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 Fight Night 42.

Roger Narvaez — second-round TKO loss to Patrick Cummins

Roger Narvaez entered his Octagon debut as an undefeated fighter, but he quickly learned that competition at the UFC level far outweighs that of the regional circuit and promotions like Legacy FC. Narvaez was victimized by Patrick Cummins en route to a second-round TKO loss.

Narvaez was able to fend off the early takedown attempts of Cummins, but it wasn’t long before “The Silverback” was planted on the mat courtesy of a big Cummins takedown. On the mat, Narvaez tried to use wrist control and escape to his feet, but he ate a lot of punches for his troubles. He was repeatedly taken down, and eventually turtled up and succumbed to the TKO finish.

Cummins was fighting for his UFC career after losing to Daniel Cormier in his own recent debut with the big show. In other words, Narvaez was seeking his debut win against a fighter who is in the lower tiers of the division. Instead, Narvaez was dominated en route to a loss. That’s not a good sign for the 30-year-old fighter. However, Narvaez passed up a middleweight title bid under the Legacy banner to serve as a late replacement in this light heavyweight fight. The UFC tends to reward fighters who step up on short notice, so there’s a good chance Narvaez could see a sophomore appearance. His performance against Cummins proves that he does not belong at 205 pounds, though.

If he does receive a second chance, he should fight as a middleweight, where he might be able to find more success. Yet, his inability to avoid takedowns and his vulnerability to taking ground-and-pound beatings could remain an obstacle to his sustained success inside the Octagon.

Potential: Low

Jake Lindsey — third-round TKO loss to Jon Tuck

Roger Narvaez wasn’t the only undefeated UFC rookie to suffer his first career loss at UFC Fight Night 42. Jake Lindsey also got his first taste of defeat when he verbally submitted to heel strikes to the body from Jon Tuck.

Lindsey’s best work came from the clinch, where he was able to land multiple knees to the body. However, his biggest strength also contributed to his biggest weakness: his submissiveness. Lindsey was all too willing to be turned into the cage by his opponent. Though he was still able to effectively land knees, this lack of positional control gives the edge to his opponents, who can dip down and snag a leg for a takedown or simply look to use a trip or leverage to put Lindsey on the canvas. Lindsey was able to escape from bad spots on the ground a couple of times, but he also allowed Tuck several moments of significant top control. In the end, it was Tuck’s ability to take Lindsey’s back and land those heel strikes that led to the finish.

Outside of the clinch, Lindsey’s stand-up leaves something to be desired. Despite four career wins by some form of knockout, Lindsey didn’t flash much power when he wasn’t throwing knees. Furthermore, he ate a number of Tuck’s jabs and displayed a hole in his boxing defense in allowing several big right hands to land near his ear.

Lindsey is a tough scrapper who could eventually settle in as an entry-level gatekeeper to the UFC’s ranks. However, the holes in his striking game and the ease with which opponents can take him down won’t do him any favors on his quest to collect a steady UFC paycheck.

Potential: Low