The summer continues into August with three solid UFC events that are sure to fill venues packed with every fan and keyboard warrior yelling for ‘Sweep! Sweep! Get the mount!’ only to sigh in disappointment that their fighter didn’t follow the gameplan of 34F, Section G.
Several fighters on these cards will be heading into their matches with added emphasis on winning for the sake of their Zuffa employment. The three names mentioned below find themselves on the chopping block and if they come out on the wrong side in their upcoming bouts will be looking over their back for that “pink slip”.
YOSHIHIRO AKIYAMA (UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz)
The Japanese fighter and part-time male model is going against a dangerous and equally motivated opponent this Saturday in Vitor Belfort. Being 0-2 in his last outings and 1-2 overall in the UFC, “Sexyama” needs to win to keep his contract alive. Since his decision win against Alan Belcher in 2009; he was submitted by Chris Leben a year later and most recently lost a decision to Michael Bisping in Oct 2010.
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After the loss to Bisping, he has begun training atJackson’s in preparation for this fight. With the ability to stand and trade with anyone, the judoka should look for the opportunity to set up strong throws and takedowns against Belfort.
DAN HARDY (UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle)
“The Outlaw” has his face on a wanted poster and Dana White will be cashing in on the bounty if another loss is recorded next weekend in Milwaukee. Since fighting for the welterweight championship in March 2010, the loss against GSP has been a downward spiral for the British striker. At 0-3 in his last three, he has been out pointed, out wrestled and knocked out in his performances.
Never afraid to stand and trade with anybody, he will find that to be in his favor against Chris Lytle. However, if the fight goes to the ground (Hardy’s apparent weak spot) Lytle has won 21 of his professional bouts via submission and has also never technically been finished in a fight. Hardy, who holds 11 knockout victories will be going in for the kill against a talented and seasoned fighter.
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LEONARD GARCIA (UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle)
After knocking out Jens Pulver @ WEC 36, “Bad Boy” solidified his featherweight title shot against Mike Brown for March 2009; the end result was a submission loss for him two minutes into the first round. Going on to be known as a “decision thief” his performances have been controversial but at the same time entertaining. Always willing to fight wherever it goes, he posses the skill on the feet and the ground to secure a win.
Winning a split decision over Nam Phan (which should have been a loss for Garcia) and then submitted by Chan Sung Jung via twister he is going into his match against Alex Caceres with all eyes on him. He will need to use his experience and skill to finish the young TUF veteran and show everyone why he still belongs in the UFC. More importantly, the victory needs to be a stoppage and not decision; judges have tended to given him victories when they were losses and another decision could invoke outrage among fighters and fans alike.
The fight game and scenery is like a pendulum, one minute you are raking in money and everything is great until momentum shifts and then you are suffering back to back losses and a pink slip looms. Everyone will need to look into their training and determination to come out victorious and continue to become the best in their divisions.
How do you so it playing out, who will be getting a pink slip?
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