For the third time in eight days, the Octagon will be full of fight action as UFC Fight Night 28 takes place on Wednesday on FOX Sports 1 and is followed by the debut of The Ultimate Fighter 18 coached by Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. The UFC travels back to Brazil for this fight card, and it will be headlined by a solid five-round light heavyweight bout as Glover Teixiera looks to secure the next title shot, but first he will have to get past Ryan Bader. Anchoring the night’s main event will be an interesting middleweight bout as Yushin Okami fights Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
Like many fight cards held in Brazil, this one will feature a fair amount of Brazilian fighters, and it is a card that has seen the preliminary bouts ravaged by injuries. Several replacements find their UFC debuts at this event, and due to visa issues, it brings a lot of Brazilians that many fans don’t know unless you closely follow the Brazilian fight circuit. However, there are some fighters looking to keep their spots on the UFC roster, and today we highlight five fighters needing a win as we bring you The Cut List for UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader.
Jussier Formiga (15-2, 1-1 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Joseph Benavidez
Why he’s on the list: Formiga will making his third appearance inside the Octagon, and it will be his biggest fight to date as he fights former flyweight title challenger Joseph Benavidez. The winner of the fight could find themselves next in line to fight for the UFC Flyweight Championship held by Demetrious Johnson, and it is a chance for Formiga to score his second UFC win. He debuted in a title eliminator against John Dodson in October, but it was an unsuccessful debut as he saw his five-fight win streak snapped when Dodson scored a second-round knockout win. Formiga bounced back and got back into the win column by scoring a unanimous decision win over Chris Cariaso at UFC On FX 8 in May. Formiga is from the Nova Uniao camp, one of the top camps in Brazil, and he is a perfect 12-0 when fighting in his home country.
Chances of being cut with loss: 35%. I doubt Formiga would be cut from the UFC roster with a loss, but it would put him in dangerous territory. Formiga was brought into the flyweight division to be a title contender, and this is his chance to get back into contention. A win over Benavidez would be huge and could put him next in line, but a loss would drop him to 1-2 in the UFC and put him in a must-win situation.
Marcos Vinicius (20-4-1, 1-1 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Ali Bagautinov
Why he’s on the list: Vinicius is a veteran of 25 professional MMA fights and competed on the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil”. Vinicius didn’t make it far in the show, losing twice after winning his opening bout, but he still earned a shot to fight in the UFC at UFC 147 in June 2012. Vinicius made the most of his debut as he scored a third-round knockout win over Wagner Campos, and earned “Knockout Of The Night” honors as well for his UFC debut. It also kept in tact his streak of winning all of his fights by either knockout or submission, and in fact, he has only been the distance three times in his career. He lost his last UFC bout to Johnny Bedford in December, and after dealing with an injury that kept him from fighting in May, Vinicius returns and makes the drop down to the flyweight division to welcome Ali Bagautinov to the UFC.
Chances of being cut with loss: 75%. With the UFC running so many shows in Brazil these days, it is important to have a vast number of Brazilian fighters on the roster. It is also important for those Brazilians to win and keep their spot on the roster as others are beating at the door to make their debuts. Vinicius needs a win to avoid a two-fight losing skid, and Bagautinov is a tough fight as he comes in with a lot of hype. Vinicius will have his hands full.
Joao Zeferino (13-5, 0-1 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Elias Silverio
Why he’s on the list: Zeferino made his UFC debut in May on short notice as an injury replacement as he took of Rafael Natal at UFC On FX 8. It was a tough fight for Zeferino as Natal had a good amount of UFC experience. Zeferino won the first round but was dominated over the course of the final two rounds as Natal won a unanimous decision. While it ended Zeferino’s seven-fight win streak, it was his opportunity to show that he could be a viable addition to any UFC card taking place in Brazil, and with taking the fight on short notice, it assured we’d get a chance to see him again with a full training camp under his belt. Zeferino was originally scheduled to meet Kenny Robertson, but he will instead fight Elias SIlverio, who finds himself in a similar situation as Zeferino did as he prepares to make his UFC debut.
Chances of being cut with loss: 65%. Zeferino losing to a fighter taking the fight on short notice would not be an ideal situation for him, and it would drop him to 0-2 in the UFC should he lose. He finds himself in a similar situation as a lot of Brazilian fighters as the amount of events being held in Brazil keeps him valuable, especially in short-notice situations. Zeferino needs a win, though, to ensure he remains on the roster as odds are decent enough that he could be cut with a loss.
Keith Wisniewski (28-14-1, 0-3 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Ivan Jorge
Why he’s on the list: Wisniewski is one of only four Americans fighting on this fight card, and despite this only being the fourth fight that Wisniewski has participated in inside the Octagon, he is one of the most experienced UFC fighters on the card. Wisniewski has lost all three of his prior UFC bouts. His first UFC fight came way back in November 2005 when he lost a decision to Nick Thompson at UFC 56. It took almost five years for Wisniewski to get another UFC fight, but he returned in October 2011 riding a six-fight win streak. That streak was put to an end, though, as he was knocked out by Josh Neer. He last fought at UFC 145 in April 2012 when he was on the wrong end of a split decision against Chris Clements. Wisniewski has been out of action for nearly 17 months and he makes his return in Brazil looking to put an end to that two-fight losing skid and score his first UFC win. Originally scheduled to meet Marcelo Guimaraes, he will now meet reigning Jungle Fight Welterweight Champion Ivan Jorge.
Chances of being cut with loss: 100%. A loss would mean Wisniewski is more than likely gone from the UFC. It would be three straight losses, and he would be 0-4 in the UFC, and not many fighters are going to hang around with a record like that. He has a chance to win the fight taking on a short-notice injury replacement, and he will have to win if he is going to keep his spot on the UFC roster.
Sean Spencer (9-2, 0-1 UFC)
Who he’s fighting: Yuri Villefort
Why he’s on the list: Spencer will be fighting for the second time in the UFC, and unlike the last time he fought, it will be with a full training camp as he takes on Yuri Villefort in the night’s opening bout of UFC Fight Night 28. Spencer made his UFC debut on short notice as an injury replacement when he took on Rafael Natal at UFC On FOX 6 in January. Spencer put up a solid fight and had Natal in a little trouble throughout the course of the fight, but Natal ended up submitting Spencer in the third round. It ended Spencer’s three-fight win streak, and was just the second loss of his career. Both of Spencer’s losses have come by submission, and that is an area of his game that he will need to have improved on as Villefort is a solid submission artist.
Chances of being cut with loss: 90%. It is likely that Spencer will be gone with a loss, but that is not a guarantee as he did take his UFC debut on short notice. Villefort is in a similar position as a loss could mean the end for him as well, so this is a big fight for both men in the night’s opener. The winner gets to continue their UFC career, the loser may not have the same chance.