UFC Fight Night 45: Who's on the Hot Seat?

Sean SmithAnalyst IJuly 13, 2014

Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Evan Dunham (blue gloves) reacts after losing his lightweight bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

At UFC Fight Night 45, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller will look to take a step closer to the lightweight championship.

Noteworthy 155-pound names headed in the right direction, Cerrone and Miller have secured their UFC roster spots. However, some others competing on Wednesday are in a bad position. There are multiple fighters who could be competing for their UFC lives when they head to Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Here are the fighters who are sitting on a hot seat heading into UFC Fight Night 45.


Evan Dunham

In Edson Barboza, Evan Dunham has a tough matchup on Wednesday. However, he could still be battling for his UFC job.

Dunham has lost to Donald Cerrone and Rafael dos Anjos in his past two outings. While those losses came against top-10 lightweights, Dunham is still in danger of dropping three in a row, which regularly results in a fighter being released.

Against an opponent like Barboza, Dunham should be able to get away with making weight and putting on a semi-entertaining showing. However, only a win will ensure his safety.


John Lineker

The only thing that will get a fighter cut by the UFC more quickly than consecutive losses is an inability to make weight.

Big fight next week: John Lineker VS The Scale! http://t.co/rFKc6XuKt7 pic.twitter.com/hZFcXXgbp8

MMA Infographics (@MMAInfographics) July 12, 2014

John Lineker had only made weight in three of his six UFC appearances. With another near miss prior to his most recent bout against Ali Bagautinov, the Brazilian can't afford to come in heavy again.

If Lineker fails to hit 125 pounds and ends up losing to Alptekin Ozkilic, there's a good chance the UFC brass decides to cut ties.


Pat Healy

Since having a win over Miller overturned, Pat Healy has lost three in a row.

Since the UFC opted to keep him around, one would think Healy would get a big step down in competition and an easy win. Instead, he will meet grizzled veteran Gleison Tibau.

A loss to Tibau would hardly be shocking, but Healy would leave his promotion with a tough choice should he fall on a fourth consecutive occasion.


Leslie Smith

Apr 16, 2014; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Sarah Kaufman ( red gloves) Victoria, BC,Canada  battles against Leslie Smith (blue gloves), Pleasant Hiil, CA during their women's bantamweight bout at Colisee Pepsi. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sport

Although she was coming off a loss to Barb Honchak, Leslie Smith was welcomed to the UFC as a replacement opponent for Sarah Kaufman.

Dominated over three rounds, Smith wound up on the wrong end of a decision and suffered a second straight loss. In danger of losing three in a row, Smith's UFC roster spot could be on the line this Wednesday.

Since the UFC is still building the women's bantamweight division, Smith might have more wiggle room than most, but she needs to perform well against Jessamyn Duke.


Yosdenis Cedeno

While Yosdenis Cedeno entered the UFC as a promising lightweight addition, he came up short in his debut against Ernest Chavez.

Facing UFC newcomer Jerrod Sanders on Wednesday, Cedeno can't afford to lose again. An 0-2 record is a good way to get bumped back down to smaller shows.

At 29 years old, Cedeno should be in his prime right now. So, this bout could be his last chance to make it inside the Octagon.