UFC 153 Fight Card: Who's on the Hot Seat?
UFC 153 comes live from Brazil this weekend with a number of exciting fights set to take place. The card will be headlined by middleweight king Anderson Silva and light heavyweight brawler Stephan Bonnar, who meet in a "superfight."
On any fight card, there are always a few fighters on the hot seat, who need to perform or otherwise find a new job. A win by these men would preserve their spot on the UFC roster.
Let's take a look at who is on the hot seat heading in to UFC 153.
Despite losing his fight on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter, Cristiano Marcello is getting another chance to fight in the UFC. Therefore, he is definitely on the hot seat.
Marcello was knocked into another universe at the finale by Sam Sicilia. One has to assume if he falters against Reza Madadi at UFC 153, he will likely be out of a job.
Renee Forte is a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, but did not fight at the show's finale due to injury. Therefore, this will be his audition to earn a longer-term UFC contract.
Forte was eliminated in the middleweight quarterfinals by Daniel Sarafian. However, like everybody else, the Brazilian was supposed to get a shot at UFC 147.
Should he lose here to Sergio Moraes, he will likely be back in the minor leagues.
Although Sergio Moraes was a finalist in the TUF: Brazil show, he reached that stage by default following Daniel Sarafian's injury. Therefore, Moraes' job won't be safe should he lose to Renee Forte.
Moraes is an exciting Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist and has a chance to be a key guy in the welterweight division. However, he must beat Forte to make sure he stays employed.
Joey Gambino has spent under three minutes in the Octagon so far in his career. Should he lose this weekend to Diego Brandao, he may not spend any more time in the Octagon at all.
Gambino was dominated in his first UFC fight by Steven Siler, but it was on short notice. Nevertheless, the American needs to show something in his fight with Brandao, otherwise he won't be back in a UFC cage.
Fabio Maldonado has been nothing short of exciting since entering the UFC. His fights against James McSweeney, Kyle Kingsbury and Igor Pokrajac have all been crowd-pleasing affairs.
The problem is, even though he's taking this fight on short notice and saving a fight for Glover Teixeira, he is on a two-fight skid. Three losses in a row is never good for job security.
Another guy taking a fight on short notice, Dave Herman will likely be fighting for his job when he meets Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Herman started off his UFC career with an exciting win, but has taken back-to-back knockout losses to Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson. Although the heavyweight division is light on depth, Herman needs to win or he could be out of the UFC.