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 onto 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 HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, for UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia, four fighters will be fighting for their jobs.

Guido Cannetti

Heading into UFC 190 on Saturday evening, Cannetti must win if he wants to get a third opportunity in the UFC Octagon. In his UFC debut at UFC 180, Cannetti was submitted in the second round by Enrique Briones. Cannetti must — at the very least — have a good showing if he doesn’t want to head back to the South American circuit.

Antonio Silva

Silva is in a bad spot heading into UFC 190. The Brazilian is winless in his last four bouts, he has a failed drug test on his record and he has been knocked out in each of his last three losses. Taking on a brutal striker in Soa Palelei Silva, he could be in a lot of trouble. The UFC heavyweight division is thin, but not thin enough to keep a fighter who is 0-4 with 1 No Contest in his last five bouts should he lose on Saturday. It’s put up or shut up time for Silva.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

This is painful to even think about as Nogueira is an absolute legend in the sport, but another loss could spell the end of his illustrious career. Nogueira has had some good moments in the UFC, but ever since his first loss to Frank Mir, he has never been the same. Just 1-3 in his last four with mounting physical issues, Nogueira might just need to step away from the sport, win, lose or draw.

Mauricio Rua

Much like Nogueira, Rua is a legend in the sport of MMA, but all of the physical wars he has been through over the years have taken a toll on his body and his performance. Rua is just 1-4 in his last five bouts and he has been finished three times, including coming of off back-to-back knockouts heading into UFC 190. Still relatively young at 33, Rua could right the ship and that may keep him safe, but another loss would make keeping him a tough sell.

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.