With no UFC events this weekend, the focus turns to other MMA promotions across the globe, many of which have UFC veterans appearing on their cards this weekend.

Ultimate Challenge MMA in England brings in Neil Grove and Paul Kelly, KSW brings in Kendall Grove, Matt Horwich and Maciej Jewtuszko and BAMMA brings in Xavier Foupa-Pokam. All former UFC fighters, but none of them really seem to have a chance of getting back to the big show.

Foupa-Pokam is 2-7 since his dismissal from the UFC, not the type of record that UFC President Dana White looks for when he signs someone to fight for his promotion. Neil Grove is currently on a three-fight losing streak and is 1-4 over his last five fights. Horwich is 4-8 since his dismissal, but some of his losses have come to former or current UFC fighters such as Thales Leites, Tom Watson and Jason MacDonald. Horwich has also seen stints in Bellator and BAMMA.

Out of these six guys though, Kelly, Jewtuszko and Kendall Grove stand the best chance, with a win this weekend, of returning to the big show.

These fighters aren’t exactly facing big names in their fights this weekend either, but with impressive wins they can surely coax a return invite out out of the UFC brass.

Of those three guys, Grove and Kelly might be the best bets to make it. Kelly is only one fight removed from the UFC, and although it was a loss, a very impressive win here in a grudge match against Richard Griffin, a fighter with a 4-8 record, could surely boost him back into the UFC, especially to appear on a future card in England. Grove, on the other hand, is a seasoned UFC veteran who had loads of potential coming off of his stint on The Ultimate Fighter 3, which he ultimately won.

Kelly served a long stint in the UFC, going 5-4 for the promotion. He didn’t really beat anybody of note, and he was cut after one loss to Donald Cerrone. Now for a man who was 5-3 in your promotion before a loss to a guy like Cerrone, not much should be required for a return trip into the promotion. Especially if the UFC wants to fill out some more cards abroad, especially in Europe. Why not take a guy who recently competed in India and England and plug him into the lineup?

For Grove, it could be the end of a long road back to the UFC. It will have been a year and a half since Grove was cut by the UFC, and in that span he has gone 6-1 with a possible seventh victory awaiting him this weekend.

Grove does have some tough competition though, facing Mamed Khalidov. Khalidov has finished some tough opponents that include Igor Pokrajac, Jorge Santiago and Matt Lindland. Grove isn’t getting an easy fight here and with a win over a star prospect, he will surely have earned a spot back into the UFC.

Although Jewtuszko is 9-2 and would be on a two-fight winning streak with a victory this weekend, he would best be served fighting once more under the KSW banner before returning to the UFC with a little more polish. That isn’t to say he couldn’t be brought in for a similar reason as would apply to Kelly. The UFC wants to fill a card breaking into a new European market or help promote a current card in Europe, it could always choose to bring in a guy like Jewtuszko to help round out the preliminary portion of the card.

If Kelly wants to get back to the UFC, he needs a finish this weekend. For Grove, any route to a win shows that he deserves a spot back in the UFC, at least on the Facebook or Fuel TV prelims.

With UFC on Fuel 7 headed to London next February, maybe, just maybe, Kelly could get on that card with an impressive performance this weekend. And maybe we will see Grove pop up too. You just never know in MMA.

Photo: Kendall Grove (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.