For a fighter, making it to the UFC is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication; countless hours of blood, sweat and tears being poured on to training mats. 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 Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., for UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold, three fighters will be fighting for their jobs.

Chris Dempsey

Dempsey earned his spot in the UFC after compiling eight straight wins on the regional circuit. But in his UFC debut, Dempsey was knocked out by Ilir Latifi in the very first round. That’s not the kind of first impression a fighter wants to make on the UFC brass. Now Dempsey is in a must win situation against a fighter in Eddie Gordon who won season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter.

Diego Brandao

In all likelihood, Brandao will be safe if he loses, but anytime a fighter drops three in a row in the UFC they are walking a fine line. But when you factor in that Brandao was the season 14 winner of The Ultimate Fighter and that he was 4-1 prior to his back-to-back loses you have to like his chances of staying with the organization should he lose. But stranger things have happened and the UFC has released much better fighters for much less.

Chris Camozzi

Most of the time when a fighter take a fight on short notice for the UFC they are rewarded with another opportunity in the Octagon regardless of the outcome of their short notice fight. But given that this marks Camozzi’s third stint with the organization, he likely won’t be given any latitude. He needs to impress – not win – just impress against Jacare Souza. If this bout goes anything like his first bout against Souza, then Camozzi can expect to be fighting on the regional circuit once more.

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.