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 jaw-dropping injury that left the main event in disarray to a grisly wound in the prelims, plenty of fighters came out worse for wear.

While losses are simply a hard fact of life in the UFC (unless you’re Khabib Nurmagomedov of course), some of the losers from last night are in more trouble than others.

As the dust begins to settle and the consequences of last night’s fights become more clear, it’s obvious certain stars are in trouble moving forward. Whether it’s physical trouble from getting horribly hobbled or statistical trouble from one too many losses, this lot are likely nervous right now.

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

#3. Former UFC women’s flyweight championship contender Jessica Eye

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

Sadly for the former flyweight title contender, the judges scored in favor of Maia, who picked up the unanimous decision win. With this loss, Jessica Eye is now on a three-fight skid. Her win-loss record currently stands at a less than stellar 15-10.

Despite her popularity, Eye’s career prospects moving forward are looking fairly grim. The chances of her pulling off another career comeback a la 2018 appear unlikely. Another loss will put her back on par with her infamous 2015-2016 four-match losing streak.

With no semblance of a title shot in sight, Eye may need to retool completely if she is to stay in the game moving forward.

#2. Former UFC welterweight championship contender Stephen Thompson

UFC 264: Poirier v McGregor 3
UFC 264: Poirier v McGregor 3

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

Thompson has been very vocal in his bid to challenge for the UFC welterweight crown in recent months. The Kempo maestro hasn’t had a crack at the gold since his loss to then-champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 209 in 2017. Now, having lost to Gilbert Burns, who was beaten handily by Usman at UFC 258, Thompson may be out of reach completely.

At 38 and now with five losses to his name (four of which have occurred in his past seven bouts), Thompson is in serious danger of falling down the pecking order. A popular veteran of the game, one might assume Thompson’s employment status will at least remain steady. The problem is, pundits said similar things about the likes of Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem…

#1. Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor

UFC 264: Poirier v McGregor 3
UFC 264: Poirier v McGregor 3

Is the game over?

The UFC’s biggest mainstream star has sustained the gnarliest limb break this side of Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. After relentless trash talk that hit way below the belt, an uber-confident Conor McGregor came storming into UFC 264. A win would have all but guaranteed him another shot at lightweight title glory.

Sadly for ‘The Notorious’, it wasn’t to be. McGregor’s ankle decided to impersonate a wishbone in the closing moments of round one. Having lost his UFC 257 bout with Dustin Poirier thanks to calf kicks, McGregor lost this one thanks to losing control of his calves.

Grounded as his hated rival celebrated another win, a furious McGregor let loose during his post-fight interview. McGregor has won just twice in the last five years. The injury he sustained last night could be potentially career-threatening. Given the Everest-sized portion of money he’s sitting on, Conor McGregor has no real need to fight again.

Should he attempt a comeback down the line, there’s a good chance his drawing power won’t quite be what it was. As entertaining and outrageous as the Irishman’s antics may be, they need to be backed up to remain effective.

Edited by Jack Cunningham

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