Marcus Aurelio, Justin McCully, Chris Wilson and Hermes Franca are rumored to be the latest men Zuffa wished well in their future endeavors. Judging by their recent performances, these are cuts that will just scab over eventually. All four guys are coming off of losses and haven’t looked good in the last few years. Luckily for them, there are other promotions out there capable of making good matches.
Let’s take a look at each fighter:
What’s his problem?: Mediocre striking and weak wrestling. Guys like Clay Guida, Tyson Griffin and anyone else with a sprawl can neutralize Aurelio and render him useless.
Where should he go?: WEC. Marcus is capable of being a gatekeeper due to his size, great jitz and solid cardio. The almost upper level fighters in the WEC need someone who can test them at worst and get “the rub” from at best.
Who should he fight?: Danny Castillo. He’s a good wrestler with overzealous standup, which will make it competitive.
Can he get back to the UFC?: Yes. Aurelio is a guy who knows his place in this game; he may not be capable of beating world champions anymore but you know he won’t turn down a payday on short notice.
What’s his problem?: Poor dude just can’t catch a break. First he got the short end of the stick on a weak decision, and fought a few months after seeing a gun put in his child’s face while being robbed. Nobody can shake that kind of thing so fast.
Where should he go?: Strikeforce. They have the strongest Welterweight division outside of the UFC so he’ll be able to have solid opponents.
Who should he fight?: Jay Hieron again. Chris has better hands and a more dynamic submission game, but Jay has improved a bit since they met almost three years ago.
Can he get back to the UFC?: Probably. Dana has gotten serious about drying up the fighter well to stifle his competition. If Wilson gets a couple wins you can expect him in the octagon sooner rather than later.
What’s his problem?: Apathy. Zuffa’s done business with Hermes long enough to know his shortcomings in the wrestling department. That didn’t have anything to do with his bloated face being mashed up by Tyson Griffin, though. He showed up fat and didn’t want to throw those bricks attached to his wrists. Franca needed a wakeup call like his 0-3 stint in 2005, and this may have been it.
Where should he go?: DREAM. The Lightweight is sicker than the UFC’s, and they’re a better style matchup than our domestic wrestlers.
Who should he fight?: Shaolin. It would give Hermes an opponent who’d actually want to grapple but can’t hold him down.
Can he get back to the UFC?: Absolutely, he just needs to show he cares about competing again.
What’s his problem?: He’s Justin McCully
Where should he go?: Don’t care.
Who should he fight?: Nobody.
Can he get back to the UFC?: We better pray he doesn’t.