With Tome’s record, it would seem the 31-year old Brazilian could afford a loss. However, he’s dropped both of his bouts in the UFC. If he wasn’t a flyweight or the division was deeper, he’d probably be at risk of release right now based on both defeats coming by way of TKO. With a “must win” fight on the horizon, expect Tome to get an opponent in a similar position such as Jussier Formiga or Louis Guadinot. Cruickshank is skating on thin ice after being finished by Martins but he’ll get at least one more shot at success in the Octagon before concerns about being cut should surface. He’s an above-average striker but lacks both power and aggression, making him more of a stepping stone in the division than a boulder blocking the road to a title-shot. He’s good for an undercard slot against an opponent who also needs to get on track. The UFC has a ton of lightweights on the roster suitable for Cruickshank in said capacity such as recently beaten TUF winner Colton Smith or even Matt Wiman. With a 1-3 record in the Octagon including back-to-back knockouts, “Pepey” doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room in terms of retaining his spot on the UFC roster. He may get another chance based on his popularity in Brazil and willingness to throw down, but the odds of such are only 50/50 at best given his lack of success on the sport’s biggest stage. If he’s not cut, Max Holloway or Erik Koch would be excellent options as fighters with some name value who are also coming off disappointing defeats. Like the movie character he’s nicknamed himself after, “Jason” won’t stay down for long despite the brutal knockout loss he suffered to Stephens. Of course, he’ll need a little more time to recover than normal after injuring his face and elbow in an emotional rage backstage after the stumble (he punched a door and himself), but the wounds will heal faster than the hurt in his heart. Expect “Jason” to call for a fight as soon as he’s cleared to compete based on the bad taste Stephens’ smashing left in his mouth. He also doesn’t need an easy opponent when he returns as someone who’d won eight straight before last weekend and finished all but one of the foes he’s felled. Cole Miller jumps out as a fun fight based on aggression and overall technique. Thiago’s stock has taken a major hit as of late after losses in three of his last four fights. He’s gone from a guaranteed tough out to a guy on the cusp of being cut. His past success in the Octagon and revered status in Brazil will keep him employed, but not for long if he can’t get over the hump. Seth Baczynski could certainly use the rub from potentially beating Thiago, and he’s available, so “The Polish Pistola” is worth considering, as is Amir Sadollah if/when he gets healthy. UFC fans have seen the last of Pokrajac in the Octagon. He’s 34 years old and on a three-fight skid that would include a fourth defeat if Joey Beltran hadn’t failed a post-fight drug test. He might land a spot on WSOF’s roster, but don’t expect Bellator to touch him based on age and lack of notable success. Competing on the regional scene in Europe is also a possibility given Pokrajac’s Croatian roots. Sarafian’s stumble to “Mutante” wasn’t particularly bad as indicated by the scoring. However, he’s 1-2 in the UFC and hasn’t lived up to the potential shown on TUF Brasil. His frame seems better suited for welterweight rather than 185 pounds, so that’s an avenue Sarafian’s camp should consider exploring if serious about his success in the Octagon. Since it might take another loss to serve as a wake-up call, and because there haven’t been any rumors about Sarafian contemplating a drop down, a middleweight match-up is probably in his immediate future. Andrew Craig is out there and is solid but not unbeatable. Plenty of fans are still getting their heads around the way in which Henderson was dispatched by Belfort. It was the first time the grizzled veteran had been stopped with strikes and came less than 90 seconds into their headlining showdown. With a trio of consecutive losses in his rear-view mirror and no contract in hand, things aren’t looking good for “Hendo”. While UFC President Dana White has said he’s willing to negotiate with Henderson, in reality there’s a good chance he’ll also lowball the former PRIDE/Strikeforce champion based on the fighter’s recent performances and the less-than-loving history between the two. If Henderson takes less money to potentially achieve more glory, there are plenty of fights for him given his name value and ability to make 185 pounds if necessary. If he’s willing to give up his dream of a UFC title for more cash, the 43-year old will get scooped up by Bellator in no time with possible pairings against Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson (in a rematch of their 2007 classic), or even Mo Lawal.
There’s never a good time to lose a fight. However, some defeats aren’t as devastating as others or have potential to affect an individual’s employment, so in that regard certain stumbles stand out. Such is the case with every event including Saturday night’s lineup for
. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC Fight Night 32