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 the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, for UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Oliveira, three fighters will be fighting for their jobs.

Loser of Sam Stout vs. Frankie Perez

In the feature bout of the preliminary card, longtime Stout takes on a relative newcomer in Perez; the winner will continue their UFC career, while the loser’s job will be at risk. A 19 fight veteran of the UFC, Stout has been a part of six bouts that won “Fight of the Night” and he is known for putting on exciting bouts. But at just 1-3 in his last four bouts, and coming off of back-to-back losses for the first time since 2008, Stout’s place in the UFC is in jeopardy.

Perez on the other hand is a talented young up and comer who entered the UFC with high expectations. But after losing by TKO in his UFC debut, Perez desperately needs to score a win here in his second outing. The UFC lightweight division is extremely deep and competitive and fighters cannot afford to lose two in a row to start their UFC careers.

Josh Burkman

After going just 5-5 in the Octagon his first time around, Burkman was cut from the UFC in 2008. Over the next six years, Burkman would compile a record of 9-2 and eventually earn his way back to the UFC. But since returning to the big show, Burkman has been less than spectacular. In his first outing, Burkman was outclassed by Hector Lombard.

Even though that loss was overturned to a No Contest due to a failed drug test by Lombard, Burkman’s inability to be competitive in that fight is still memorable. Then in his last outing at UFC 187, Burkman was submitted by Dong Hyun Kim. Simply put, Burkman cannot afford another loss or poor showing.

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.