Finland’s lone UFC fighter could find himself outside the organization after Zuffa officials have set out to cut 100 fighters due to their bloated roster. Kuivanen, who entered the Octagon in February 2012, was on a 9 fight winning streak, but now has only notched one win in his three UFC bouts.
With Saturday’s performance on the preliminary card of UFC 157, the one thing is true… Kuivanen is improving. His standup is crisper, his cardio is improved, and his wrestling game looks stronger than ever.
The GB Gym fighter was in control over he Season 15 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” Michael Chiesa in the first round, but a costly error in the second allowed the lanky fighter to get the fight to the ground and get his arm underneath Kuivanen’s chin, where he was forced to tap.
With high-profile cuts from the UFC last week, including one of the best welterweights of all time Jon Fitch, it is likely that Kuivanen will join several others. Norway lost their representative as Simeon Thoresen was also among fitch and 14 others that lost their contracts.
The UFC is now forced to absorb much of the Strikeforce roster, take on fighters to add to the new women’s division, and continue to build the newly formed lighter weight classes. With limited space available on cards to get the targeted 2-3 fights a year for contracted prize-fighters, it’s a new era, where one loss will send most fighters to fend outside in smaller promotions.
It will be a shame if Kuivanen is cut, as he is coming off one of his best rounds in the UFC and taking his training to the next level with dedicated stays in Florida at American Top Team.
Chiesa remains undefeated with a record of 9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC and Kuivanen now holds a 17-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC record. He was coming off a win this past July over Mitch Clarke.