10 big names on UFC bubble

Guillard, Koscheck, Palhares among those who could get the axe

Updated: March 7, 2013, 2:40 PM ET
By TR Foley | ESPN Insider
Jim MillerRic Fogel for ESPN.comMelvin Guillard (left) has lost four of his past five matches and is in danger of getting cut from the UFC.

There is no formula to predict when a fighter will be cut from the UFC. As the UFC's recent release of 16 fighters made clear, nobody, not even a top-10 fighter, is safe from the UFC's guillotine. Some fighters are deemed unmarketable because they aren't exciting, or perhaps too expensive to be gatekeepers. Maybe others just seemed too comfortable with their status within the league.

Last month's culling was the most-publicized cut in UFC history. UFC president Dana White told a crowd of reporters after UFC 157 that "100 more guys are gonna go. It's not over … What's going to happen if you lose, all the blood hasn't been spilled yet. There's more coming."

By that rationale, each of the 10 fighters on our "bubble" list below is coming off at least one loss. What makes these fighters particularly vulnerable is a combination of additional factors, including positive drug tests, lack of quality performances, overall win-loss records and whether veteran appeal is valuable enough to justify a paycheck.

UFC fighters have clearly been served notice. Not only are they forced to slip the punches from the guy in front of them, but now must also duck the blade of the UFC behind them.

Here are 10 prominent UFC fighters who are in the most danger of being cut:

1. Melvin Guillard

Guillard

The New Orleans native and long-serving UFC fighter has more lightweight bouts (19) than anyone else on the UFC roster. It seems like the "Young Assassin" has been around forever. His UFC record is 11-8, but after taking back-to-back losses against Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner, in addition to losing four of his past five, Guillard seems destined for a pink slip.

Like many on the list, Guillard is an expensive welcome mat for new fighters to a bloated lightweight division with plenty of marketable talent. He also tested positive for cocaine in 2005. After eight years and almost 20 fights, Guillard's marketability is fading along with his skill set.


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