UFC 157: Who's on the Hot Seat on Rousey vs. Carmouche Card?
UFC 157 goes down this Saturday from the Ronda Center in Rondaheim, Rondafornia. It should be a great night, as Ronda Rousey, who is a woman, defends this UFC belt she has against this other woman, Liz Carmouche.
It is going to be something. Two women. One night. One fight, between two women. It is going to be Rondacular.
There are also some other fights. Some of these other fights may determine a few people's careers. No big deal.
Actually, now that I think about it, after Wednesday's UFC bloodletting, maybe every fighter should consider himself a member of this camp. Suddenly, the stakes seem higher for everyone.
Either way, I'd consider these fighters to be on higher alert than their counterparts going into this Saturday.
8. Neil Magny/John Manley
Record: Both 7-1
Opponent: Each other
Pop quiz: In which season of The Ultimate Fighter were these two featured as also-rans? If you said "the one no one can remember because it sucked," you are correct. We also would have accepted TUF 16 or "the one that just happened."
These two get to share a slide because, well, I didn't feel like making two separate ones. And the similarities are frankly kind of remarkable. In addition to being on the same TV show and having identical pro records, Manley and Magny are only a year apart in age (26 for the former, 25 for the latter).
But there are only so many TUF also-rans that the UFC can absorb, so you gotta break up the twins.
7. Brendan Schaub
Opponent: Lavar Johnson
Consecutive first-round knockout losses have "The Hybrid" reeling, and now he's facing one of the top two or three hardest hitters in the entire UFC. Three straight losses make up a dreaded mark, but three straight knockouts?
They should call that a turkey or something. A glass turkey.
6. Robbie Lawler
Opponent: Josh Koscheck
Robbie Lawler finished 4-3 in his first UFC stint. If he can't upset Koscheck this weekend, signs could point to Lawler—a loser in three of his last four, including his Strikeforce swan song—finishing 0-1 in his second.
5. Nah-Shon Burrell
Opponent: Yuri Villefort
I think it's pretty safe to say that Nah-Shon Burrell, who lost his final bout in Strikeforce, is on a pretty hot seat right now. He's hanging on by his fingernails, stowing away on the evening's opening fight. And because he's only 23 years old, I don't think the UFC would hesitate to designate him for a minor-league assignment.
4. Yuri Villefort
Opponent: Nah-Shon Burrell
Take the exact same words I typed in the previous slide and replace the name "Nah-Shon Burrell" with "Yuri Villefort" and the number "23" with the number "21."
This one is loser-leaves-town all the way. Thanks for playing.
3. Court McGee
Opponent: Josh Neer
Maybe Black Wednesday was just the beginning.
Lots of people on the hot seat for UFC 157, I'd say. Lots of win-or-go-home scenarios. A good portion of it probably has to do with the recent Strikeforce infusion, and I suppose the UFC does have to thin the herd a bit in these cases.
But this one would make this list regardless. McGee vs. Neer is a classic loser-leaves-town matchup, with each man coming in with two straight defeats.
From an academic standpoint, McGee has a slightly better chance of staving off the executioner's axe were he to lose, as this is his debut at 170 and he's a bigger name. But I do think the loser here will be gone.
2. Josh Neer
Opponent: Court McGee
I'm always surprised when I'm reminded of how young Josh Neer is. Usually, having 46 clicks on the professional odometer means you're a lot older than 29.
But Neer may be starting to age in fighter years, as he's been badly beaten in his last two fights and just doesn't appear to be the threat he once was.
1. Ronda Rousey
Division: Women's bantamweight
Opponent: Liz Carmouche
Ronda Rousey is mentioned here for three reasons, all of which differ from the reasons behind the other inclusions.
First, this is the law now.
Second, I'm willing to wager that the seat she's been sitting on throughout this weeklong leadup to her UFC debut is literally quite warm, what with the constant glare of all those camera lights and all. Heyooooo!
Third, there's a lot of pressure on Rousey to bring in not only a big audience but a new audience. Say what you will, but there's a good amount of interest in Rousey outside the MMA community, and that interest seems to be reaching into new corners.
Will she deliver on the promise? We will all see. I'd say that makes for a pretty hot seat.
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