Pink Slip Saturdays: UFC 157 Edition

By Adam Martin

Pink Slip Saturdays is a new addition to MMARatings.net,
where Adam will write about five fighters on each card who could literally be
fighting for their job, given UFC president Dana White’s recent comments about cutting
100 fighters from the roster.

Urijah Faber

Opponent at UFC 157: Ivan Menjivar

MMA Record: 26-6 (2-2 UFC)

Why he could be cut: It may seem ridiculous that Urijah
Faber is fighting for his job on Saturday night, but according to Dana White he
needs a good showing on against Ivan Menjivar to keep his job.

It’s ridiculous because in his four UFC fights his two
losses are to the two top bantamweights in the world in Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao, and his two wins were over top contenders Eddie Wineland and Brian Bowles. Plus, he’s a good-looking and marketable fighter, one of the only draws
in the lighter weights, and a big star in California. So why is he even being
considered for the chopping block?

Personally I think White is still upset about UFC 149, one
of the worst cards of 2012, and main evented by Faber against Barao. Faber
didn’t do much in that fight, and if he doesn’t do anything on Saturday night
against Menjivar, then he better hope he catches White in a good mood, or else
it could be the last time we see “The California Kid” in the Octagon.

Josh Neer

Opponent at UFC 157: Court McGee

MMA Record: 33-12-1 (6-8 UFC)

Why he should be cut: Josh Neer has been cut many times by
the UFC before, and after losing two straight fights via finish, he may be cut
yet again. After returning to the UFC for the fourth time in 2011, Neer has
gone 2-2, and although all of his fights have been exciting, win or lose,
getting knocked out cold and choked unconscious by Mike Pyle and Justin Edwards
in his last two outings can’t be good for his career.

Neer is a warrior and always brings the fight, but the UFC
has way too many welterweights on the roster already with the addition of the
former Strikeforce fighters. He needs to defeat Court McGee on Saturday night
or else he’ll be cut, no ifs, ands, or buts. Not even an exciting loss could
save his job at this point.

Robbie Lawler

Opponent at UFC 157: Josh Koscheck

MMA Record: 19-9, 1 No Contest (4-3 UFC)

Why he should be cut: Robbie Lawler returns to the UFC for
the first time in nearly a decade when he takes on perennial welterweight
contender Josh Koscheck in a main card bout. Lawler is coming over from
Strikeforce, where he went 3-5 overall, and considering he makes $150,000 a
fight and has lost three of his last four bouts, his head is on the chopping
block with a loss this weekend.

Lawler needs to show something in this fight. If he can make
it an exciting brawl with Koscheck and ends up losing, he might be signed to a
cheaper deal and given one more chance. But if he gets outwrestled by Koscheck
for three rounds and loses a decision, then he’s going to get cut. Lawler needs
to put on an exciting fight, but only a win is going to guarantee his future
employment with the UFC.

Brendan Schaub

Opponent at UFC 157: Lavar Johnson

MMA Record: 8-3 (4-3 UFC)

Why he should be cut: Brendan Schaub is a good athlete and
still has potential in the sport of MMA, but if you can’t take punches then you
can’t fight in the UFC heavyweight division. And Schaub, who has been knocked
out in all three of his UFC losses, including brutal KOs in his last two fights
at the hands of Ben Rothwell and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, does not have a good
chin at all.

He needs to beat Lavar Johnson on Saturday night or else
he’s a goner. Yes, the UFC heavyweight division isn’t the deepest weight class
in the promotion, but again, the UFC can’t keep guys on their roster who lose
three straight fights, and if Johnson defeats Schaub, it’s more than likely going
to be Schaub’s third straight knockout loss, too. And that just isn’t good
enough for the UFC.

Matt Grice

MMA Record: 15-4 (2-4 UFC)

Opponent at UFC 157: Dennis Bermudez

Why he could be cut: Matt Grice has been around the UFC for
a while but his biggest issue has been his inconsistency. During his first run
in the UFC from 2007 – 2009, Grice went 1-3 while fighting in the lightweight
division, with the only win being a split decision over Jason Black. All three
of those losses were by either T/KO or submission.

After being cut, Grice reeled off four straight wins on the
regional circuit, and was brought back to the UFC as a featherweight. However,
he lost his 145-pound debut against Ricardo Lamas via head kick, and then was
laid off on the shelf for a year with injuries before coming back and saving
his job with a grinding decision win over Leonard Garcia last June.

Still, two UFC wins against Black and Garcia is nothing to
write home about, and considering how deep the UFC featherweight division is,
Grice needs not just a good showing, but a win on Saturday night against Bermudez in order to save his job.

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche is due to take place on February 23, 2013 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

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