Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
UFC 163 takes place this Saturday, August 3, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Here are the fighters on the hot seat heading into the card:
McCall can hang with the best at flyweight, but the winning part of fighting has been an issue for the 125-pound competitor.
"Uncle Creepy" has fought three times in the UFC, losing twice and fighting to a draw once. However, those losses came against champion Demetrious Johnson and top contender Joseph Benavidez.
Even if his defeats came at the hands of the best in the division, three losses in a row (and zero wins in four UFC fights) is not a good run, no matter who McCall is fighting. His opponent, Illiarde Santos, is not at the level of Johnson and Benavidez, so McCall should get a win here. However, a loss would be detrimental, and a release from the UFC, though not guaranteed, would be at the very least plausible.
Machida is a top light heavyweight, and "The Dragon" is on the verge of another shot against champion Jon Jones. So why is he on the hot seat?
Well, when Jones was presented with a potential rematch against Machida, he was less-than-thrilled, stating that Alexander Gustafsson deserved it more.
Being looked over for the next 205-pound title shot, Machida has a lot to prove against Phil Davis at UFC 163. A win almost certainly guarantees him a spot in the next championship bout. However, a loss would simply prove Jones correct.
Machida isn't getting any younger, and he's already been put to sleep by Jones. If he can't get past Davis, all hope for Machida earning another light heavyweight shot will be all but dead.
If and when Leites is brought up in conversation, plenty of fans immediately recall 25 of the most uneventful minutes in a UFC title fight ever.
At UFC 98, Leites unsuccessfully attempted to draw champion Anderson Silva into a grappling battle, leading to a fight that simply wasn't much of one. Following the fight, Leites was heavily criticized for failing to engage with "The Spider," and after a second consecutive loss, he was released.
Leites desperately needs to redeem himself from that loss to Silva, considering the performance still haunts him. If he can't get through Tom Watson, he's not going to gain back any points with the fans. However, a submission win or an exciting fight could at least make the Silva fight fade somewhat from the minds of many.
Gaff was dominated by Sara McMann in her debut at UFC 159, losing via first-round technical knockout. Now, in her second go-around in the UFC, she takes on Amanda Nunes—the bout will be Nunes' first in the promotion.
Now, the women's bantamweight division isn't exactly crazy-deep, and the UFC won't be looking to make it any thinner. That said, Gaff likely needs a win here to save her job, or at least a good showing.
She's 3-4 in her last seven fights, which doesn't exactly make for a strong resume. Should she get finished by Nunes, don't expect a third fight in the UFC, while a close loss may allow her to see the Octagon once more.