10 UFC Fighters Who Are in Desperate Need of a Victory
The UFC operates at a very breakneck pace.
You either sink or swim as your pitted against many of the world's best and most notable fighters.
Fighters like Dan Hardy have survived in the organization thanks to their captivating fighting styles and personalities. However, you can only lose so many times before the organization ousts you altogether and many fighters' contracts will soon be expired.
The former WEC featherweight champion, Cole Escovedo recently came back from a three-year hiatus, courtesy of a bad case of staph that cultivated in his spine, paralyzing part of his body before invasive surgery corrected the mishap.
Upon his return, Escovedo rattled off a five-fight win streak, including a TKO victory over budding bantamweight contender Michael McDonald.
However, since then, Escovedo has gone 2-5 and is currently riding a three-fight skid in the UFC, losing to notables Renan Barao, Takeya Mizugaki and Alex Caceres in succession.
The former bantamweight king first reached the pinnacle of his career while under the WEC banner, knocking out the wily Antonio Banuelos for the vacant world title.
Wineland later re-emerged as a top contender in Zuffa when he rattled off a four-fight win streak, first earning back-to-back decision victories over former title challenger Manny Tapia and The Ultimate Fighter veteran George Roop, then knocking out Will Campuzano and Ken Stone in emphatic fashion.
However, since transitioning to the UFC, Wineland has lost back-to-back at the hands of Team Alpha Male notables Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez.
Now 0-2 in the UFC, Wineland will likely be on the chopping block in his next outing.
Cantwell first rose to prominence in the WEC when he became the light heavyweight champion, knocking out former top UFC contender Brian Stann.
"The Robot" later made a successful debut with the UFC when he submitted Razak Al-Hassan with a first-round armbar. However, Cantwell has since struggled to regain footing with the promotion.
In his next bout, Cantwell lost a close and entertaining decision to former contender Luiz Cane before meeting with Stann for their trilogy, dropping another decision to "The All-American." Next, Cantwell lost by points again this time at the hands of Pride vet Cyrille Diabate before making his middleweight debut.
At 185 pounds, Cantwell took on Mike Massenzio, engaging in a rollicking back-and-forth affair which the wrestler edged the 24-year-old, who jas now lost four fights in a row.
Amazingly, Cantwell still has some life left in the UFC as he now meets powerhouse Riki Fukuda this February in the organization's return to Japan at the Saitama Super Arena.
Takanori Gomi first made waves in Pride when he became the promotion's first and last lightweight champion, defeating a field of some of the world's best in a tournament which would eventually decide the rightful titleholder.
Victories over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Hayato Sakurai and former UFC champion Jens Pulver anchored Gomi's resume. He eventually made his way to the Octagon in March of last year.
He failed upon his debut when he was dominated by former title challenger Kenny Florian, though he returned with a vengeance when he knocked out perennial contender Tyson Griffin, but the high of the victory didn't last long.
Since then, the Japanese heavy hitter has since suffered back-to-back submission defeats at the hands of Clay Guida and Nate Diaz, and is now resting with a 1-3 with the promotion.
Gomi will likely find himself in a do-or-die situation with the organization as he will take on George Sotiropoulos come next February in his native country.
A product of the old Miletich crew, Spencer Fisher has long been a fixture of the UFC.
First entering the Octagon with a submission victory over former title challenger Thiago Alves, Fisher eventually pared down to the lightweight class, where he engaged Sam Stout in two memorable battles, splitting wins with the Canadian and eventually culminating in a "Fight of the Night" victory for "The King."
However, his glory days as a legitimate force in the organization are well behind, as he has since gone 1-4 in his last five outings with the promotion, currently riding a two-fight skid at the hands of Ross Pearson and Thiago Tavares—with the Brazilian stopping Fisher with second-round strikes.
"The Fluke" seems like an apt moniker now for Josh Grispi.
In his first 11 bouts as a pro, Grispi was only once defeated before making his way to the WEC, where he became an instant contender with an upset, first-round submission victory over Mark Hominick.
Next, Grispi defeated Micah Miller, LC Davis and former champion Jens Pulver in succession before making his way to the UFC, where he was pitted as an immediate contender to Jose Aldo's featherweight title.
However, when the Brazilian succumbed to injury, Grispi was then pitted against the unheralded Dustin Poirier, who dominated the Massachusetts native en route to a decision victory.
Grispi then met with TUF alumnus George Roop, who finished off the top dog with third-round strikes, leaving the 23-year-old on a two-fight skid. Grispi will likely be seeing pink slips should he succumb to another loss.
A former three-time world champion, Jake Shields has now seen the highs and lows in his illustrious mixed martial arts career.
The Cesar Gracie protege came into the UFC on the heels of an impressive 15-fight win streak which saw Shields win the Rumble on the Rock tournament, EliteXC welterweight and Strikeforce middleweight title.
Whilst with the San Jose-based promotion, Shields defeated the likes of Robbie Lawler and Jason "Mayhem" Miller before meeting with former Pride champion Dan Henderson, looking to defend his middleweight title against the dangerous heavy-handed striker.
Eventually, Shields earned a dominant decision victory over the former Olympian, later earning entry into the UFC where he defeated Martin Kampmann upon his debut.
However, Shields has since gone 0-2 in his last two outings, first dropping a decision to champion Georges St-Pierre before getting knocked out by budding contender Jake Ellenberger, who finished off the touted submission specialist in just 53 seconds.
Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto
Once coveted as the best featherweight fighter on the planet, "Kid" Yamamoto has left behind a long and fruitful career in the MMA world.
In his native Japan, Yamamoto quickly became a household name when he entered the K-1 circuit, besting a field of eight men in the 2005 Hero's Lightweight Grand Prix, where he finished Royler Gracie, Caol Uno and Genki Sudo in succession.
Later, Yamamoto would defeat WEC vet Rani Yahya and former Dream champion Bibiano Fernandes before being sidelined thanks to injury.
Upon his return, Yamamoto has gone 1-4 in his last five outings, including a two-fight skid in the UFC which will likely end should the heavy-hitting bantamweight suffer another defeat in his next outing, which takes place next February as "Kid" takes on Vaughan Lee.
Before he entered the UFC, Akiyama was regarded as one of the best middleweights on the planet.
The touted Judoka first made waves in 2006 when he entered the K-1 promotion fighting under the Hero's banner. In his third bout with the organization, Akiyama was featured in the first Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, which saw the grappler finish all of his opponents, including the heavy-handed Melvin Manhoef in the finals, claiming the GP title.
Later, Akiyama took on the world-renowned Denis Kang, knocking out the bruiser inside of the first round.
The game fighter eventually made his way to the UFC in July of 2009, engaging Alan Belcher in a "Fight of the Night"-worthy performance which saw him clinch a close and contentious split-decision victory.
Since then, Akiyama has gone winless in his last three outings, losing to Chris Leben, Michael Bisping and former champion Vitor Belfort—who knocked out Akiyama in brutal fashion.
The heavy-handed Brit has become an instant hit with the UFC fans, both stateside and in his native country of England.
Hardy came into the Octagon with an impressive 19-6-1 record overall, debuting against the equally battle-tested veteran in Akihiro Gono, defeating the Japanese star by decision.
Next, Hardy knocked out IFL standout Rory Markham before his fellow countrymen in London, which set up a pivotal battle with former top contender Marcus Davis, who traded barbs with Hardy in the media for some time.
The grudge match was set and "The Outlaw" showed a wide array of his skills, besting the heavy hitter by decision before taking on Mike Swick for a No. 1 contender spot in the welterweight division.
Hardy defeated Swick by points and later challenged Georges St-Pierre for the title, though he was unsuccessful in his bid to become champion he dropped a decision to the Canadian.
Since then, Hardy has gone winless in the UFC, getting knocked out by Carlos Condit, outpointed by Anthony Johnson and then submitted by Chris Lytle.