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7 Notable UFC Veterans on the Chopping Block

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Following the unexpected release of Yoel Romero, UFC President Dana White announced that the promotion is likely to cut around 60 fighters. Romero’s departure sets the precedent that high-paid veteran fighters on losing streaks are especially high risk. The UFC needs to save some money, and paying veteran fighters costs the promotion. With that in mind, here are seven veteran fighters who could get released by the promotion soon.  

4. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

Record: 27-12-1 

Last 5: 2-2-1 

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua made his UFC debut all the way back in 2007. Shogun was able to capture the Light Heavyweight title in a rematch against Lyoto Machida in 2010. However, his reign as champion was short-lived as he lost to Jon Jones in his first title defense. While Rua has a 2-1-1 record in his last four fights, he’s coming off a TKO loss to Paul Craig. At age 39, Rua is no longer a contender, making him a prime candidate to be released from the promotion.  

3. Mike “Platinum” Perry

Record: 14-7

Last 5: 2-3

Mike Perry is many things. A “professional” is certainly not one of them. Perry missed weight at UFC 255 by 4.5 pounds and celebrated that accomplishment. Perry also chooses not to have a ringside coach and instead has his girlfriend in his corner. To a certain degree, it feels like Perry doesn’t take fighting seriously. With Perry now a loser in three of his previous four fights, Dana White has to make a difficult decision and cut one of the promotion’s most polarizing figures.  

2. Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley

Record: 19-6-1

Last 5: 2-3

For two and a half years, the Welterweight division ran through Tyron Woodley after he defeated Robbie Lawler in 2016. Woodley defended his belt three times, including a draw with Stephen Thompson, before losing to Kamaru Usman in 2019. Woodley has gotten dominated in his past three fights, losing 15 straight rounds to Usman, Gilbert Burns, and Colby Covington. With Woodley coming off of a significant rib injury he suffered against Covington, it seems highly likely that Dana White will cut ties with the former Welterweight champ.  

1. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

Record: 36-15, 1 NC

Last 5: 0-4, 1 NC

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is one of the most beloved fighters in UFC history. Since his first fight in the promotion in 2011, Cerrone has fought 33 times, for a 23-10 record. He owns records for the most wins and most head-kick knockout victories in UFC history, among several other records. However, at age 37, Cerrone hasn’t won a fight since May of 2019. He had his draw against Niko Price overturned to a no-contest after Price tested positive for marijuana. Hopefully, Dana White will allow Cerrone to run it back with Price in March, but it’s unfortunately possible that “Cowboy” won’t get another fight in the UFC.   

Fighters who could get cut with a loss

3. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos

Record: 21-8

Last 5: 2-3 

Next Fight: Ciryl Gane (12/12/20)

Coming off three straight losses to Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Junior Dos Santos will face Ciryl Gane at UFC 256. Dos Santos first earned the Heavyweight Championship in 2011 against Cain Velasquez. However, he lost the rematch and trilogy fights against Velasquez and a championship fight against Stipe Miocic in 2017. Now 36 years old and no longer a contender, JDS and the UFC will part ways if he loses on Saturday. Dos Santos comes into the bout as a significant underdog at +360.  

2. Chris “The All-American” Weidman

Record: 15-5

Last 5: 2-3 

Next Fight: Uriah Hall (2/13/21: Not Official)

While not official, there is rumored to be an official agreement on a fight between Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall set for February 13th. Weidman dethroned Anderson Silva and earned the Middleweight championship back in 2013. Weidman defended his title three times before losing via TKO to Luke Rockhold in 2015. While Weidman is coming off a win over Omari Akhmedov, he’s won just two of his last seven decisions. Now 36 years old, Weidman likely won’t get another fight in the promotion if he loses to Hall. 

1. Jose “Junior” Aldo

Record: 28-7 

Last 5: 2-3 

Next Fight: Marlon Vera (12/19/20)

It might seem shocking to see Jose Aldo’s name here, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to survive a four-fight losing-streak. Since moving to Bantamweight, Aldo has yet to win a fight and is 3-6 in his last nine contests. Aldo dominated the Featherweight division for years before getting knocked out in 13 seconds by Conor McGregor in 2015. Aldo has lost his previous four title fights as well. Now 34 years old, Aldo likely won’t get another shot at the title and may not survive a fourth consecutive loss to Marlon Vera. 

With 2020 coming to a close, it will be fascinating to see which fighters part ways with the UFC!

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