Who’s on the Hot Seat: UFC on Fuel TV: Franklin vs. Le Edition
The UFC will end its nearly one month sabbatical when they host an event in China for the first time this coming Saturday. UFC on Fuel TV: Franklin vs. Le will be held at CotaiArena in Macau, China, the televised portion will begin at 9am eastern time.
The main event features former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin against former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le. Both men may be past their primes, but they still have a lot to offer and should put on an exciting fight. In the co-main event, Thiago Silva will face Stanislav Nedkov in a battle of light heavyweights. For Silva this will be just his fourth fight since January of 2010 while Nedkov will look to run his record to 13-0.
Welterweights Dong Hyun Kim and Paulo Thiago will square off, former Pride Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi will face Mac Danzig, Jon Tuck will meet Tiequan Zhang in another lightweight bout and bantamweights Takeya Mizugaki and Jeff Hougland will round out the main card.
There are a total of 10 scheduled bouts and we will take a closer look and see which fighters could be in trouble should they lose their respective match-ups.
Let’s take a look at Who’s on the Hot Seat.
David Mitchell: A native of California, Mitchell came into the UFC with a record of 10-0 having competed strictly in his home state. He lost his Octagon debut to TJ Waldburger via unanimous decision back in September of 2010. Mitchell followed up that loss with another setback, this time against Paulo Thiago at UFC 134 in August of last year. The 33-year-old welterweight is an injury replacement for Marcelo Guimaraes and desperately needs a win here to avoid losing his job. Losing your first three bouts in the UFC usually results in a fighter receiving his pink slip.
Yasuhiro Urushitani: The Japanese flyweight was brought in as the fourth man in the UFC Flyweight tournament and was promptly knocked out in the second round by Joseph Benavidez in Australia on the UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann card back in March. Another loss coupled with his age (36) could cut his UFC run short at just two fights. The only saving grace is that the organization is still building the 125lb. division and may keep him around to help build up a younger fighter.
Zhang Tiequan: At 34-years-old and having lost his last two UFC bouts, this fight against Jon Tuck is a must win for Tiequan. The UFC has him on the card for one reason and that’s because he is from Inner Mongolia, China. He was knocked out in the second round by Issei Tamura at UFC 144 in February during the UFC’s return trip to Japan. Over all he is just 2-3 under the Zuffa banner, he split his two fights in the WEC and is 1-2 inside the Octagon.
Takanori Gomi: “The Fireball Kid” has not had a lot of success since debuting with the UFC in March of 2010. Gomi was dominated by Kenny Florian in his first bout, he would go on to knock Tyson Griffin out four months later, but has gone 1-2 since then with the lone win coming against Eiji Mitsuoka at UFC 144. He has looked horrible in losses to Nate Diaz and Clay Guida. In his three UFC losses, Gomi has been submitted each time. With 42 career fights and having just turned 34, time is running out on Gomi. He needs a win on Saturday in the worst way against Mac Danzig.
Paulo Thiago: No one expected much from Thiago when he made his UFC debut at UFC 95 against Josh Koscheck back in February of 2009, but lo and behold he knocked Koscheck out on the first round. After losing to Jon Fitch via unanimous decision at UFC 100, Thiago would go on to defeat Jacob Volkman and Mike Swick back to back. Since then he has lost three of his last four bouts and a loss on Saturday would be his second in a row and fourth in five fights. It’s pretty tough to keep your job in an extremely tough division in the biggest MMA organization in the world with a record like that. Should he lose to Kim on Saturday he will always have that fantastic knockout of Koscheck to look back on.
Thiago Silva: It wasn’t all that long ago when Silva was fighting Lyoto Machida for the right to face Rashad Evans for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Machida scored a stunning 1st round knockout over Silva handing the Brazilian his first career loss. Since then he was one win, a first round knockout over Keith Jardine at UFC 102 in August of 2009. He has lost to Rashad Evans, Alexander Gustafsson and had a win over Brandon Vera overturned because he turned in fake urine for the post-fight drug test. Silva has also battled injuries, but it’s pretty clear; he needs a win on Saturday or the UFC may tell him to go out and get his career back on track. Silva is a talented fighter, but sometimes talent just isn’t enough.