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The Cut List: UFC Fight Night - Hunt vs. Nelson

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A half dozen fighters may be fighting to avoid a pink slip this weekend, including Amir Sadollah and Yoshihiro Akiyama, who'll be squaring off in probably the most high-risk fight of the evening.

Yoshihiro Akiyama
Yoshihiro Akiyama
Koki Nagahama

Likely Cut With a Loss

Kazuki Tokudome (12-5-1, 1-2 UFC) - Fighters have been kept around after three losses before, but it's rare, and I don't think that Tokudome has the style or fan recognition that would earn him that privilege.

Takenori Sato (17-9-7, 0-1 UFC) - He was absolutely overwhelmed in his debut against Erick Silva. Anything less than an exciting, closely contested fight would probably see him bounced.

Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-5-2NC, 1-4 UFC) - Rather the opposite of Hunt, Akiyama has experienced a tremendous downturn in his career since coming into the UFC. Despite a frequently entertaining style and a significant fan following, I don't see how the UFC could justify keeping him around after dropping five straight.

Possibly Cut

Maximo Blanco (10-6-1-1NC, 2-3 UFC) - His overall UFC career hasn't really lived up to the hype, and a loss to someone as low in the pecking order as Hooker would probably not bode well. Still, he won his last fight, and there's a chance they'd want to hold on to him for more shows in the Pacific regardless.

Jon Delos Reyes (7-3, 0-1 UFC) - I'm not sure what the hell he's doing in this match-up. An 0-2 start would be grounds for release, but I feel like he ought to get another shot for stepping up like this to face a prospect like Horiguchi.

Amir Sadollah (6-4, 6-4 UFC) - I don't think things for Sadollah are as bad as they initially seem. Considering that he's contested his entire professional career inside the UFC, I think he's done fairly well. With small exception the guys he's lost to are highly ranked welterweights, and he's handled everyone else with aplomb. Still, he's now 34 and injury has kept him from keeping up a regular schedule--depending on how this weekend goes, perhaps retirement is just as much in the cards as release.

Likely Safe Regardless of Outcome

Johnny Case (18-4-0), Masanori Kanehara (23-11-5), Rin Nakai (16-0-1) - Saturday's debuting fighters, all of whom will get another shot.

Daniel Hooker (11-4, 1-0 UFC), Michinori Tanaka (10-0, 1-0 UFC), Kiichi Kunimoto ( 17-5-2-1NC, 2-0 UFC) vs. Richard Walsh (8-1, 1-0 UFC), Kyoji Horiguchi (13-1, 2-0 UFC) - The fighters on Saturday's card early in undefeated UFC careers.

Sam Sicilia (13-4, 3-3 UFC), Kyung Ho Kang (12-7-1NC, 1-1-1NC UFC), Hyun Gyu Lim (12-4-1, 2-1 UFC), Katsunori Kikuno (21-6-2, 1-1 UFC), Alex Caceres (10-6-1NC, 5-4-1NC UFC) - Guys with middling UFC records who, by some combination of style, dependability, and perhaps-untapped potential, should get another shot.

Miesha Tate (14-5, 1-2 UFC) - She's been pretty underwhelming in the UFC, but women's bantamweight needs fighters, especially those with a slightly higher Q rating.

Takanori Gomi (35-9-1NC, 4-4 UFC), Myles Jury (14-0, 5-0 UFC), Mark Hunt (9-8-1, 4-2-1 UFC), Roy Nelson (20-9, 7-5 UFC) - Let's recall for a moment that Mark Hunt's record outside the UFC is 5-6-0. I can think of few other fighters--Matt Brown, I'm pretty sure--whose records inside the Octagon are so significantly better than their records outside of it.