UFC Fight Night 30: Who's on the Hot Seat?
UFC Fight Night 30 goes down this Saturday from Manchester, England. At the top of the card, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida makes his middleweight debut against would-be contender Mark Munoz.
Though there is plenty at stake in the main event, neither man would appear to have his job on the line. But others on the card might. Here's a look at the fighters who seem to be on the hot seat going into Manchester.
The lanky featherweight is fun to watch, but a loss to Andy Ogle would mean four defeats in five contests for Cole Miller. Though a win over Bart Palaszewski keeps Miller from facing the dreaded three straight defeats, it's clear his record isn't heading in the right direction.
Lightweight Piotr Hallmann is 14-1 and turned a lot of heads in his UFC debut, a submission win over Francisco Trinaldo in September. That's the man Al Iaquinta will need to overcome to avoid being a loser in three of his last four.
An August win over Ryan Couture bought him some time and might mean his release wouldn't be imminent, but it's easy to see that the The Ultimate Fighter veteran's seat might be growing warmer to the touch.
Alessio Sakara's last loss made it three in a row for the Italian. Admittedly, the loss was a questionable DQ loss that came when the ref believed Sakara was hitting the back of his opponent's head.
Still, a loss Saturday would be his fourth straight. Sakara may be facing a must-win over unheralded Nicholas Musoke (a late injury replacement who is debuting in the UFC and is likely one-and-done with a defeat) if he wants to remain on the UFC payroll.
Ryan Jimmo isn't here because he's been unsuccessful in the UFC; he has been. In fact, the light heavyweight is 18-2 overall and 2-1 since entering the UFC in 2012.
So why is he here? Well, he's 1-1 so far in 2013, with an unimpressive loss to James Te-Huna coming in February. But the real problem is that he's equally unimpressive in his wins, regularly employing mind-numbing wall-and-stall to wait his way to the win.
That's not how you win friends and influence people in today's UFC, and my guess is the Zuffa braintrust would love a reason to get rid of him. A loss on Saturday to hard-hitting Jimi Manuwa would make Jimmo a loser in two of his last three and just might be the reason the UFC needs.