UFC on Fox 10: Who's on the Hot Seat?

Sean SmithAnalyst IJanuary 21, 2014

USA Today

Headlined by lightweight contenders Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson, UFC on Fox 10 will bring the world's top MMA promotion back to Chicago on Saturday.

With only former 155-pound champion Henderson coming off of a loss, all the fighters featured on the main card should have strong holds on their UFC roster spots; however, a few fighters appearing on the prelims could be released should they come up empty this weekend.

As another UFC event approaches, here are the fighters who may be battling for their jobs.


Junior Hernandez

In September, Junior Hernandez made his UFC debut against Brazilian prospect Lucas Martins.

Less than two minutes in, Hernandez was knocked down and submitted. It was the first time the 27-year-old has been finished in his career spanning 18 fights.

While he's still a promising 135-pounder, Hernandez can't afford to slip to 0-2 inside the Octagon. Losing to Hugo Viana at UFC on Fox 10 would likely cost him his position on the UFC roster.

Viana, on the other hand, is probably safe from being released despite also coming off a loss, as he won his prior two fights inside the Octagon.


Mike Rio

A contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 15, Mike Rio earned a long-term spot on the UFC roster with a victory over John Cofer in his official debut with the promotion.

Things have gone downhill for "The Wolverine" since then.

In 2013, Rio suffered two first-round submission losses in bouts with Francisco Trinaldo and Tony Ferguson. Making it three defeats in a row against Daron Cruickshank on Saturday would almost surely earn Rio his walking papers.

With three wins in five UFC appearances, and not coming off of consecutive setbacks, Cruickshank has some more wiggle room.


Walt Harris and Nikita Krylov

There is only one true loser-leaves-town matchup heading into the UFC on Fox 10 fight card.

Fittingly, heavyweights Walt Harris and Nikita Krylov have also been relegated to the lone Fight Pass-aired prelim at UFC on Fox 10. A message has been sent to both men, and only one is likely to maintain their UFC roster spot through the weekend.

Harris made his UFC debut in November and was shut down by the wrestling of Jared Rosholt after lacking urgency when he did have the opportunity to stand. Also coming off of a lackluster first impression, Krylov was stopped in the third round of his matchup against Soa Palelei.

Will the young Russian or former basketball player come out on top? We'll find out on Saturday.