04-28-2011, 06:30 PM
Waiting for June 6th
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Basketball Capital of the World
The Cut List: Who Desperately Needs a Win at UFC 129?
UFC 129 is as stacked a card as we were expecting for Zuffa's foray into Toronto. Two title fights. One (alleged) swan song. And more than a few fighters just trying to prove that they deserve a place at the table.
Randy Couture might be ready to walk away of his own accord (or, depending on who you ask, maybe not), but how about the fighters who are competing for their jobs on Saturday night?
Fortunately, the Cut List is here to tell you who needs a win like a thirsty Canadian needs a Molson.
Lyoto Machida (16-2, 8-2 UFC)
Who he's facing: Randy Couture
Why he's in danger: Two years ago the idea of Machida being dead weight on the roster would have seemed ridiculous, but now? Okay, it's only slightly less ridiculous. But still, the guy has lost two straight in the UFC, and we all know that's the highway into the danger zone. Granted, his first loss was to "Shogun" Rua in a title fight, and the second was a questionable decision against "Rampage" Jackson, but now he's facing 47-year-old Randy Couture. I seriously doubt that Machida is actually fighting for his job on Saturday, but if he can't beat Old Man Couture, where does he go from there? If Machida wants to get back into the conversation at light heavyweight, he needs to at least show that he can beat a guy who is voluntarily on his way out of the sport.
Odds of getting cut: 7-1. Again, I think Machida's probably safe, even if he gets out-wrestled by Couture, which seems unlikely. But regardless of how recently you were champion, nothing good comes out of losing to a guy who's practically a senior citizen.
Ivan Menjivar (21-8, 0-1 UFC)
Who he's facing: Charlie Valencia
Why he's in danger: Menjivar is a bit of a blast from MMA's past, and the hardcores will remember him as a fighter with a lot of promise who disappeared from the sport for nearly four years during what should have been his prime. He made his comeback last year, but rejoins the UFC after suffering a decision loss to Brad Pickett in the final WEC event. The good news for Menjivar is that he seems almost incapable of being in a boring fight, and the Picket bout was no exception. That said, you still have to win some to stick around at this level. Menjivar is 1-3 in his last four fights, and if he loses in Toronto the UFC might start to wonder if the sport hasn't passed him by.
Odds of getting cut: 3-1. This is a very winnable fight for him, and even if he loses he can probably save his skin if he puts on enough of a show. But a quick defeat or a boring decision loss could land him in Cutsville (disclaimer: not an actual place).
Charlie Valencia (12-6, 0-0 UFC)
Who he's facing: Ivan Menjivar
Why he's in danger: Valencia was an unspectacular 5-4 in the WEC, and he lost to just about every name opponent he fought there. He's a little undersized even for the bantamweight division, but he made the jump to the UFC after a loss in his last WEC fight in part because, well, he was already a part of the existing cast of characters. He has to think he is at or near make-or-break time with his stay in the Zuffa organization, so now would be the time to lay out his case for continued employment. Then again, it's not like Menjivar is going to make that easy on him.
Odds of getting cut: Even. If he loses without doing anything spectacular, he'll probably find himself out of a job.
Jason MacDonald (24-14, 5-6 UFC)
Who he's facing: Ryan Jensen
Why he's in danger: There's a lot to like about "The Athlete," not the least of which is his small, but passionate fan base in Canada. That's at least part of why the UFC brought him back to fight at UFC 113 in Montreal, but then a gruesome leg injury stopped that comeback before it could ever get started. MacDonald has always seemed like a fighter who's long on talent and short on luck. His first three losses in the UFC came against Rich Franklin, Yushin Okami, and Demian Maia, which is a murderer's row of middleweights that he faced all in one 17-month period. Some part of the UFC would probably love to see MacDonald make another run, but let's face it, he's 35 and the clock's ticking. A loss against the very tough Jensen, and his Canadian passport won't be enough to save him.
Odds of getting cut: 2-1. Jensen is the slight favorite, but when MacDonald's on he's a problem for anyone. All he needs are one or two breaks to go his way. Lord knows he's had enough of them go against him by now.