5 UFC fighters who can't afford to lose another fight inside the Octagon

Kelvin Gastelum
Kelvin Gastelum
Avinash Tewari

UFC president Dana White recently announced that the company has too many fighters on its roster and will start making some big cuts. The key to staying on in the UFC is winning fights and being a good sell. While the UFC is the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world, they still have underwhelming fighters on their roster.

Some were shocked to see fighters like Yoel Romero and Junior Dos Santos getting cut and White has hinted that former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley could be next. Age and number of losses have a lot to do with fighters getting cut.

Knowing this, there are fighters on the roster on a losing spree who really need to get their act together or get ready to face the axe. We look at 5 UFC fighters who cannot afford to lose another fight inside the Octagon.

5) Donald Cerrone

Donald Cerrone
Donald Cerrone

Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone is one of the most accomplished fighters in the UFC in terms of activity and numbers. He has the most wins (23) and the most finishes (16) in the history of the organization. Cowboy also has the second-most fights in the UFC at 36 bouts, behind Jim Miller's 37. In addition to this, he has the most fight night bonuses at 18.

It is safe to say, Cerrone is a UFC veteran, however, his record over the past couple of years hasn't been impressive, to say the least. 'Cowboy' is 0-4-1 in his last five outings, and in his last thirteen bouts across four years, Cerrone has only four wins to his name.

To add to this, the man is 38 years old. Cerrone may be a UFC veteran and a fan favorite, but he's facing an obvious cut if he doesn't find a way to get back into the win column. Cerrone claimed on his Instagram that he would return on May 8th to possibly fight on the same card as TJ Dillashaw vs Cory Sandhagen.

4) Jacare Souza

Ronaldo Souza
Ronaldo Souza

Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza is an MMA veteran in every sense of the word. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion made his UFC debut in 2013. 'Jacare' went on to defeat former champions like Robbie Lawler, Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort. Amassing a 26-9 record, Souza has 14 wins via submission and 8 wins by way of knockout.

The submission specialist fought at middleweight and light-heavyweight before moving back down to 185-pounds for his last bout against Kevin Holland. He lost the bout via TKO, increasing his losing streak to three in a row. Souza is 2-5 in his last seven outings dating back to 2017. In addition to this, the veteran is now 41 years of age.

'Jacare' may be a living MMA legend, but his UFC career is hanging by a thread. If he doesn't get himself back into the win column, he might be added to the list of big names cut from the roster in recent months.

3) Jeremy Stephens

Jeremy Stephens
Jeremy Stephens

Jeremy Stephens made headlines during a press conference when he interrupted Conor McGregor in a moment that has become one of the most famous MMA memes of all time. But that was only the beginning of Stephens' woes.

The self-proclaimed "hardest-hitting 145-pounder" has climbed to the top of a list no fighter wants to be in: he has the most losses amongst active UFC fighters at 17. Stephens is 0-4-1 in his last five outings and 3-6-1 in his last ten fights dating back to 2016.

Stephens was in the middle of a controversy recently when he pushed his opponent Drakkar Klose at the pre-fight face-offs, resulting in a concussion and sprain for Klose. The bout was scrapped and Stephens' wait to get back in the win column would have to wait.

Jeremy Stephens is very close to being cut from the UFC if he doesn't stop the antics and get back to winning ways.

2) Mike Perry

'Platinum' Mike Perry
'Platinum' Mike Perry

Mike Perry is one of the most entertaining figures in the UFC. From his entertaining walkouts to his fighting style, 'Platinum' is a crowd-pleaser. However, things haven't been going too well for Perry of late.

The welterweight entered the UFC in 2016 with a 7-0 record and looked extremely promising. Fast forward to 2021 and Perry is 1-4 in his last five, with eight losses on his UFC record.

'Platinum' made news recently when he decided to have no one in his corner except for his girlfriend. While they might have a good relationship, it's not a smart strategy for a fighter to not have a team with him. Fighting is an individual sport but fighters are helped a lot by their coaches and corners.

UFC middleweight Darren Till seemed upset with Perry's latest loss, offering to house and help train the fighter who has one fight left on his contract. Needless to say, Perry needs to win this fight if he is going to keep his UFC dream alive.

1) Kelvin Gastelum

UFC 206: Kennedy v Gastelum
UFC 206: Kennedy v Gastelum

After becoming the youngest winner of 'The Ultimate Fighter' at 21 years of age, Kelvin Gastelum looked primed and ready to make waves in the UFC. He racked up a 10-0 record before losing to Tyron Woodley via a split decision.

In 2019, Gastelum was set to challenge then-middleweight champion Robert Whittaker for the title at UFC 234. However, Whittaker had to pull out of the fight at the last minute owing to an emergency surgery. Gastelum went on to face Israel Adesanya for the interim title at UFC 236 in what has gone as one of the best title fights ever.

Kelvin Gastelum lost the interim title bout via a unanimous decision, following which he suffered two more losses at the hands of Darren Till and Jack Hermansson. Gastelum is now officially 1-4 in his last five, with his latest loss coming at the hands of Robert Whittaker at UFC Vegas 24.

Kelvin Gastelum is still only 29 years old, so he has more than enough time to improve his record. However, with Dana White going through the roster with a fine-tooth comb, Gastelum desperately needs to get back to winning ways to avoid getting cut.

Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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