Octagon jitters—it’s an infamous term. The first time a fighter steps into the UFC’s eight-sided cage, there will always be talk of whether the emotional rush and the nerves surrounding his debut will have a profound impact on his performance.

Pundits and fans making predictions on fights will cite the jitters as a reason to doubt a fighter’s chances. And in the aftermath of a defeat, these same jitters will take part of the blame for the fighter’s downfall.

So, following each UFC event, The MMA Corner will look at the fighters who made their Octagon debuts and provide impressions on their performances and their future potential under the UFC banner. In this edition, we focus on the four newcomers from UFC Fight Night 36.

Zubaira Tukhugov — unanimous decision win over Douglas Silva de Andrade

Zubaira Tukhugov is the latest sambo specialist to join the UFC roster. The 23-year-old made a successful debut at UFC Fight Night 36 when he opened the evening with a unanimous decision victory over fellow newcomer Douglas Silva de Andrade.

Tukhugov is a Master of Sports in hand-to-hand combat and combat sambo. Against Silva de Andrade, he was able to utilize his wrestling skills in combination with an unorthodox stand-up technique in order to work his way towards victory. Tukhugov throws a lot of spinning attacks while on the feet, but de Andrade was able to block most of those strikes. He could occasionally land one for a highlight-reel knockout—he does have five career wins by some form of knockout—but the Tiger Muay Thai fighter’s best quality might be his wrestling. He was able to score takedowns against the Brazilian and combine his wrestling with his strikes to gain the upper hand on the scorecards. A bulk of his career victories have come in fights that went the distance.

The featherweight is only 23 years old and has only been training for approximately five years, but he already has a solid base of striking, wrestling and sambo. He has lost three fights in his career, including two where he was finished. Those finishes came early in the first round, suggesting that Tukhugov can get careless. He’s a good wrestler, but he doesn’t possess a submission arsenal to end fights in quick fashion. Tukhugov will continue to progress with experience and should settle in as a competitive mid-tier featherweight for the UFC.

Potential: Medium

Douglas Silva de Andrade — unanimous decision loss to Zubaira Tukhugov

Douglas Silva de Andrade was on the other end of the first decision of a decision-filled night of fights. The Brazilian couldn’t find an answer for the wrestling and spinning strikes of Tukhugov en route to dropping a unanimous verdict to the sambo specialist.

The 28-year-old has a long list of knockout victims on his resume. Until he dropped a decision to Tukhugov in his UFC debut, Silva de Andrade was undefeated through 23 fights, with 22 wins and a no-contest. On the Brazilian circuit, the striker faced various levels of competition. The combined record of the opponents he defeated in 2012 and 2013 is just 28-26.

Silva de Andrade wasn’t able to effectively counter Tukhugov for much of their fight and failed to display the knockout power that has carried him to 18 finishes and 22 wins. The Brazilian should benefit from stepping in on short notice to fight Tukhugov. The UFC usually rewards short-notice fighters with another chance. Perhaps Silva de Andrade will capitalize on a second outing, but unless he can find an answer to takedown attempts, he won’t make it far in a promotion filled with wrestlers.

Potential: Low

Albert Tumenov — split decision loss to Ildemar Alcantara

The answer to a good boxer in mixed martial arts is often a takedown. That’s exactly why Albert Tumenov found himself on the losing end of a split decision verdict against Ildemar Alcantara in their welterweight clash at UFC Fight Night 36.

Tumenov is a Master of Sports in boxing and has eight wins by some form of knockout. The 22-year-old also has a knack for escaping the bottom position on the ground. That’s a good quality to have, especially for a fighter who regularly rushes forward into takedown attempts. That proved to be Tumenov’s biggest flaw on Saturday night, and Alcantara provided a blueprint for any fighter who has to prepare for Tumenov in the future. Tumenov was able to sweep Alcantara early in the fight and provided some vicious ground-and-pound, but he wasn’t able to finish the Brazilian. Once his chance had passed, Tumenov found himself on the receiving end of more takedowns and some ground-and-pound from the Brazilian.

Tumenov’s striking skills could lead to some knockout finishes, and he has underrated ability in the grappling department that could catch some fighters by surprise. What he doesn’t have is a sprawl or any other effective answer to the takedown. In fact, he saved Alcantara a lot of work by charging forward into takedown attempts. That’s going to get Tumenov in trouble against the UFC’s welterweight roster. There’s no guarantee that the Russian will get a sophomore outing, but the split decision could be enough to grant him one more chance.

Tumenov is young and has time to improve, but his lack of takedown defense kills his chance for a successful UFC run.

Potential: Low

Takenori Sato — knockout loss to Erick Silva

Takenori Sato punched his ticket to the UFC with a nearly three-year-long reign as the welterweight King of Pancrase. At UFC Fight Night 36, Sato was the one getting punched. The Japanese fighter lasted just 52 seconds in his fight against Erick Silva before succumbing to a knockout.

Sato has spent years training alongside Pride legend Kazushi Sakuraba. It showed against Silva, but not in a good way. The 28-year-old attacked Silva’s leg for a takedown and paid the price. Sato is a grappler who has seen the majority of his losses come via some form of knockout. He didn’t have a chance to display his offense inside the Octagon, but his chin is certainly going to prevent him from making it far in the UFC.

Despite a 17-8-1 mark coming into his fight with Silva, Sato had gone undefeated since 2010. The problem is that his style is better suited to Pancrase than it is to the UFC. With such a devastating knockout loss in his debut, Sato could be the most likely of the event’s newcomers to be a one-and-done guy.

Potential: Low