UFC on FOX 15 is arguably one of the strongest Fox events to date, even without a title fight in the main event. In fact, this card is so deep that there are only 7 fighters out of 22 coming off a loss, and only 1 of them is on a losing streak. This means that this week's edition of The Cut List will feature plenty of fighters who are just about in the clear to continue fighting in the UFC beyond Saturday night.
I assess the job security of UFC fighters based on win-loss records, rankings, name value, issues with drug test failures or weight-cutting, and how well they can tackle Singaporean math problems.
Likely cut with a loss
Chris Dempsey (10-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Believe it or not, Dempsey is the only fighter on this card without a UFC win, having been beaten soundly on short notice vs. Ilir Latifi at light heavyweight. He's back to middleweight but if he doesn't turn in a good performance against Eddie Gordon then it's probably curtains for him.
Possibly cut with a loss.
Diego Brandao (18-10 MMA, 4-3 UFC). The TUF 14 winner has been inconsistent inside the Octagon and quite volatile outside of it. He's missed weight once (which he followed up by threatening to stab Dustin Poirier) and recently threatened Brazilian journalists during Carnival. Another loss would make it 3 in a row and it would put the Brazilian on thin ice.
Likely safe regardless of the outcome
Lyoto Machida (22-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC), Luke Rockhold (13-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), Ronaldo Souza (21-3, 1 NC MMA; 4-0 UFC), Max Holloway (12-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC), Felice Herrig (10-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Paige VanZant (4-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC). These are the six main card fighters who are coming off wins, and all of them are ranked in the top 10 of their respective divisions. They're not going anywhere.
Ovince St. Preux (17-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Patrick Cummins (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), Aljamain Sterling (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), Corey Anderson (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), Gian Villante (12-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC), George Sullivan (15-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC). These half-dozen preliminary card fighters are coming off of victories, and three of them are undefeated in the promotion. The only question mark might be the underwhelming Villante, but light heavyweight is so thin that a 2-3 record shouldn't threaten his spot on the roster.
Cub Swanson (21-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC), Eddie Gordon (7-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Jim Miller (24-5, 1 NC MMA; 13-4, 1 NC UFC), Jim Hettes (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Takeya Mizugaki (20-8-2 MMA, 7-3 UFC). Swanson almost received a title shot before Frankie Edgar throttled him, so he's safe. Gordon was winning vs. Josh Samman before he had his head nearly torn off by a Samman head kick, and the UFC won't drop him that quickly considering he's a TUF winner. Jim Miller's contender days may be over but he's a very viable gatekeeper with a great UFC record. Hettes has been a bit of a disappointment after the initial hoopla, but he's still a fun, young submission grappler who should stick around for a bit. Mizugaki has been a perennial top 10 bantamweight, and there's almost no chance he gets released with a loss to Sterling.
Chris Camozzi (20-9 MMA, 6-6 UFC), Beneil Dariush (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Tim Means (23-6-1 MMA, 5-3 UFC). Not only are these three fighters all coming off of wins, they're all taking their respective fights on short notice. Camozzi in particular will surely get another UFC fight even if Jacare dominates him again.