UFC Fight Night 46: Who's in the Hot Seat?

Mike WellmanContributor IIIJuly 17, 2014

Oct 5, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Phil Harris gets position to bout Darren Uyenoyama (not pictured) at the UFC on FX 5 at the Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

At UFC Fight Night 46 in Dublin, Ireland, hometown favorite Conor McGregor will look to move closer to a featherweight title shot when he takes on Diego Brandao in the night’s main event. McGregor is 2-0 inside the Octagon and faces a dangerous opponent in The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 winner Brandao.

Before McGregor and Brandao throw down in the featherweight headliner, there are a number of fighters competing who haven’t looked so good lately and may need a win if they want to stay in the UFC.

Here are the fighters who may be fighting for their roster spot at Fight Night 46 in Dublin.


Ian McCall

Feb 2, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Joseph Benavidez (left) and Ian McCall (right) exchange kicks during UFC 156 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

McCall is in an interesting spot. He has one victory in his four UFC fights, so he definitely wants to avoid going one for five. A win over Brad Pickett would be huge, as Pickett is thought of as a future title contender in the flyweight division and could earn himself a championship fight if he beats McCall.

A loss would put "Uncle Creepy" in a bad position, either cut from the promotion or in an undeniable “must-win” for his next outing. But if he could get past Pickett, he’d find himself back in the title conversation in a flyweight division that has nearly been picked clean by its champion Demetrious Johnson.


Phil Harris

The only reason Harris isn’t staring down a potential three-fight losing streak is because his most recent opponent, Louis Gaudinot, tested positive for diuretics coming out of their fight in London back in March. Gaudinot stopped Harris at 1:13 of the first round with a guillotine, but the positive test caused the UFC to change the result to a no-contest.

Prior to that, John Lineker put Harris away in the first round with a devastating body shot. His fight with Neil Seery is a rematch from BAMMA in 2010, where Harris took home a unanimous-decision victory.

Seery proved in his UFC debut against Brad Pickett that he can take a punch and keep coming forward.

Flyweight is one of the more shallow divisions in the UFC, so neither of these guys would be in dire straights with a loss. Harris has one victory in four Octagon appearances, and another stoppage loss would not do him any favors.


Trevor Smith

Smith got finished in 45 seconds by Thales Leites in his last fight, and has lost four of his last six fights. He lost to Ed Herman in his UFC debut but rebounded to pick up his only victory inside the Octagon when he won a split decision over Brian Houston.

He faces Tor Troeng at Fight Night 46, and a loss wouldn’t give the UFC much of a reason to keep him on the roster. He needs to emphatically defeat the Swede to justify his spot in the division.


Cody Donovan

Donovan went winless in 2013, suffering back-to-back stoppage losses at the hands of Ovince St. Preux and Gian Villante. He needs to avoid a three-fight losing streak if he wants to leave the cage confident he’ll still have a job after Saturday.

Light heavyweight isn’t a deep division, and Donovan may very well be kept even if he suffers his third straight loss in Dublin.


Nikita Krylov

Krylov had one of the more disappointing UFC debuts in recent memory, with Dana White referring to his UFC 164 fight with Soa Palelei to reporters as resembling a “tough-man" contest.

His drop to the light heavyweight division has yielded mixed results. He stopped Walt Harris by TKO in 25 seconds in January, but got put to sleep with a Von Flue choke by Ovince St. Preux at UFC 171 in March.

He needs to do something impressive against Donovan, not only to keep his job, but to prove that he can compete with UFC talent at any level. A loss to Donovan would most likely bring about the end of the 22-year-old’s UFC career, at least for the time being.