UFC Fight Night 50: Who's on the Hot Seat?

Sean SmithAnalyst ISeptember 3, 2014

Nov 5, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; Rafael Natal during the weigh-in for UFC-Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

At UFC Fight Night 50, Ronaldo Souza and Gegard Mousasi could be fighting to determine the next contender to get a shot at the middleweight championship.

Currently ranked No. 4 among 185-pound contenders, Souza is the second-highest ranked middleweight without an appearance against champion Chris Weidman. Vitor Belfort, who sits at No. 3, is scheduled to meet Weidman on December 6, though. That could mean the man who wins this weekend's main event between Souza and Mousasi will challenge the winner of the upcoming clash between Weidman and Belfort.

While Souza and Mousasi are in prime position, a few UFC Fight Night 50 competitors could simply be fighting for their jobs. Here are the fighters sitting on hot seats heading into the weekend's fight card. 


Rafael Natal and Chris Camozzi

Nov 6, 2013; Fort Campbell, KY, USA; Chris Camozzi (red gloves) fights Lorenz Larkin (blue gloves) in the middleweight bout during UFC Fight for the Troops at Fort Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Only 12 months ago, Rafael Natal had won three fights in a row, but he's now quickly headed in the wrong direction following consecutive losses to Tim Kennedy and Ed Herman.

Similarly, Chris Camozzi had a long winning streak going in 2013 with four consecutive victories. However, he has also been slumping badly over his past few appearances. The TUF 11 contestant has lost three in a row, dropping fights against Ronaldo Souza, Lorenz Larkin and Bruno Santos.

Following his loss to Santos, Camozzi was fortunate to be kept around. Likely because that bout ended in a split decision, Camozzi has been given another opportunity, but there's a very good chance this will be his last hope to prove he belongs on the UFC middleweight roster.

Only one fight removed from being in a main event opposite Kennedy, it's surprising to see Natal in this position so soon. However, Sapo probably either needs a win or a Fight of the Night performance to keep his UFC career going.

Despite owning a 2-1 UFC record at the time, Camozzi was surprisingly released by the promotion following a loss to Kyle Noke in February 2011. Brought back with one win outside the Octagon, Camozzi looked like he was here to stay the second time around. However, eight fights into his second stint with the world's top MMA organization, Camozzi is in jeopardy once again.


Sean Soriano

SINGAPORE - JANUARY 04: Sean Soriano  (L) kicks Tatsuya Kawajiri during  their UFC Fight Night Singapore featherweight bout at Marina Bay Sands on January 4, 2014 in Singapore.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

At 24 years old, Sean Soriano had a rough matchup to begin his UFC career. The Rhode Island native stood across the cage from accomplished veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri and ended up suffering a submission loss in the second stanza.

While he wasn't expected to win that initial UFC bout, Soriano will likely need to win Saturday to remain on the promotion's roster. An 0-2 start inside the Octagon, no matter the opposition, usually results in a fighter being released.

Unfortunately, Soriano has another tough matchup coming his way. Originally scheduled to meet Andre Fili at UFC Fight Night 50, Soriano will now meet replacement adversary Chas Skelly, who submitted Tom Niinimaki on August 23.

Having recorded seven submissions in 13 MMA appearances, Skelly may be able to exploit Soriano's ground game and hand the Blackzilian a second straight submission loss. If he does, it could be the end of the line for Soriano.