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. Fighters who lose three straight are almost always guaranteed their release from the organization.

When the UFC heads to Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico, for UFC 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum, five fighters will be fighting for their jobs.

Patrick Williams

The flying knee knockout is a beautiful site to see and something that sticks in everyone’s’ mind. The problem with that though is everyone remembers the loser of the bout getting belted in the face with a vicious knee strike. That’s exactly where Williams is coming into this bout. Losing your UFC debut is bad enough, but losing in highlight reel fashion immediately puts a fighter on the chopping block. Another loss for Williams and he will no longer compete in the UFC.

Drew Dober

Dober got hosed in his last outing, but the CABMMA made it right by changing the result of his last bout from a submission loss to a No Contest. But even though Dober got a reprieve last time out, he is still a fighter with only one win in four Octagon appearances. The 26-year-old is talented, but talent mean nothing if he can’t deliver wins.

Nate Marquardt

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Remember when Marquardt was considered to be one of the best fighters in the world? That is certainly not the case anymore. Marquardt is simply hanging on by a thread and he cannot afford another loss. Since returning to the UFC, Marquardt is just 1-3 and he has been on the wrong end of two brutal first round knockouts.

Loser of Gilbert Melendez vs. Eddie Alvarez

In all honesty, win or lose, Melendez and Alvarez are both safe at the moment. But you can only trade on name value and past titles so long. Both men are former champions from other organizations, but neither has found great success in the Octagon. A loss here for either fighter would move them further down the ladder. The further they drop, the harder it is to justify their salaries.

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.