UFC 264, arguably the biggest night of the year for the UFC, hosted several moments for eyebrows. From a jaw-dropping injury that left the main event in disarray to a cruel wound in the preparations, lots of warriors came out worse for wear.
While losses are simply a tough fact in the UFC (unless of course you are Khabib Nurmagomedov), some of last night’s losers are in more trouble than others.
As the dust begins to settle and the consequences of last night’s matches become clearer, it’s clear that certain stars are having trouble moving on. Whether it’s physical problems getting horribly hopped or statistical problems from one too many losses, this party is probably nervous right now.
Here are three fighters from last night whose UFC career could be in jeopardy:
# 3. Former UFC women’s flyweight champion Jessica Eye
‘Evil’ found himself suffering from a horrible forehead cut last night. Jessica Eye was opened during her preliminary war with Jennifer Maia. In a red mask after a clash with heads in round two, Eye bravely fought through to the end of round three.
Unfortunately for the former flyweight candidate, the judges scored in favor of Maia, who won the unanimous decision. With this loss, Jessica Eye is now on a three-match slip. Her win-loss record is currently below 15-10.
Despite her popularity, Eyes’ career prospects look pretty bleak going forward. The chances of her making another career comeback a la 2018 seem unlikely. Another loss puts her on par with her infamous losing streak of four games 2015-2016.
Without a sight of a title shot in sight, Eye may need to switch completely if she is to stay in the game going forward.
# 2. Former UFC welterweight champion Stephen Thompson
Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson’s dream of challenging Kamaru Usman can remain just that after last night. In an exhausting semi-main that went the distance, Thompson was defeated by a unanimous decision against Gilbert Burns at UFC 264.
Thompson has been very vocal in his attempt to challenge for the UFC welterweight crown in recent months. The Kempo maestro has not had a crack in the gold since his loss to then-champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 209 in 2017. Now, after losing to Gilbert Burns, who was easily beaten by Usman at UFC 258, Thompson may be out of the fight reach completely.
As a 38-year-old and now with five losses to his name (four of which have happened in his last seven games), Thompson is in serious danger of falling into the pick order. A popular veteran of the game, one can assume that Thompson’s employment status will at least remain stable. The problem is, experts said similar things about e.g. Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem …
# 1. Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor
Is the game over?
The UFC’s biggest mainstream star has maintained the crunchy limb fracture on this side of Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. After the relentless trash that hit far below the belt, an uber-confident Conor McGregor came storming into UFC 264. A win would have anything but guaranteed him another shot at the lightweight title glory.
Unfortunately for ‘The Notorious’ it shouldn’t be. McGregor’s ankle decided to mimic a wishbone in the final moments of the first round. After losing his UFC 257 fight with Dustin Poirier thanks to calf kick McGregor lost this thanks to having lost control of his calves.
Earth, as his hated rival celebrated yet another victory, let a furious McGregor loose during his post-match interview. McGregor has won only twice in the last five years. The injury he sustained last night can be career-threatening. Given the Everest bulk of money he sits on, Conor McGregor has no real need to fight again.
Should he attempt a comeback down the line, there is a good chance his drawing power will not quite be what it was. As entertaining and monstrous as the Irish’s antics may be, they must be backed up to remain effective.