May 30, 2019

UFC Is In Roster Cutting Mode: Who Is Next?

By Adam Martin

In the past week, the UFC has released a number of fighters from its roster. Here last week but gone this week are heavyweights Justin Willis and Marcelo Golm, middleweight Elias Theodorou, and flyweights Eric Shelton and Wilson Reis. It's likely there will be more cuts coming soon.

With the next season of Dana White's Contender Series just around the corner, the UFC will need to continue to open up roster spots in preparation for the next wave of fighters joining the UFC after winning contracts on the show. So the cuts aren't done just yet. Below is a list of fighters whose roster spots could be in jeopardy with the promotion in roster-cutting mode. (Note: The list doesn't include flyweights, as that division is slowly being dissolved as it is).

BJ Penn

One of the greatest fighters in MMA history, Penn is on a serious losing skid at the moment, as he's lost his last seven fights. That's a UFC record, but not a record anyone wants to have. Penn has not won a fight since a KO win over Matt Hughes in 2010, and since then he's 0-7 with one draw. To be fair to Penn, he's mostly fought solid competition during that stretch, but it's hard to see anyone sticking around the UFC roster on a seven-fight losing streak. The UFC may be nice to Penn and let him have the dignity of retiring before being released, but if he doesn't want to retire, it's hard to see the UFC keeping him around and to potentially take his eighth loss in a row. And if the UFC does release Penn, Bellator MMA would likely be his next home.

Carlos Condit

Once one of the most feared welterweights on the UFC roster, Condit is a shell of his former self these days. He's lost five straight fights and was finished in three of those defeats. He hasn't won since a TKO victory over Thiago Alves in 2015, and he hasn't shown any reason to believe he'll turn it around in his last couple of performances. Condit used to be one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, but it appears he has taken too much damage and just doesn't have it anymore. I can't see the UFC giving him another fight, so either he retires or the promotion releases him, and like Penn could potentially latch on with Bellator.

Hector Lombard

Speaking of Bellator, Lombard has been a huge bust for the UFC since arriving in the company from Bellator back in 2012. Lombard is currently mired in a six-fight losing skid and hasn't won a fight since a decision win over Jake Shields back in 2014. It's amazing how long of a leash Lombard has gotten in the UFC despite such a poor record, but at this point he has to be nearing the end. I can't see the UFC offering him another fight at this point, and a return to Bellator is very possible.

Patrick Cummins

After getting brutally knocked out by Ed Herman in his last fight, it's very likely we have seen the end of Cummins in the UFC. He was a great story when he earned a UFC roster spot after working as a Starbucks barista, but he's just 6-7 overall in the UFC and is currently on a three-fight losing skid. Even though he's a light heavyweight and the division isn't exactly stacked, it seems like Cummins' UFC career will come to an end soon.

Bethe Correia

A women's fighter on the chopping block is Correia, who is 1-4-1 over her last six fights. She hasn't won a fight in the Octagon since a split decision nod over Jessica Eye back in 2016 and is currently riding a two-fight losing skid after being finished by Irene Aldana in her last fight and Holly Holm in the bout before that. Correia's popularity in Brazil might earn her one more chance in the Octagon, but there's a good chance she'll be released.

It's a sad reality of the fight game that UFC fighters have to lose their jobs, but it's the reality of things, and with the promotion in roster-cutting mode, no one on a losing streak is safe.


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