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 37.

Danny Mitchell — unanimous decision loss to Igor Araujo

The UFC’s expanded global format has opened the floodgates for international talent to grace the Octagon. Whereas a fighter like Danny Mitchell may have had to win a few more fights to receive an invite in years past, the UFC’s need for British talent to fill its offering in London allowed “The Cheesecake Assassin” the opportunity to showcase his skills inside the eight-sided cage. The results were far from positive. Mitchell emerged on the wrong end of a unanimous decision verdict against Igor Araujo.

Mitchell’s record prior to entering the UFC stood at 14-4-1, but eight of those wins came through his first eight fights. Including his loss to Araujo, Mitchell has gone just 6-5-1 over his last 12 fights. Absent from his fight with Araujo were the striking skills that led him to a 12-second TKO and a 71-second knockout in two of those recent victories. Instead, Mitchell opted to stick to his ground game, which has accounted for nine of his career wins. He did catch Araujo in several submission attempts, but he couldn’t seal the deal on any of those attempts. Furthermore, Mitchell was all too willing to work off of his back. Although he can be dangerous from that position, it’s also apt to put him down on the judges’ scorecards. In those situations, he needs to find the finish, and Araujo proved that Mitchell may not be very skilled at doing so at the highest levels of the game.

“The Cheesecake Assassin” has been a very inconsistent fighter since his undefeated streak was snapped in 2010. He has lost to UFC fighter Gunnar Nelson, UFC veteran Kendall Grove, top prospect Eugene Fadiora and now, in his Octagon debut, Araujo, but he also suffered defeat against .500 fighter Henrique Santana. Meanwhile, he has defeated UFC fighter Nicholas Musoke and UFC vet Besam Yousef, and he fought to a draw with recent UFC signee Cathal Pendred. He’s a likely candidate to turn away those fighters who are undeserving of a UFC contract, and perhaps he’ll occasionally pull off an upset victory, but it’s just as likely that he loses his next fight and returns to the British regional circuit.

Potential: Low

Claudio Henrique da Silva — unanimous decision win over Brad Scott

Sometimes it’s obvious that a fighter needs to drop down a weight class. Despite his success against Brad Scott, Claudio Henrique da Silva clearly fit that bill on Saturday. As a middleweight, da Silva was sluggish and appeared out of shape. It was remarkable that he was able to do enough to earn the unanimous decision win over Scott.

The 31-year-old is a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and his grappling skills are the focus of his game. Those skills have earned him six submission wins, and they were largely responsible for his victory over Scott in London. He’s a very effective grappler, but he struggled to get the fight to the ground at times and telegraphed many of his takedown attempts. He also displayed a tendency to duck down and forward as he fished for the takedown. That tendency could get him in trouble, especially considering that he also keeps his hands low.

The striking game is another troubling aspect for the jiu-jitsu ace. His winging punches often appeared to be coming in slow motion. Counter-strikers will be able to pick apart da Silva on the feet, and knock him out as he ducks down for the takedown. He’ll need to work on finding a more efficient way to get fights to the mat. Perhaps his flashy capoeira stylings could help. When he threw those techniques, as wild and far from the target as they were, it seemed to throw Scott off his game. Da Silva needs to use those to transition into a single- or double-leg takedown attempt.

The grappler’s first order of business should be a move to welterweight. If he can shed the extra 15 pounds, he may be able to add speed and effectiveness to his attack. At middleweight, he’s going to find it difficult to take skilled opponents to the ground, and if he can’t get his foes to the ground, he’s going to pay for it on the feet.

Potential: Low

Mats Nilsson — first-round TKO loss to Luke Barnatt

Yes, Mats Nilsson was floored by fellow middleweight Luke Barnatt in the first round via TKO. However, Nilsson did something that was hardly expected out of a grappler facing the long, lanky Barnatt—he shrugged off Barnatt’s reach advantage and landed effective shots against the Brit.

Though Nilsson has been working on his Muay Thai skills, he’s still first and foremost a grappler. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt and judo black belt has taken home numerous honors in FILA grappling competition, and he has notched five of his MMA wins via submission. That makes it all the more impressive that he was able to give Barnatt some early headaches on the feet. He threw crisp combinations that landed, and he wasn’t fazed by Barnatt’s significant height and reach advantage.

Barnatt is a tough opponent for anyone in the lower and middle tiers of the UFC’s 185-pound division, but Nilsson handled himself well prior to the TKO loss. His striking technique is an impressive complement to his grappling arsenal. That combination provides him with the potential to hang around as a low-level gatekeeper within the division.

Potential: Low to Medium

Neil Seery — unanimous decision loss to Brad Pickett

Of the card’s newcomers, Claudio Henrique da Silva was the only winner, but he wasn’t the most impressive of the bunch. That honor goes to Neil Seery. Seery may have dropped a unanimous decision to Brad Pickett, but he earned a ton of respect in the process.

Seery demonstrated surprisingly good submission defense early in the bout, but it was his boxing that really tested Pickett. Seery has power for a flyweight and was able to connect on punches that sent Pickett backward on a couple of occasions. He’s a brawler and a tough guy, but he can be taken down and outpointed in fights.

The former Cage Warriors champion is now 13-10, but he has a chance to emerge as the Matt Brown of the flyweight division. He started off his career with six losses in his first 10 fights, but he’s 6-2 over his last eight outings. The Irishman may have five submission wins to accompany six victories by some form of knockout, but he’s not going to find much success on the ground with the UFC’s core group of flyweight contenders.

His boxing, however, could take him far. He was able to go three full rounds with Pickett, who was ranked among the top-10 bantamweights before dropping to 125 pounds. That’s a strong first outing and one that indicates that Seery could carve a nice little niche for himself as a tough test for any flyweight in the UFC. He won’t win them all, but he’ll stay competitive, even in losing performances.

Potential: Low to Medium