The Cut List: UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller

An 0-3 slump leaves Pat Healy with his back against the wall. - David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

In which we speculate wildly about the relative job security of UFC Fight Night 45's competitors.

Likely Cut With a Loss

Pat Healy (29-10-1NC, 0-3 UFC) - With three losses in a row and the fight he'd previously won overturned because of a positive drug test, I'm surprised Healy wasn't already released. More than anyone else, not just of this card but of this entire month, I'd think Healy is fighting for his job.

Possibly Cut With a Loss

Yosdenis Cedeno (9-3, 0-1 UFC) - He lost his first UFC bout to a fellow debuting fighter, and has been again matched up with a UFC neophyte, which suggests, to me, that he's really at the bottom of the divisional barrel. Maybe, though, they're just hoping to build him up, in which case it's conceivable that he'd stick around, even after an 0-2 stretch.

Jessamyn Duke (3-1-1NC, 1-1 UFC), Leslie Smith (6-5-1NC, 0-1 UFC) - The bad: both Duke and Smith's records are approaching the .500 mark, and neither looked especially good last time out, with Smith coming off especially hapless. It's possible that they'd send Duke away to get a little more seasoning. Likewise for Smith, who, with a loss here, might want to right ship in Invicta before taking another stab at it. The good: Duke's affiliation with Rousey could buy her some time, and that Smith took her first UFC fight on short notice might give her a bit of leeway. It also doesn't hurt that the division is pretty thin. Sort of a toss-up. Not just whether they lose or not, but how they lose, seems especially important here.

John Lineker (23-7, 4-2 UFC) - A flyweight with a winning UFC record and finishing power would normally never find himself here. Lineker, however, has failed to make weight for half of his fights, which I'm sure hasn't much endeared him to the UFC. So long as he competes well at a ready 125, he's probably safe, but anything less and they might see that he go prove himself elsewhere.

Likely Safe Regardless of Outcome

Leonardo Mafra Texeira (11-1, 0-1 UFC) - After a single UFC loss in 2012, Mafra went back to the regionals where he racked up five straight stoppage wins. I think they'll let him slide even after another loss, given that they tasked him with Story.

Jerrod Sanders (14-1, 0-0 UFC), Aljamain Sterling (9-0, 1-0 UFC), Alex White 10-0-0, 1-0 UFC) Claudia Gadelha (11-0, 0-0 UFC), Tina Lahdemaki (5-0, 0-0 UFC) - As usual, those fighters debuting or building on new, undefeated UFC careers are safe barring some serious transgression.

Joe Proctor (9-2, 2-1 UFC), Justin Salas (12-5, 3-2 UFC), Lucas Martins (14-1, 2-1 UFC), Hugo Viana (8-1, 3-1 UFC) - No flawless records here, but winning enough that, given the UFC's recent reluctance to cut fighters, these guys are all likely safe.

Alptekin Ozkilic (9-2, 1-1 UFC) - He hasn't exactly set the division on fire, but Ozkilic has so far been competitive and flyweight needs talent.

Rick Story (16-8, 9-6 UFC) - Story hasn't won a consecutive fight in three years and his status as a Top 10 welterweight seems like a long-passed idea not likely to reinstate itself. For the most part, though, he doesn't lose to anyone other than prospects and the divisional elite and he's got a crowd-pleasing style. I'm sure the UFC would prefer to keep him.

Edson Barboza (13-2, 7-2 UFC), Evan Dunham (14-5, 7-5 UFC), Gleison Tibau (28-10, 13-8 UFC) - Like their main event counterparts, Barboza and Dunham are both well-established action fighters who the UFC will probably hold on to. I'm a little less sure about Dunham--defeat this weekend would mean three losses in a row and a 1-4 mark in the last two years--but I think, given his style, he's someone they'd like to keep around to fill their busy schedule. Tibau, meanwhile, has been an extremely reliable mid-card competitor and, despite getting KO'd by Michael Johnson in his last outing, his place should be secure.

Donald Cerrone (23-6, 1NC, 10-3 UFC), Jim Miller (24-4-0, 1NC, 13-3 UFC) - Two of the most active, dependable, offensively potent fighters in the lightweight division. Safe, of course.

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