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 Ginasio do Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare, six fighters will be fighting to stay in the UFC.

Loser of Jorge de Oliveira vs. Christos Giagos

Oliveira and Giagos both are heading into UFC Fight Night 62 needing a win to stay in the organization. Both men lost their UFC debuts in 2014 and in the hyper competitive lightweight division, fighters who go 0-2 to start generally don’t get another opportunity.

Loser of Leonardo Mafra vs. Cain Carrizosa

Carrizosa and Mafra both have a lot of promise, but both men lost decisively in their UFC debuts; Carrizosa was submitted by Chris Wade and Mafra was submitted by Rick Story. As mentioned above the UFC lightweight division is no joke and unproven fighters cannot afford to lose back-to-back bouts.

Shayna Baszler

Baszler is one of the true pioneers of women’s MMA as she has been competing professionally for over a decade now. But after getting TKO’d in her UFC debut last August the long time vet has her back against the wall. Baszler is just 1-3 in her last four, so winning on Saturday wouldn’t just save her UFC career, it would reinvigorate her pro career.

Josh Koscheck

Koscheck is arguably the biggest name fighter on Saturday’s card, but he also happens to be the fighter in the direst need of a win. Koscheck has lost four in a row and has been finished in his last three outings. Once one of the best welterweights in the world, it’s clear that Koscheck is no longer elite. Another loss would mark the end of Koscheck’s career.

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.