6 UFC Fighters in DESPERATE Need of a Win
You’re only as good as your last fight - and for these eight UFC superstars, their last fight simply wasn’t good enough.
And though many of these athletes are in different stages of their careers - a recent dip in form has certainly taken some of the wind out of their sails.
With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at 8 UFC fighters who are in desperate need of a win.
To kick things off, we have the former UFC bantamweight champion of the world - a man who has somehow gone 1 and 5 since his masterful title-capturing performance against Dominick Cruz in 2017. At 30 years old, Cody Garbrandt should be coming into his physical prime right now. Instead, he has gone on the type of run that you’d expect from an athlete ten years his senior. The elusive, composed, and finesse-heavy approach he used against Cruz has been replaced by a hot-headedness, an overeagerness - a cocktail of problems that, when coupled with his suspect ability to take a shot - has led No Love to being finished 4 times in his last 6. Sure, the Assuncao KO was pretty sweet - but with a return to the 135lb division scheduled for July - it’s pretty fair to say that Garbrandt is in a real do or die situation.
Out of all of the fighters under the UFC, it could well be said that no-one could generate as much upside with a single win as Conor McGregor could. Though still as unavoidable a figure as any, the fact that Conor has fought just four times in the last six years is certainly a cause for concern amongst his fans. When you couple that with his record of 1 and 3 in that time - with his only victory coming against Donald Cerrone, the full story is really hammered home. It’s not that Conor has looked especially awful during his three losses - but he just looks somewhat flat, not the same intimidating presence he once was. And when you come up against the best of the best at 155lbs - the Khabibs and Poiriers of the world - that just isn’t going to be enough. So with an eye on his imminent return to competition - though he has an uphill climb ahead of him - this next matchup is absolutely crucial.
The resurrection appears to be over, folks! Or at least that’s how things are looking based on the recent form of Jorge Masvidal. Three straight losses to the two best welterweights on the planet have effectively brought Masvidal’s title push to a halt. Now the first defeat to Kamaru Usman and the loss to Colby Covington weren’t career-killers by any means - but when you consider that they where the bread in a sandwich that contained within in a KO Of The Year loss to Usman in the rematch - that’s where things get dicey for Jorge. At his age, another resurgence seems pretty unlikely - and though few would disagree with the fact that Masvidal is still an excellent fighter - if he is hoping to secure anything that could be considered a big money fight, getting himself back on track next time around is paramount.
It’s hard not to feel for Dan Hooker. The dude has been fighting the best of the best for years now - keeping a packed schedule while generally delivering some real action when he gets the right dance partner. However, after his Fight Of The Year contender clash with Dustin Poirier - things started to unravel for The Hangman. Of course, he lost that fight with The Diamond - pushing his opponent to the brink, but taking on quite a lot of damage in the process. Jump forward to his next outing - where he got starched by a debuting Michael Chandler - and things began to get worrying. Though a victory over Nasrat Haqparast would follow - back to back finish defeats to Islam Makhachev and Arnold Allen down at featherweight really set Hooker down the wrong path. Now eyeing a return to lightweight, there really does need to be something of a spark in his progression before he finds himself in an even trickier spot.
The decline of Dominick Reyes is truly an odd one. After rising to the top of the division - this 205lb standout gave Jon Jones perhaps the toughest fight of his career, doing more than enough in some peoples’ eyes to earn the victory. However, as we all know, the decision went Jon’s way - and from there, a downturn in form occurred that really left most of Reyes’ fans totally shocked. Back to back KO defeats at the hands of both Jan Blachowicz and Jiri Prochazka left our faith in his chin in a weird place. And look, those shots were excellent - but when you go from hot-shot contender to 0 and 3 in your last three with 2 vicious knockout defeat - it really does go a long way in dampening what hype you may have gathered. Dominick Reyes is by no means finished in his pursuit of light-heavyweight gold - in fact, he’s still among the younger members of the top-10 - but all in all - after about a year out of action, one would hope that he has managed to recentre himself - something that will allow him to make the necessary changes in order to advance.
And finally, we come to the real heartbreaker of the group. The one that I will admit, has been by far and away the toughest to watch of the lot. Tony Ferguson is a fighter’s fighter - the type of athlete who just embodies all that we love about the sport. He’s daring, he’s creative, he’s unusually violent in there, bold, often shocking, and just an all-round quirky individual. But seeing him lose four in a row - getting finished by Justin Gaethje, somehow surviving against Charles Oliveira, getting dominated by Beneil Dariush - and then, I don’t even want to talk about what Michael Chandler just did to him. It has been an incredibly difficult time for Tony Ferguson - and though there have been calls for his retirement - some fans do believe that he just got caught with an immaculately placed technique and that, in the first round, he had shown something in his performance that he didn’t have to any extent against Dariush or the champ Oliviera. Either way, it’s clear that El Cucuy’s back is against the wall - and I think I can speak for most of us when I say that a major step down in competition is warranted - leaving this next matchup as an incredibly crucial one.