The UFC returns to Indianapolis for the first time since UFC 119 in September 2010 as UFC Fight Night 27 takes place on Wednesday night. It will be headlined by a five-round welterweight bout as former Interim UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit takes on Martin Kampmann in a rematch from an April 2009 bout. Kampmann won the first fight, but it was extremely close and could’ve gone either way. Donald Cerrone takes on Rafael Dos Anjos in the co-main event, and the main card airs on FOX Sports 1.
While the main card features everyone outside of Condit and Kampmann coming into this event off of a win, the undercard features a slew of fighters who will be looking to avoid a loss as some will be fighting for their spots on the UFC roster. In this edition of The Cut List, we highlight five fighters, including one who gave up a title shot and now finds himself in a must-win situation. We bring you The Cut List for UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2.
Papy Abedi (9-2, 1-2 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Dylan Andrews
Why he’s on the list: Abedi will be stepping inside the Octagon for the fourth time, and much like his last two fights, he finds himself in what could be a must-win situation if he wants to keep his spot on the UFC roster. Abedi lost his UFC debut against Thiago Alves at UFC 138 in November 2011, but Alves is a tough fighter to face for someone making their UFC debut, and Abedi was willing to make it a fight. He lost in his second fight in the UFC by submission to James Head at UFC On FUEL TV 2 in April 2012. Despite being 0-for-2, Abedi was given another shot when he was scheduled to meet Rick Story on short notice as an injury replacement. He never made that bout, though, as he suffered an injury himself, and he returned from nearly a year off to fight Besam Yousef at UFC On FUEL TV 9 in April. Abedi scored his first UFC win when he scored a split decision over Yousef. Abedi finds himself needing another win if he wants to retain his spot on the roster as he heads to a bout against Dylan Andrews on Wednesday night.
Chances of being cut with loss: 95%. It is in all likelihood that Abedi will be cut if he loses this fight to Andrews. Abedi will be moving up a weight division, and it will be interesting to see how comfortable he is as a middleweight as he was a huge welterweight. Andrews has a lot of potential, as does Abedi, but there may be more upside to Andrews. Abedi needs a win to stay on the roster. A loss is probably the end of Abedi’s UFC career for the moment.
Hatsu Hioki (26-6-2, 2-2 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Darren Elkins
Why he’s on the list: Hioki came into the UFC’s featherweight division expecting to fight for the title relatively quickly having lost just four of his 30 professional fights. He debuted in the UFC and scored two straight wins to start his UFC career. He won a close split decision over George Roop in his debut at UFC 137 in October 2011, and then followed that with a much better performance in his second UFC fight when he scored a unanimous decision over Bart Palaszewski at UFC 144 in February 2012. That gave Hioki six straight wins and an 11-1 mark over 12 fights, and he was then offered a title shot against Jose Aldo. Stunningly, Hioki turned the title shot down and it may have been the biggest mistake of his career. He has since lost two straight decisions. He lost to Ricardo Lamas in a unanimous decision at UFC On FX 4 in June 2012, and then dropped a split decision to Clay Guida at UFC On FOX 6 in January. From a title shot to falling down to The Cut List, Hioki finds himself needing a win when he takes on Darren Elkins on Wednesday.
Chances of being cut with loss: 70%. I think there is a real good chance Hioki gets cut if he loses to Elkins, but I also think there is a slight chance he stays on the roster even in a loss. He gets another tough match-up as Elkins has looked strong in all of his featherweight fights outside of his loss to Chad Mendes. Hioki could’ve taken home the decision against Guida, but didn’t, and he needs to do everything he can to make sure he takes the win over Elkins if he wants to remain with the UFC.
Jason High (16-4, 0-2 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: James Head
Why he’s on the list: High is one of those fighters that has always looked awesome outside of the UFC, but both times he has stepped inside the Octagon he has been dominated by his opponents. His first UFC fight came back in March 2010 when he lost by decision to Charlie Brenneman. It looked to be High’s lone UFC fight for a long time as he was cut following that fight, but he went to the Strikeforce promotion and went on a tear. Following the loss to Brenneman, High went on a seven-fight win streak that included the last three coming in Strikeforce to put him in title contention in that organization. The title shot never came, though, as Zuffa merged Strikeforce into the UFC, but it gave High a chance to return to the UFC. His UFC return was short-lived, though, as he was submitted by Erick Silva in just 71 seconds at UFC On FUEL TV 10 in June. Now being 0-2 in the UFC, High finds himself in a must-win situation as he takes a short-notice fight against James Head at UFC Fight Night 27.
Chances of being cut with loss: 75%. High found himself on this list before the fight with Silva, and despite the loss, he wasn’t cut. There is a good chance he will be cut if he loses to Head, but he is taking the fight on short notice and doing the UFC a favor, and they tend to keep guys who help them out on short notice. High is very talented and has all the tools to defeat Head, and he will need to put it all together on Wednesday if he wants to assure himself he’ll be sticking around in the UFC.
Ben Alloway (13-4, 1-1 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Zak Cummings
Why he’s on the list: Alloway was a castmember of “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” and entered the house with a win over Valentino Petrescu. He didn’t get very far in the house as he was eliminated in the quarterfinals to eventual finalist Brad Scott. Alloway still got a chance to make his UFC debut at UFC On FX 6 in December as he fought fellow castmember Manuel Rodriguez. Alloway scored a big win over Rodriguez as he knocked him out in the first round and earned “Knockout Of The Night” honors. It extended Alloway’s winning streak to six straight and earned him another UFC fight. He took on Ryan LaFlare at UFC On FUEL TV 9 in April, but was controlled throughout the fight by LaFlare’s wrestling, and LaFlare took home the unanimous decision. Alloway is now 1-1 in the UFC and returns at UFC Fight Night 27 to take on fellow TUF alum Zak Cummings, who will be making his UFC debut.
Chances of being cut with loss: 90%. Alloway recently stated in an interview that he was expecting to be cut following his loss to LaFlare in April, but he wasn’t. If he loses on Wednesday to Cummings, he likely will be, so he knows he needs a win in the worst way. His UFC debut was impressive, and another win similar to that one will ensure he sticks around the UFC for a couple of more fights.
Roger Bowling (11-4, 0-1 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Abel Trujillo
Why he’s on the list: Bowling is a former Strikeforce fighter who made the move over when Zuffa merged Strikeforce into the UFC. He went 4-3 in Strikeforce as a welterweight with a pair of losses to Bobby Voelker and another one to former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Tarec Saffiedine. Despite the rather mediocre record, Bowling was invited to the UFC, and he made the drop to 155 pounds to make his UFC debut at UFC On FOX 7 in April. He took on Anthony Njokuani, and while Bowling put up a good fight, he was on the receving end of a knockout at the hands of Njokuani, who finished Bowling in the second round. It was the second straight loss for Bowling, who is now 3-4 over his last seven fights after starting his professional career with an 8-0 mark. Bowling finds himself on this list and will be fighting another fighter in a similar position as he takes on Abel Trujillo in the night’s opening bout on Wednesday.
Chances of being cut with loss: 100%. I think it is very likely that Bowling will be cut with a loss to Trujillo. The same could possibly be said for Trujillo. It is a fight that could go either way as both are huge lightweights with a lot of power, and both are looking to rebound from disappointing losses. Bowling is staring at a three-fight losing streak, and a win would put him back on track to proving he is a nice prospect in the UFC’s lightweight division.