As a fighter making it to the UFC is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication…unless you are a WWE star off 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 Ginasio Gigantinho in Porto Alegre, Brazil, for UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Mir eleven fighters will be fighting to stay in the UFC. Essentially UFC Fight Night 61 is the UFC’s version of early spring cleaning.

Loser of Josh Shockley vs. Ivan Jorge

Kicking off UFC Fight Night 61’s preliminary card action is a lightweight bout between Ivan Jorge and Josh Shockley. Both men need a win to stay in the UFC’s hyper-competitive lightweight division. Shockley is coming off of a TKO loss in his UFC debut while Jorge is coming off of a decision loss to Rodrigo Damm. Given that Jorge is 1-1 in the UFC, a loss might not necessarily spell the end for the Brazilian, but having not competed in over a year, he needs to strong showing to buy some more time.

Loser of Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Cody Gibson

In the second bout of the evening, bantamweights Douglas Silva de Andrade and Cody Gibson compete to stay in the UFC. At just 1-2 in the Octagon Gibson has shown flashes, but he can’t afford another loss; a 1-3 record in the UFC is chopping block worthy. Silva de Andrade on the other hand is making his second UFC appearance after coming up short against Zubaira Tukhugov in his debut. Given Silva de Andrade’s 18 career knockout victories, he may be given a little extra slack, but going 0-2 would instill much confidence in his position long term.

Loser of Wendell Oliveira vs. TJ Waldburger

The Fox Sports 1 portion of the preliminary cards kicks off with a welterweight bout between striker Wendell Oliveira and grappler TJ Waldburger. Oliveira was knocked out in his UFC debut last September and another loss would all but guarantee his release from the promotion. Waldburger on the other hand has four wins in the UFC, three by way of submission. But at just 1-3 in his last four bouts, including back to back knockout losses, Waldburger desperately needs a victory.

Mike de la Torre

Since joining the UFC last year, de la Torre has lost a close split decision to Mark Bocek and a No cContest against Brian Ortega; the No Contest was originally a submission loss, but because Ortega tested positive for a banned substance the result was overturned. The UFC featherweight division is getting deeper by the day and fighters simply cannot go winless in their first three Octagon appearances.

Loser of William Macario vs. Matt Dwyer

In the fifth bout of the evening, welterweight knockout artists William Macario and Matt Dwyer will step into the Octagon to duke it out to keep their place in the UFC. The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 welterweight runner-up Macario is just 1-2 in the Octagon and has been finished in both losses. Dwyer on the other hand will be making his return to the cage after being knocked out by Albert Tumenov in his UFC debut. Both of these fighters are young, motivated strikers with “Go Big or Go Home” mentalities, so both guys could hang on if they put on an exciting bout.

Loser of Frank Mir vs. Antonio Silva

Generally, you would expect a UFC main event to at least have title implications but not this time. UFC Fight Night 61 is headlined by heavyweight hangers on Frank Mir and Antonio Silva and it’s put up or shut up time for both men. Silva is winless in his last three outings while Mir hasn’t won a bout since December of 2011. The UFC heavyweight division may be thin, but it’s not bad enough to keep both of these guys on the roster after Sunday.