As a fighter, making it to the UFC is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication…unless you are a WWE star of course. But once they make it to the UFC, the hard work doesn’t stop; in fact things get more difficult for the fighters.

The UFC by nature breeds a competitive atmosphere, but that atmosphere is amplified by the fact that fighters are given only a handful of opportunities to prove they belong. Lose your UFC debut and you are lucky to get a second chance. Lose again and your back is against the wall. And fighters who lose three straight are almost always guaranteed their release from the organization.

When UFC heads to the TD Garden in Boston, MA on January 18, 2015 for UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver, six fighters will be fighting to keep their jobs.


Tateki Matsuda

Matsuda made his UFC debut in September; losing to Chris Beal via unanimous decision. Another loss on Sunday to Joby Sanchez would make him 0-2 in the Octagon and just 2-4 in his last six professional bouts…not the kind of record that keeps you in the UFC.

Sean O’Connell

O’Connell is coming off of back to back losses against Ryan Jimmo and Gian Villante and he is in a must win situation against Matt Van Buren. Rarely do unproven UFC fighters get a third fight after losing their first to bout. O’Connell is in desperate need of an impressive performance.

Sean Soriano

Soriano is an exciting and well-rounded prospect out of the Blackzilians but he has lost both of his UFC appearances to date; losing by submission to Tatsuya Kawajiri and dropping a unanimous decision to Chas Skelly. Even though Soriano has a lot of potential he has to win fights to stay in the organization. Going 0-3 on the big stage would send him right back to the regional circuit.

Shane Howell

After putting a six-fight win streak together to earn his shot in the UFC Howell was chocked out by Ray Borg in his UFC debut. Considering Howell fights in the very thin flyweight division a second loss might not be a guaranteed death nail but he needs a win if he wants to continue fighting for the big show.

Loser of John Howard vs. Lorenz Larkin

It seems like every event has one of these “loser goes home bouts” and UFC Fight Night 59 is no different. Howard and Larkin are both in desperate need of a win and the UFC is doing the right thing by allowing their talent to weed out the weak link in this matchup. The UFC welterweight division is one of the most competitive in all of MMA and there simply isn’t room in the UFC for fighters on extended losing streaks.