UFC on Fuel 10: Nogueira vs. Werdum - The Cut List

A few fighters will need a win to stay in the UFC on Saturday night in Brazil. Who are they?

UFC on Fuel 10 has definitely flown under the radar in terms of publicity, but the card is actually pretty decent. Despite this being the unofficial TUF Brazil 2 finale, the only contestants on the card are the finalists. Everyone else is either established in the company, making their debut after a Strikeforce run, or has been brought in as a legit prospect. Only seven of of the twenty six fighters is coming off a loss, and none are on multiple-fight losing streaks. Two are coming on off of no contests, and won went to a draw in his last fight. All this adds up to an intriguing list where the potential to get stuff wrong is high. I like it.

Likely to be cut with a loss

Thiago Silva - He hasn't legitimately won a fight since 2009. Seriously. His last two wins were erased by weed and fake urine, and while he's still a very good fighter, I'm guessing he's become more than a bit of a headache. He also makes pretty good money (though his last reported pay of 55k was way back at UFC 108 - there's no way to tell if he's still in that price range). I can honestly see the UFC cutting ties with Silva if he loses to Feijao. Basically, Feijao would take his spot as an upper-tier tough Brazilian in the organization.They just wouldn't need the hassles associated with employing Silva any more.

Rodrigo Damm - Once upon a time Damm was thought of as a top prospect. The last five years have let all the air out of that though. He's in the organization because he beat up a goofball on TUF Brazil 1 (Gasparzinho). That's pretty much it. He lost an admittedly close fight to the since-released Antonio Carvalho, and a loss to Hirota would mean the door for sure.

Mizuto Hirota - Hirota's 0-1 in the UFC, and while he looked decent against Yahya, he's probably not going to get another shot after this. Especially with the loss to Healy in his last Strikeforce fight.

Caio Magalhaes - He's 0-1 in the UFC thus far and didn't impress in that bout. With the glut of middleweights that just came in from TUF 17, another loss will mean he's on the outside looking in.

Karlos Vemola - He has fought in three weight classes in the UFC and is 2-3 overall. He got submitted in his last bout by Francis Carmont and hasn't fought in almost a year. He also has questionable wrestling credentials. Two losses in a row, especially with the second one coming to a guy like Magalhaes, will probably mean he's out. I was trying to fit a "Czech, please" joke in there, but it's pretty played out I guess.

Anthony Smith - A 2-2 record in Strikeforce and a loss in his last bout isn't going to help his chances much if he loses in his UFC debut. He's an all-action fighter that's only gone to a decision once in his 26-fight career, but that probably wouldn't be enough to save him unless his bout is FOTN-quality.

Possibly cut with a loss

Rafael Cavalcante - Feijao is coming off a positive drug test and made 33k/33k in his last bout. He is a former SF champion though and could possibly be a contender in the division. Feijao is much less likely to be released than Silva if he lost, but there are still ways that it could be justified.

Daniel Sarafian - He lost his debut fight to C.B. Dollaway, but it was a great bout. If he has another FOTN performance and still comes up short, they might give him another fight. But two straight losses (with no wins to counterbalance them) is never a good thing.

Vaughan Lee - He's 2-2 in the UFC thus far. Bantamweight is a division that they're really trying to clear some space in, so he could be in danger if he loses. I personally think he'll probably stay, but you never know.

Derek Brunson - That win over Chris Leben is something he can lean on I guess, but Dana White was very vocal about how much he hated that fight. If Brunson got blown out by Markes and you combine it with his two-fight losing streak before he beat Leben, I could definitely see them giving him the boot.

Felipe Arantes - 1-1-1 isn't that great of a record at featherweight, and another loss would be a bad thing. He hasn't done a ton to make himself stand out, so this fight with Pepey is really important for him.

Likely safe regardless of the outcome

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum - Unless Big Nog gets walloped and decides to retire or something, there's no way either of them are gone. They're mainstays at heavyweight and popular in Brazil.

William Macario and Leonardo Santos - The UFC has been pulling the trigger quickly on getting rid of TUF fighters lately, but even the loser of this will get at least one more bout.

Erick Silva and Jason High - Silva's loss to Jon Fitch was my favorite fight of 2012, and he's still a legit prospect. High has flown under the radar almost as much as this card has, but his game has improved a lot since his first UFC appearance in 2010 (a loss to Charlie Brenneman). Both men should get another shot if they lose, especially if it's a close fight.

Rony Jason - The TUF Brazil 1 winner got into a brawl with Sam Sicilia the last time out and eventually knocked him out. A loss here would hurt his stock for sure, but he'd obviously get another chance.

Mike Wilkinson - He's a TUF Smashes guy that had to duck out early due to an injury. He picked up a win at UFC on FX 6 though, and I doubt they release him with a 1-1 record if he loses. So he'll be brought back once more.

Raphael Assuncao - His win over Mike Easton (with a freakin' broken arm) upped his stock majorly in the company. Dropping the bout with Lee isn't going to get him released.

Ronny Markes - He is undefeated in the company so far, and one loss isn't going to affect his standing.

Godofredo Castro - The TUF Brazil 1 finalist picked up a hard-fought win over Milton Vieira last time out and he'll get one more shot if Arantes can topple him.

Ildemar Alcantara - The guy came in on short notice against someone way bigger than him (Wagner Prado) and submitted him in his UFC debut. He's now dropping not one, but two weight classes. There's no way they cut him if he loses to Silva.

Leandro Silva - An undefeated prospect usually gets at least two chances to impress in the UFC. This will be his first, and unless he gets totally destroyed, there will be another.

Antonio Braga Neto - He's a BJJ world champ and a top prospect. In fact, he was # 1 at middleweight in the 2012 Bloody Elbow Scouting Report. It's highly unlikely he loses to Smith but he does for some reason, he'll get a second chance in the octagon.

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