1 UFC 295 fighter on the chopping block

Who stands the most risk of being released after a loss at UFC 295?

UFC 287: Waterson-Gomez v Pinheiro
UFC 287: Waterson-Gomez v Pinheiro / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Even with all the changes to it, UFC 295 still has a massive card.

In the main event, Jiri Prochazka returns against former middleweight king Alex Pereira in a bid to reclaim the light heavyweight title that he relinquished due to a serious injury. Meanwhile, Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich fight for the interim heavyweight title in the co-main. As a bonus, Mackenzie Dern looks to strengthen her title hopes against Jessica Andrade.

One other fighter is seeking something else at this event, however: featherweight Dennis Buzukja.

Dennis Buzukja needs to defeat Jamall Emmers at UFC 295

Born in New York City, Buzukja initially established himself as a can't-miss prospect in the New Jersey-based Ring of Combat, winning three of four to earn a spot on Dana White's Contender Series.

He lost to Melsik Baghdsaryan by unanimous decision, but that was not going to deter him from chasing his dream of being in the UFC. Another three straight wins led him back to DWCS, and this time he defeated Kaleio Romero by unanimous decision. However, he was passed up for a contract.

A third three-win streak finally did it for him, as he got to step in on very short notice against Sean Woodson at UFC Nashville in August. However, Buzukja was half a pound overweight and eventually dropped a unanimous decision.

This Saturday, he draws Jamall Emmers, who has alternated wins and losses in his last six fights, including all his five UFC fights. Emmers himself is coming off a loss - a split decision against Jack Jenkins at UFC Jacksonville in June.

While it is only an early-prelim fight, the stakes are high for each fighter - win, and you may stay; lose, and you may be out. But particularly for Buzukja, the circumstances are amplified: he is fighting in his hometown, and he cannot afford a devastating defeat before a local crowd.

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