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 back-to-back bouts 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 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz, four fighters will be fighting to stay in the UFC.

Loser of Thiago Santos vs. Andy Enz

UFC 183 kicks off its preliminary card action with middleweight bout between Santos and Enz to decide who stays and who heads back to the regional circuit. Santos is 1-2 in the Octagon while Enz is 0-2, so both men are hanging on by a thread at this point. Enz might have a little more leeway heading into this bout as he is only 23 years old, but going 0-3 is not a great way to start a UFC career.

Richardson Moreira

Moreira made his UFC debut in front of a home crowd at UFC Fight Night: Miocic vs. Maldonado in May of 2014 and he was knocked out in just 20 seconds. If Moreira wants to stay in the UFC, he has to win. An impressive performance might keep him around for a future card in Brazil, but even that’s doubtful considering how bad he was beaten in his debut. Moreira’s back is against the wall and he is facing a fighter who is hungry to rebound from a loss.

Tim Boetsch

Even though Boetsch is coming off of an impressive “Performance of the Night” win over talented up-and-comer Brad Tavares, his back is against the wall at UFC 183. At just 2-3 in his last five outings, Boetsch is heading in the wrong direction is a division that has become ultra-competitive. Once a barren wasteland ruled by Anderson Silva, the UFC middleweight division has become one of the most interesting divisions in all of MMA and it is loaded with talent at the top end. Boetsch doesn’t necessarily need a win to keep his job in the organization as he some quality wins, but he does need a good showing. If Thales Leites comes in and utterly dominates him, he could be gone.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.