Graphic via Watch Kalib Run
There's been a good discussion about whether or not the UFC will be forced to put some old stallions out to pasture if they lost at UFC 110. Kelvin Hunt started it out:
At UFC 110, four ... fighters could find themselves on the outside looking in. No longer relevent in a sport that changes and evolves like the wind, and yesterday's hero's turn into shells of their former selves almost overnight. I think UFC 110 will feature four fighters that are past the 'crossroads' in their career so to speak. Now each fight is about earning another opportunity to perform on MMA's biggest stage. Enter Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Stephan Bonnar, and Keith Jardine.
Zak Woods responded:
Despite the appearance of mediocrity WKR would like to offer the counter argument; that in fact none of these fighters are facing a 'win or find a new job' scenario.
All four of these fighters have powerful name recognition within the MMA world, which makes up for their recent lack of success within the Octagon. If the UFC cuts any of these four fighters Strikeforce would be posed to make a serious short-term gain. This may seem counter intuitive; how does a fighter being fired for not cutting it in one organization help another?
I think Woods makes an excellent point. If the UFC were operating in a vacuum, then certainly Cro Cop and Jardine would be in deep trouble, if not Silva and Bonnar. But with the spector of Strikeforce out there, ready, willing and able to snap up big name fighters, regardless of how shopworn those fighters may be.
However, some of the fighters who were signed in the initial flurry of competitive signings -- I'm looking at you Frank Trigg -- have already washed out of the UFC. We'll see how long Phil Baroni, Paul Buentello and some of the others last.
For my dollar, I expect Wanderlei Silva and Stephan Bonner to stay on with the UFC barring any but the most humiliating defeat. Jardine and Cro Cop are on slightly thinner ice if they lose.