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The Cut List - UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor

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Who is at risk of being cut with a loss on tonight's UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor card in Las Vegas?

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After a brief sabbatical, "The Cut List" is back to examine the respective futures of fighters competing on an upcoming UFC event. Today, we focus on the 22 men who are set for battle at the big UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor pay-per-view in Las Vegas. It's really one of the best shows the UFC has lined up all year, so when you look at this list, you'll see almost everyone should be in good shape to keep fighting in the Octagon even if they lose on Saturday night.

UFC 189: Chad Mendes vs. Conor McGregor Video, News, Fight Card, Interviews, Live Coverage Stream

Likely cut with a loss

John Howard (22-11 MMA, 6-6 UFC). Keep in mind that this is Howard's 2nd stint in the UFC, and he started out his first one with a 4-0 record. He's on a three-fight losing streak right now and suffered a wipeout loss vs. Lorenz Larkin. Defeat vs. Cathal Pendred would surely be a "Doomsday" moment for Doomsday.

Cody Pfister (11-4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Yosdenis Cedeno (10-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC). Pfister looked mediocre, at best, against James Moontasri in his Octagon debut. Cedeno has underwhelmed in his 3 UFC fights, so these two lightweights are in a classic "Loser goes home" matchup to open up the Fight Pass prelims.

Possibly cut with a loss

Mike Swick (15-5 MMA, 10-4 UFC). Just 1 win in the last 6 years for Swick and a 1-3 record overall in his last 4. Injuries have severely affected Swick's career, and he's an underdog against up-and-comer Alex Garcia. Under normal circumstances, Swick is definitely gone with a loss, but as a TUF 1 alum he may be able to skate by with another defeat and get another fight. Or he could retire on his own accord.

Likely safe regardless of outcome

Chad Mendes (17-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), Conor McGregor (17-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC), Robbie Lawler (25-10, 1 NC MMA; 10-4 UFC), Rory MacDonald (18-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC). These are the title fight competitors and all of them have UFC records at least 5 above .500. You know, just in case it wasn't obvious enough for you.

Thomas Almeida (19-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC). I kid you not, he's the only main card fighter aside from the two championship bout combatants who is coming off a win. And no one really cares because this is such a fun, quality show. Almeida is one of the big potential fighters at 135 pounds and even if Brad Pickett beats him I highly doubt his first pro loss jeopardizes his future with the promotion.

Jeremy Stephens, Dennis Bermudez, Gunnar Nelson, Brandon Thatch, Brad Pickett. Cutting "Lil' Heathen" because of losses to Swanson, Oliveira, and Bermudez would be extremely harsh, so I reckon he's safe. Bermudez had rattled off 7 wins in a row prior to losing to Ricardo Lamas, so his future is fine. Nelson and Thatch are both intriguing prospects who lost to some stiff competition and otherwise have beaten just about everyone else in their path. Lastly, Pickett is a bit of a question mark, but he's been a hugely entertaining fighter over the years and still has name value on European cards on Fight Pass. I don't think the Brit will be gone even if a loss to Almeida drops him to 1-4 in his last 5.

Matt Brown (19-13 MMA, 12-7 UFC), Alex Garcia (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC). "The Immortal" lost to both the current champion and former champion at 170 pounds. He ain't going anywhere. Garcia lost his 3rd bout to the surging Neil Magny, but dazzled in his debut with a 40 second KO win and got a split nod over Sean Spencer beforehand. These are safe bets to return despite them being on the prelims and coming off losses.

Tim Means (24-6-1 MMA, 6-3 UFC), Cathal Pendred (17-2-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), Cody Garbrandt (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Henry Briones (16-4-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Neil Seery (15-10 MMA, 2-1 UFC), Louis Smolka (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC). Means and Pendred are on four-fight winning streaks, Seery has won two in a row, Garbrandt is undefeated, Briones won his UFC debut, and Smolka won his last fight with a spectacular turning side kick KO. My goodness this is a deep show.