The 1 fighter at risk of getting cut after a UFC 279 loss

UFC 279 could see at least one fighter getting cut if they lose again.

UFC 279 is going to be the end of the road, at least for now, for Nate Diaz in the UFC. The long-time fighter has long been rumored to be on his last fight of his current deal and with the starting of his new fight brand, and his desire to get into boxing, this may be the last time Diaz ever fights in the UFC.

He may not be the only one, however. The world of combat sport is a vicious sucker, not just in between the bell, either. The toll the sport takes on your body is prolific. It often causes guys to retire after a stretch of losses. Crashing and burning in the final stretches of one’s career instead of bowing out gracefully.

Sometimes a fighter just loses their touch and needs a wake-up call, or sometimes a fighter just becomes too much financially to justify the headache. There are a lot of guys who could be axed after the event should they lose again.

Names like Ion Cutelaba, Jamie Pickett, Chris Barnett, and Jake Collier are all in the weird place where they’re not winning enough, and also aren’t big enough names to justify keeping them around should they start falling off.

After all, if a fighter is a big enough name, the UFC will keep sending him out there no matter what. A guy who’s struggling, up there in age, and still has drawing power is Tony Ferguson. Ferguson is likely going to lose his fifth fight in a row because he’s largely washed as a competitor. It happens. Though, if Ferguson loses, he’ll likely retire or get a sixth fight. It seems unlikely the UFC would let go of a name, unless he eats a real ugly loss.

So who is getting the axe if they lose?

Johnny Walker’s UFC career is on the line at UFC 279

Remember when everyone thought Johnny Walker was going to fight Jon Jones and beat him? Ha, fun times. Walker was once the most interesting rising prospect the company had at light heavyweight, and many thought he could beat the non-deflated Jones. After all, if guys like Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes could take him to the limit (and in the eyes of some beat Jones), then Walker certainly could, right?

Walker was on a tear, knocking out seven of his eight opponents heading into his fight with Corey Anderson. A lot of people didn’t want Anderson to fight Jones simply because they didn’t think the fight would be that exciting, Anderson is a wrestler and isn’t known for his exciting wins (tell that to Bellator).

Walker was the heir apparent. He was young, fast, and knocked out anyone and everyone. Until he didn’t. That’s when everything fell apart for Walker. He would lose four of his last five, two of which by knockout, and the other two in lackluster showings that went to the judges.

At 30 he’s far from old, but he’s got 25 bouts to his name already. If he loses Cutelaba at UFC 279, another guy on the bubble, then there’d be very little reason to keep Walker around. He’s not the draw that a Ferguson is, coupled that with five losses in six fights against talent that declines in value with each passing matchup, and you can start to see there’s no reason to keep paying Walker.

If he wins, all bets are off, but if he loses, at least he has other career prospects.

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