Fighters whose careers may be in jeopardy

UFC 264, arguably the biggest night of the year for the UFC, hosted several eyebrow-raising moments. From a breathtaking injury that left the main event in disarray to a grisly injury in the prelims, many fighters have come out worse for wear.

While losses are just a stark reality in the UFC (unless you’re Khabib Nurmagomedov of course), some of last night’s losers have more problems than others.

As the dust begins to settle and the consequences of last night’s fights become clearer, it is evident that some stars are struggling to move forward. Whether it’s physical issues from horrific shackles or statistical issues from too many losses, this lot is probably nervous right now.

Here are three fighters from last night whose UFC careers could be in jeopardy:

# 3. Jessica Eye, former UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship contender

‘Evil’ found herself suffering from a horrible cut to her forehead last night. Jessica Eye was opened during her preliminary war with Jennifer Maia. Sporting a crimson mask after a heads-up clash in round two, Eye fought valiantly until the end of round three.

Unfortunately for the former flyweight title contender, the judges scored in favor of Maia, who won by unanimous decision. With that loss, Jessica Eye is now on a three-fight slippage. His record for wins and losses is currently under 15-10.

Despite his popularity, Eye’s career prospects look bleak. The chances of her pulling off another 2018-style career comeback seem unlikely. Another loss will put her on par with her infamous four-game losing streak in 2015-16.

With no semblance of a title in sight, Eye may need to completely re-equip if she is to stay in the game to move forward.

# 2. Stephen Thompson, former UFC welterweight championship contender

UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3
UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3

Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson’s dream of challenging Kamaru Usman may continue like this after last night. In a grueling semi-main that went the distance, Thompson defeated by unanimous decision against Gilbert Burns at UFC 264.

Thompson has been very loud in his attempt to challenge the UFC welterweight crown in recent months. The Kempo maestro hasn’t had a chance for gold since his loss to then-champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 209 in 2017. Now, after losing to the high-defeated Gilbert Burns Hand by Usman at UFC 258, Thompson may be out of reach completely.

At 38 and now with five losses to his name (including four in his last seven fights), Thompson is at serious risk of falling down the pecking order. A popular veteran of the game, one would assume that Thompson’s employment status will at least remain stable. The problem is, the experts have said similar things about Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem…

# 1. Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor

UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3
UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3

Is the game over?

The UFC’s biggest mainstream star has suffered the knottiest limb break this side from Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. After endless talk of garbage reaching a level well below the belt, the very confident Conor McGregor burst into UFC 264. A win would have almost guaranteed him another shot at the lightweight title.

Unfortunately for ‘The Notorious’, that was not the case. McGregor’s ankle decided to masquerade as a triangle in the dying moments of the first round. Having lost his UFC 257 fight with Dustin Poirier through calf kicks, McGregor lost it by losing control of his calves.

Anchored as his hated rival celebrated yet another victory, an enraged McGregor went on a rampage during his post-fight interview. McGregor has won only twice in the past five years. The injury he suffered last night could put his career at risk. Considering the portion of silver the size of Everest he sits on, Conor McGregor doesn’t really need to fight again.

If he was attempting a full comeback, chances are his drawing power isn’t quite what he was. As entertaining and outrageous as the Irishman’s antics can be, they need to be supported to remain effective.

Edited by Jack Cunningham

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Johnnie Hill

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