Losses Loom Large and Firings Could Follow UFC 144

Written by Tom Ngo
February 26th, 2012

UFC Yoshihiro Akiyama

Sometimes, a loss is just a loss and a mixed martial artist marches on. Other times, defeats are much more devastating and the question is; ‘Which organization will they be moving on to?’ Following UFC 144, several fighters now find themselves on the chopping block and could be handed their pink slips in the very near future.

Tiequan Zhang has lost three of his last four bouts, including two straight inside the Octagon. However, he is one of the few Chinese athletes on the UFC’s roster, so it’s possible he’ll stick around as the company looks to invade the region that Jeremy Lin built.

Takeya Mizugaki has now alternated between wins and losses over his past 10 fights and hasn’t rattled of back-to-back victories since December of 2008. However, UFC president Dana White awarded him with his ‘win bonus’ despite dropping a controversial unanimous decision defeat on Sunday. So he won in White’s eyes, which is most important.

Steve Cantwell has just dropped five straight scraps in the big leagues. The former WEC light heavyweight champ’s latest tumble most likely punched his ticket to the front of the unemployment line.

Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto
has now tasted defeat in five out of his last six fights. The Japanese legend has lost all three bouts under the UFC’s watch. White had coveted the 34-year-old for quite some time, unfortunately for him he finally got Kid when he was past his prime.

Yushin Okami was nearly a 4-to-1 favorite entering his shootout against Tim Boetsch. Although he posted his second consecutive TKO defeat, the other was at the hands of champion Anderson Silva so the heat will be on in his next outing.

Yoshihiro Akiyama (Pictured) scored a split decision win in his UFC debut, but has now dropped four straight fights. Is “Sexyama” too sexy to be released? White took his infamous ‘we’ll see’ approach during last night’s post-fight press conference.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has lost two consecutive bouts. He also upset several UFC honchos for declining to fight on last month’s FOX show and publicly petitioned to get placed on the Japan card. After being granted his wish, Rampage subsequently missed weight by five astonishing pounds,which he later credited to a knee injury suffered during training camp. The former light heavyweight champ won’t get cut, he’s far too marketable. I just thought I’d lay the facts on the table.

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