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 the UFC heads to the American Airlines Center in Dallas for UFC 185: Pettis vs. dos Anjos, six fighters will be fighting to stay in the UFC.

Jake Lindsey

After joining the UFC as an undefeated prospect, Lindsey has quickly gone 0-2 inside the Octagon; both loses coming by way of stoppage. The UFC’s lightweight division is as deep as they come and starting 0-3 would guarantee Lindsey a ticket back to the regional circuit.

Ryan Benoit

Even though the UFC flyweight division is extremely thin, starting your UFC career 0-2 is not a good thing. Benoit is coming off of a “Fight of the Night” performance in his UFC debut, but at the end of the day a loss is a loss. It’s been over a year since Benoit last stepped foot inside the Octagon because of an injury, so all that goodwill he earned in his debut has long been forgotten. Benoit needs to win if he wants to stick around.

Josh Copeland

Much like in the flyweight division, the UFC’s heavyweight division lacks overall depth, but that doesn’t mean fighters can loss and expect to stay in the organization. Copeland is a solid talent, but his UFC debut wasn’t impressive and he needs a good showing Saturday to stay in the promotion.

Henry Cejudo

Cejudo’s name might be a big surprise because he is an undefeated super prospect with an Olympic gold medal, but his back is against the wall heading into UFC 185. Unlike everyone else though, Cejudo’s biggest challenge will be on Friday night at the weigh in. Cejudo has had several issues making 125 in the past and it has resulted in a handful of fights being cancelled at the last minute; including his original UFC debut. If he flakes out or misses weight, expect to see the UFC drop the hammer on him.

Loser of Roy Nelson vs. Alistair Overeem

Nelson and Overeem are two of the most recognizable heavyweights in the UFC today, but both men are just 2-3 in their last five bouts. Because of the lack of depth in the division and both fighters’ ability to produce highlight reel finishes, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the UFC keep the loser of this bout. But at the same time, losing four out of six puts them in danger of getting the ax.

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.