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MMA Hot Seat: 12 Fighters on the Hot Seat for November

Craig AmosFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2012

MMA Hot Seat: 12 Fighters on the Hot Seat for November

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    November MMA gets underway on the second of the month, with both Bellator and Resurrection Fighting Alliance set to host show.

    The double-billing will kick off a month jam-packed with events, including multiple UFC, Bellator and RFA shows, as well the coming of the World Series of Fighting.

    Here, we'll take a glance at 12 fighters who enter the month in desperate need of a win—some looking to avoid the dreaded pink slip, others looking to salvage their place in the sport.

Patrick Cote

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    Next Fight: UFC 154

    Is Cote ever really out of the hot seat?

    After his most recent UFC release, Cote reeled of four victories before once again rejoining the promotion in losing fashion, dropping a decision to Cung Le earlier this year. 

    The Canadian has been given a second life though—actually, considering his 4-8 UFC record, it seems like it's his ninth life—as he has been tasked with taking on Alessio Sakara at UFC 154.

    Sakara is an opponent tailor-made for Cote's brawling style, so a loss almost certainly signifies "the Predator's" last hurrah inside the Octagon.

Mark Hominick

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    Next Fight: UFC 154

    From Jose Aldo's toughest WEC/UFC challenger to pink-slip-candidate in about a year's time, few fighters are in need of a win as desperately as Mark Hominick.

    Since dropping a five round decision to Aldo last April, Hominick was knocked out in 0:07 by Chan Sung Jung and decisioned by Eddie Yagin.

    A fourth defeat in a row might mean the end of the line for the Canadian striking specialist. A loss wouldn't necessarily guarantee Hominick's UFC release, but it would make it a possibility.

John Makdessi

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    Next Fight: UFC 154

    He began his UFC tenure going 2-0 but has leveled off of late, dropping to 2-2 in four total contests.

    If his current two-fight losing streak moves to three at UFC 154, Makdessi could be in trouble. The lightweight division is absolutely packed, and there isn't enough room for underachievers to stick around.

    The 27-year-old Canadian needs a win to guarantee his survival in the UFC. If he fails to get a "W" in his upcoming bout, he could be a gonner.

Takeya Mizugaki

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    Next Fight: UFC on Fuel TV 6

    Mizugaki has had nine fights under Zuffa's employ. During that period, he has yet to post either consecutive wins or consecutive losses.

    That, by definition, is some very checkered results.

    Mizugaki's last bout was a decision loss to Cris Cariaso so if the pattern holds true, he is due for a win at UFC on Fuel TV 6.

    If the pattern doesn't hold, he could be in some trouble.

    While Mizugaki might not be cut outright following a November loss, he'd certainly find himself on unsteady ground.

Alessio Sakara

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    Next Fight: UFC 154

    Sakara has been a UFC mainstay since 2005, though he's never made a particularly large impact within the promotion.

    And while Sakara has maintained a penchant for putting on exciting bouts, he's riding a two-fight losing streak. Should it turn into a three-fight losing streak at UFC 154, Sakara might receive his release.

    Given that both Sakara and Cote find their names on this list, their impending showdown has the feel of loser goes home kind of deal.

Thiago Silva

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    Next Fight: UFC on Fuel TV 6

    Once considered a top-tier light heavyweight prospect, Thiago Silva has gone the last three years without earning a UFC win.

    Sure, he was on the sideline for a year, but time off via a failed drug test hardly excuses the absence of victory over such a lengthy duration.

    As it stands right now, Silva is in very real danger of being cut, should he lose to Stanislav Nedkov at UFC on Fuel TV 6, this November 10.

    How many years can the UFC wait for a guy to put another win in the books?

Georges St-Pierre

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    Next Fight: UFC 154

    No, he isn't in danger of being cut but hear me out. 

    UFC 154's main event is a huge fight for St-Pierre. Not only is Carlos Condit one of the toughest challengers the champ has faced in recent memory, but St-Pierre will head into the fight coming off a lengthy injury-induced hiatus.

    That means the match is dangerous for St-Pierre. It also means a loss is monumental for him as well.

    Defeat would, by no means, signify the end of St-Pierre's career, nor would it automatically equate to his removal from the upper echelon of the sport. But, a loss at UFC 154 would be more than just a black mark on St-Pierre's legacy.

    See, GSP's fight with Condit is his chance to dispel the notion that his injury will affect the way he performs indefinitely.

    If he wins, all doubt regarding his ability to rebound will disperse.

    If he loses, those doubts grow. And it will take more than a damage-control victory to put out the fire.

Paulo Thiago

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    Next Fight: UFC on Fuel TV 6

    After beginning his UFC tenure at an impressive 3-1, Thiago has struggled to stay in the win column. In fact, his last four results have been the inverse of his first four with the UFC—he has gone 1-3 that stretch.

    When we consider that his last fight was a 0:42 knockout loss to a fighter making his promotional debut, Thiago is most certainly in some hot water.

    He needs a win at UFC on Fuel TV 6 really bad. Unfortunately, necessity does not mean it will be easy—not against an opponent as dangerous as Dong Hyun Kim.

    A loss for Thiago may not ensure impending unemployment, but it makes the scenario possible. 

Miguel Torres

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    Next Fight: World Series of Fighting 1

    Torres is 3-4 over his past seven contests, a dismal stretch that began in the WEC, progressed through the UFC and has now taken him to the World Series of Fighting. 

    While a Torres victory at the WSOF's Saturday night event may not entirely resurrect his career, it will at least stage off the impending demise hovering near.

    A loss, on the other hand, eliminates any lingering belief that Torres is anything close to the high-level bantamweight stud he once was.

Yasuhiro Urushitani

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    Next Fight: UFC on Fuel TV 6

    Brought to the UFC to round out the promotion's Flyweight Grand Prix, Urushitani now finds himself just another member of a growing 125-pound weight class, as expendable as any other.

    If Urushitani drops his UFC on Fuel TV 6 contest to John Lineker, it will put him at 0-2 in the UFC, and Dana Whit and Co. might not have all that much patience waiting on a 36-year-old journeyman to come around.

    That's why a loss for Urushitani is dangerous—it doesn't guarantee his release from the UFC, but it makes it very realistic.

Joe Warren

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    Next Fight: BFC 80

    Warren will take on Owen Evinger at BFC 80, and a loss would be his third straight. That's not a welcomed streak for a guy once thought to be a future force in the bantamweight division.

    The fact is, Warren's career is in trouble. Not only has he lost his last two fights, he's been knocked out and knocked out ferociously.

    He needs a win at BFC 80—badly.

Tiequan Zhang

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    Next Fight: UFC on Fuel TV 6

    No one is mistaking Zhang for a title contender, but his presence on the UFC roster has always been valued by the promotion.

    See, Zhang is the company's original Chinese fighter, which makes him a meaningful commodity to a business looking to penetrate the Great Wall.

    Inside the Octagon, Zhang has mustered a 1-2 record, good enough to justify his place on the roster, but it's his next bout that affords him the opportunity to snatch a signature win.

    The UFC will make its first foray into China this November, and Zhang is tapped to take part.

    A victory on his part would be a nice memento for himself and the Chinese crowd alike. A loss might signify the end of his UFC tenure.

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