Most of us know by now that the UFC is in the midst of a big fighter purge. Dana White has stated that the organization will need to cut up to 100 fighters in the next few months, which makes every fight that much more important for the contestants. With that in mind, similar to UFC 157 and UFC 158, I'm going to go through the list of fighters scheduled for UFC on Fuel 9 and assess whether they should fear for their jobs with a loss on Saturday night in Stockholm.
Likely to be cut with a loss
Ryan Couture - There are two things going against Couture here. The first is that he's a Strikeforce fighter, and they've shown (Caros Fodor) that they'll release SF lightweights after one loss. The other is the UFC's personal issues with Ryan's father Randy Couture. He might be in the co-main event, but I don't think that's going to save him, especially if Pearson finishes him.
Matt Mitrione - Mitrione might be popular and did step into a main event bout the last time out, but he got knocked out quickly and has now lost two in a row. Three losses, especially one to a middling fighter like De Fries, combined with his TUF contract being close to expiration, means that he'll probably be moving on with a loss.
Philip De Fries - He does have two wins in the UFC, but his other two losses were quick knockouts. Another loss means he'll be back fighting for a UK promotion in no time.
Tom Lawlor - Yes, he's popular with fans for his entrances and stuff. But he's 2-4 in his last six, and his last bout with Francis Carmont was pretty bad (though that was largely Carmont's fault). If he loses here, it's going to be tough to justify keeping him around.
Tor Troeng or Adam Cella - They're guys that lost in the first round of TUF 17. I think the only reason they're even on the card is to give the crowd another fighter from Sweden to cheer for, and Troeng was given probably the easiest opponent possible from the show. So, it'll likely be Cella that sees the door here.
Papy Abedi or Besam Yousef - Abedi's been finished in the first round twice in a row. Yousef was finished in the second round of his only UFC fight. Frankly I'm surprised the UFC matched the two Swedes against each other, but the loser is pretty clearly getting released.
Possibly cut with a loss
Pablo Garza - He did pick up a dominating win on the main card of UFC 154, but a loss here would drop him to 1-3 in his last four. He's generally an exciting fighter so I don't think it'll happen unless he gets completely blown out, but it's a possibility.
Reza Madadi - He's 1-1 in a deep division, but he's Swedish and the UFC wants to come back here so I wouldn't put him high on the termination list if he lost to Johnson.
Michael Johnson - A loss to Madadi would be his second straight and he would drop to 4-4 in the UFC overall with two losses in a row. I think the UFC still sees some potential in him, but he definitely regressed in his last fight and another loss might lead them to cut ties with the Blackzillian.
Michael Kuiper - A loss would drop him to 1-2 in the organization. This might be one of those times when a fighter's young age acts against him, because the UFC knows he has time to come back with more seasoning. That being said, he's European and the UFC holds onto these guys a little longer than usual sometimes. So it's unlikely.
Likely safe regardless of the outcome
Gegard Mousasi - I don't even think a brutal loss would cause them to give up on Mousasi, despite his high salary.
Ilir Latifi - It's kind of funny that a guy that's only been on the roster for one day wouldn't be a candidate for getting the axe right away, but the UFC loves guys that take fights on short notice. Especially in situations like this where they're in a real bind. He could get knocked out in five seconds and they'll still give him another fight.
Ross Pearson - His stint as a coach on TUF Smashes and the win at the finale helped him re-emerge on the lightweight scene and put his DUI in the past. A loss to Couture would be a major setback, but the TUF 9 winner isn't going anywhere.
Akira Corassani and Robbie Peralta - Corassani's Swedish and while he doesn't have an abundance of talent, he has visibility from TUF and won his first UFC bout. So a loss isn't going to hurt him too much. And Peralta has looked excellent in the UFC thus far and could be a contender at featherweight.
Diego Brandao - TUF winner. 2-1 in the UFC. Popular and exciting. He's staying no matter what.
Marcus Brimage and Conor McGregor - Surprisingly enough, Brimage is 3-0 in the UFC. And McGregor is the type of Irish fighter that fans want to watch, so even a loss in his debut isn't going to mean the door for him.
Ben Alloway and Ryan LaFlare - Alloway might not have made the finals of TUF Smashes, but he did win his debut and the UFC badly needs Australian talent. He'll be given another shot win or lose. And this is LaFlare's first fight in the UFC, so they'll probably give him another chance if he loses.