The call has gone out once again. UFC president Dana White says the promotion's roster is too full once again, so this might change the dynamic of these posts for the next few events. I know, I know...it's Dana. He says a lot of stuff. But it is true that they've signed a lot of guys lately, and the cuts haven't really been coming in huge numbers. Yes, Joey Beltran just got the boot (and he won't be the only one from UFN 29), but I have a feeling there are going to be a few more one-and-done guys than usual in the near future.
That brings us to UFC Fight Night 30, which isn't exactly a stellar card. It's not terrible though either. 14 of the 24 fighters on the card are coming off a win, with two men making their debuts. Only one fighter is on a multi-fight losing streak. It doesn't feature a lot of name value outside of the top two fights, but there's some decent talent there. Anyway, let's get on with things.
Likely to be cut with a loss
Alessio Sakara - Sakara might be a guy that the UFC likes due to his style, but he has lost three in a row (the last by DQ). He's been troubled by injuries throughout his UFC career and has only fought five times in the last five years. He's a fun fighter to watch, but the UFC can't really justify keeping around a guy that isn't getting wins. And if Sakara gets beaten by a guy making his debut, it's lights out for the Soldier of Rome.
Rosi Sexton - As much as I like Rosi and thought she fought with a lot of heart against Alexis Davis, the UFC set a precedent with Sheila Gaff - two straight losses to start your UFC career in the women's bantamweight division and you're probably gone. She desperately needs a win here to stay in the organization.
Jessica Andrade - See above. Andrade might need a good performance even more though since she got trucked by Liz Carmouche in her debut.
Cole Miller - I don't think the UFC agreed with the controversy surrounding his loss to Manny Gamburyan, and that's why they gave him a fighter coming off a win for this bout. But stats don't lie - he's 1-4 since he dropped back to the featherweight division. I believe he's definitely talented enough to be on the roster, but he needs some W's to justify that.
Brad Scott - After losing in the TUF Smashes finale at welterweight, he's going back to middleweight? Most guys drop down after TUF, they don't go up. The organization has shown little patience with TUF finalists losing two in a row (Colin Fletcher), so you'd have to figure he's gone with a loss here regardless of the division change.
Possibly cut with a loss
Melvin Guillard - His knockout win over Mac Danzig undoubtedly saved his UFC career. But he's still not off the ledge yet. Despite that win, he's still just 2-4 in his last six, and missed weight in the loss to Cerrone. The legal trouble, the camp changes - all of it adds up. That being said, they're still using him in a co-main event slot against an opponent that will probably make for an exciting fight. At 42k/42k, is it worth keeping him around if he loses to Pearson? I'd vote no. But the UFC probably feels differently.
Ryan Jimmo - It's well-known that I'm not a Jimmo fan and he is 2-1 in the organization. But his last fight went back to the patented Jimmo style - very boring. If he tries that again and loses, I can definitely see the organization going the way of Mike Ricci and giving him the boot. His first two bouts were pretty good though, so who knows.
Nicholas Musoke and Robert Whiteford - Normally guys making short-notice debuts get another fight. But with a full roster, these two might be sacrificed if they lose.
John Lineker - Before you freak out about a possible title challenger being on this list, hear me out. I only have Lineker here because there's the possibility that he could miss weight again. That'd be the third time in five bouts, and it would make it clear that they'd never put him anywhere near a title shot. If he makes weight, it won't matter if he loses. He's an exciting fighter near the top of the rankings. But if he's too heavy? All bets are off.
Michael Kuiper - A loss to Scott would drop him to 1-3 and it'd be his second in a row. Generally that means the door, but Kuiper's run has been kind of weird. First off, he's a decent Euro prospect, which the UFC likes to have around. On top of that, the guy went through hell before his last bout. He had four different opponents drop out of potential bouts before he eventually got to fight Tom Lawlor three months after he was originally scheduled to fight. He lost, but looked good before making a mistake and getting guillotined. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the UFC give him one more shot just because of all the crap he went through, but it probably depends on how he loses.
Likely safe regardless of the outcome
Lyoto Machida and Mark Munoz - They're both top middleweights (yes, Machida hasn't fought there yet, but it's pretty obvious he's going to be a contender) and they're both assets to the organization. They're not going anywhere.
Ross Pearson - He's one of the best UK fighters they have and has looked excellent since his TUF Smashes coaching stint and return to lightweight. A loss isn't going to derail his UFC career.
Jimi Manuwa - Probably the best UK prospect on the roster, and still undefeated. A loss to Jimmo will hurt but he'll definitely get another shot.
Norman Parke and Jon Tuck - Parke's a TUF Smashes champ and is 2-0 in the UFC. Tuck only has one fight to his name, but has the unique quality of being from Guam (and being a pretty good fighter). Both will get another opportunity if they lose.
Phil Harris - He's 1-1 in the UFC and not really on the radar at flyweight, but it's a developing division and I don't think they'd cut him until he lost two straight.
Al Iaquinta and Piotr Hallmann - Both are coming off nice wins as late replacements. They'll be granted another shot just based on that.
Luke Barnatt and Andrew Craig - I considered Barnatt for the maybe list because it seems like middleweight is way too crowded, but they like having UK fighters on the roster. And Craig has quietly gone 3-1 in the UFC thus far. Both will return to the octagon the near future regardless of what happens on Saturday.
Andy Ogle - Another British fighter that's 1-1 in the organization. He won his last bout and looked pretty decent doing it. He was scheduled to be sacrificed to Conor McGregor though, so I'm not quite as confident in this as I am in the others. Still though, unless Miller submits him in a minute or something, he should get another shot.
Jimy Hettes - He did lose his last bout, but he was one of the brightest featherweight prospects they had until then. He's 2-1 in the UFC overall but has been out for a long time with injuries. A loss to a guy making his debut would be very bad, but I believe he'd be granted clemency.