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 two newcomers from UFC 172.

Chris Beal — second-round knockout victory over Patrick Williams

Chris Beal’s stunning flying-knee knockout of Patrick Williams was one of the many highlight finishes from UFC 172. However, it’s hardly enough to suggest that Beal has a bright future in the UFC.

Prior to the sudden end to the fight, Beal was attempting to use his technical striking to score points against Williams while also avoiding the Arizona State wrestler’s unorthodox takedown attempts. Beal and Williams landed an almost equal amount of strikers in the first round, but Williams was able to take Beal down twice. Beal started off the second round with a higher percentage of strikes landed right up until he scored the knockout blow.

Beal doesn’t tend to flash a lot of power in his fights, and he can be susceptible on the ground. Although his official record remains perfect, he was submitted in an exhibition bout on The Ultimate Fighter 18, where he saw his only competitive action of 2013. After qualifying for the house with a two-round decision win, he succumbed to eventual TUF winner Chris Holdsworth via guillotine choke in their elimination-round fight. His overall record contains just three wins by some form of knockout, and that includes the victory at UFC 172. Meanwhile, he’s taken six wins on the scorecards. Most of his wins, including two split verdicts, came under the BAMMA USA banner. Those split decisions came against opponents who now hold career marks of 4-3 and 8-6.

Beal can certainly outwork low-level opponents, but he’s even struggled on that front at times. His knockout finish of Williams is a highlight, for sure, but that can’t be expected from the boxer in every UFC outing. His usual M.O. will be to score points and look for the judges’ nod. That will get increasingly difficult as the bantamweight fighter encounters increasingly solid wrestlers inside the Octagon. Beal might be able to serve as a gatekeeper to the UFC’s lowest levels, but that’s the likely ceiling for 28-year-old.

Potential: Low

Patrick Williams — second-round knockout loss to Chris Beal

After a close first round against Chris Beal, all it took was one flying knee to end Patrick Williams’ night on a bad note.

Beal will certainly be applauded for his performance, but until he landed the knee, it was Williams who delivered the more entertaining performance. He tended to start his takedown attempts from much farther out than the average wrestler and also used that lunging approach to land unorthodox strikes from odd angles.

Entertaining doesn’t always translate to good, however. Williams’ style not only tests his gas tank, but also allows opponents to time counters. He doesn’t cover up well as he closes the distance, and this could lead to more knockout losses. When he does get rocked, he has a tendency to turn and run, and that won’t endear him to anyone, ranging from the UFC brass to the officials and judges.

The 32-year-old bantamweight already has four losses on an 11-fight record, which isn’t a good sign. He did keep the first round close against Beal, but he also turned and ran at times. Furthermore, he has already suffered three stoppage losses, including two by way of knockout.

The lack of a chin and his tendency to leave that chin exposed makes for a bad combination. Williams’ instinct to run, more than anything else, will probably cost him a second chance with the UFC. Even if he does enter the Octagon for a second time, the likelihood that he emerges with a win is slim.

Potential: Low