are pretty safe. Andre Winner did lose his last bout, but he is British and for the most part puts on an exciting bout, as long as he doesn't face a wrestler who is content with laying on top of him like Nik Lentz was at UFC 118. Enjoy the fights and let me know if you agree or disagree with my selections.