Post-UFC Fight Night 43 and 44: On the Chopping Block

James Te HunaUFC Fight Night 43 in New Zealand and UFC Fight Night 44 in San Antonio were each held on the same calendar day (Saturday, June 28th) and rewarded fight fans with 21 scraps within a 24 hour period. With a solid day full of fights now behind us, let’s take a look at which UFC Fight Night 43 and UFC Fight Night 44 losers we may no longer see compete inside the Octagon… ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK: James Te Huna Though coming off back-to-back first round losses at 205-pounds, Te Huna put in the main event slot for the UFC’s first ever trip to his native New Zealand at Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 43. It was Te Huna’s first time fighting at 185-pounds and his opponent Nate Marquardt was making his return to the division, after he himself suffered back-to-back first round finishes in his previous two outings in the 170-pound division. Te Huna certainly had the size-advantage going into this one, but came up short yet again, tapping to an armbar submission at the end of the very first round. He had his moments during the fight, as he had Marquardt in trouble, but ultimately he was left disappointed in front of his hometown crowd. The New Zealand native is now 1-3 in his last four fights and could potentially be facing contract termination. That said, I could see the UFC keeping him around and giving him another shot at middleweight. After all, he is still one of the better fighters to come out of the New Zealand/Australia region. Mike Rhodes A very disappointing outing by Rhodes, who is now 0-2 in the UFC and 5-3 In his professional mixed martial arts career. I can’t see the UFC keeping around a fighter with a 5-3 record who was down two rounds in his last fight and did not fight with any urgency in the third. It’s common knowledge by now that Dana White hates that. It is the worst thing you could do as a fighter next to not making weight. After coming short against George Sullivan via unanimous decision in his promotional debut, Rhodes dropped another unanimous decision to New Zealand’s own Robert Whittaker at Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 43, and I will be surprised if he doesn’t get cut. The Duke Roufus trained fighter needs to head back to the regional circuit and string together at least three or four victories to warrant another shot inside the Octagon. Chris Indich The TUF: Nations veteran out of Australia is now 0-2 inside the Octagon. First, being dominated by fellow TUF: Nations team-member Richard Walsh for three rounds of action en route to a unanimous decision loss on the judges’ scorecards at the TUF: Nations Finale, then he took on another team Australia team member in Vik Grujic at Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 43 in New Zealand and suffered a TKO defeat with only five seconds remaining in the first stanza. It was an impressive outing by Grujic, as Indich has proven to be very durable and incredibly hard to put away. Considering the fact that he was dominated in two consecutive fights, and the fact that the UFC released a better Australian welterweight in Benny Alloway after two losses, I would be surprised to see Indich stick around. Andy Enz After signing with the UFC as an undefeated middleweight, Enz is now 0-2 inside the Octagon, coming off a poor outing in a split decision loss to Marcelo Guimaraes at Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 44 in San Antonio. The loss follows a unanimous decision he dropped against Clint Hester, and Enz is now likely facing contract termination. An impressive performance, despite a loss, would have earned him another fight, in my opinion. However, that was not the case, as his corner-men told him the fight was even going into the third frame, and Enz did nothing to secure the victory. As with Rhodes, Dana White and the UFC hate seeing a fighter not go for the win. I think the MMA Lab product will be heading back to the regional circuit, and if able to string a few wins together, he will likely get another call from Joe Silva, especially considering he is still young and improving; he did show improvements in his game between the Hester and Guimaraes fights. Colton Smith Smith defeated Mike Ricci at The Ultimate Fighter season 16 Finale to become the TUF 16 champion, but has failed to see a single Octagon victory since. Following that bout, he suffered a second round TKO against Robert Whittaker, then moved down to 155-pounds, where he tapped to a rear naked choke against TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa in the second round of action of their bout. Smith took on promotional newcomer Carlos Diego Ferreira at Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 44 in Ferreira’s backyard of San Antonio, and was submitted by the Brazilian at only 0:38 seconds into the fight. He has now dropped three fights in a row and will more than likely be receiving the pink slip from the promotion. If he does well on the regional circuit, I’m not sure if the UFC will bring him back, considering the fact that he did not exactly get any easy match-ups since winning TUF, which is sort of strange, because the UFC generally tries to build their TUF winners with easier match-ups. That could be because the UFC doesn’t like his wrestling-heavy style. My guess would be that they were counting on Ricci to win the show, and they weren’t happy to see Smith win, so they kept feeding him match-ups that were not stylistically the best for him, rather than trying to build him up like they have tried to do with other TUF winners, i.e. Norman Parke. Two fighters that could have been included in this article and are NOT are Sean O’Connell and Andrew Craig. They are both now on two fight skids, though they impressed in their outings on Saturday night. O’Connell dropped a split decision to Gian Villante on the judges’ scorecards, though he impressed and took home ‘Fight of the Night’ honors for his efforts. After such a solid outing and considering the fact that the UFC’s 205-pound division is incredibly thin, I would be surprised to see O’Connell cut. Craig dropped a unanimous decision to Cezar Ferreira, but after being down two rounds on the judges’ scorecards, he went for the kill in the third frame and nearly finished the Brazilian, which is exactly what the UFC and Dana White love to see, so despite being 1-3 in his last four bouts, I would not be surprised to see the former Legacy FC middleweight champion get another shot inside the Octagon.

Written by Gabe Killian

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