The shelf life of the average UFC fighter in the world’s top promotion doesn’t last very long.

It takes hard work, confidence, and hours upon hours to be able to work through the sweat and tears just to get there.  And once you achieve it, it’s even harder to stay there.

You have to be able to take the pressure that comes with standing under the bright lights, fighting someone who did everything you did, and having confidence in your craft. One must truly believe deep down that they are capable of accomplishing great things. Martial artists don’t get too many chances to figure it out, so you better hit the ground running.

Three losses in a row is mostly a ‘death sentence’ for your time there, two losses in a row can also be enough to point you to the exit, and even sometimes, a single loss can be all it takes to be shown the door if your performance wasn’t exciting enough for the fans watching.

On January 30, UFC on FOX 18 will present two light heavyweights in the main event in Anthony Johnson vs. Ryan Bader, going up against each other in hope to leave that night victorious and with contender discussion surrounding them.

In preparation for this event, just as we always do here on ‘Hot Seat’, we will take a close look at who has more to lose that Saturday evening than just a ‘loss’ on their professional record.

 

Jake Ellenberger

‘The Juggernaut’ has had it rough lately, only collecting one win in his past five bouts against a down-spiraling Josh Koscheck, who is now signed with Bellator. Ellenberger is still competitive, but his record doesn’t show it. He is an ‘all or nothing’ fighter, either taking someone out or someone is taking him out, and more often than not recently, people have been leaving him on the canvas to face the bright lights in the ceiling. ‘The Juggernaut’ doesn’t get easy bookings, facing former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine next, but compassion is not a trait UFC practice. Another loss, and Ellenberger is probably joining the free agency market.

 

Carlos Diego Ferreira

With an impressive start to his UFC career, two stoppage wins and a bonus check collected in each fight for ‘Performance of the Night’ and ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, Ferreira has hit a rough patch and is currently on a two fight lose skid, with the most recent one was a devastating knockout by ‘The Diamond’ who made his lightweight debut that night. This could be a now or never time to change things, otherwise the UFC captains might ask him to walk the plank.

 

Alexander Yakovlev

Although just snapping his losing streak by beating a known guy in Gray Maynard saved him from certain deportation from UFC, for the moment, I don’t believe that win did much for him beside getting him a second wind and a fourth fight in the UFC. From coming off two decision losses before that, Yakovlev signed his ticket to the big promotion by defeating a well known welterweight in Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley. An impressive task to say the least, however, Yakovlev needs to regain himself and be comfortable inside the Octagon, get that stoppage victory that often means more than a win by decision, and show to the brass, the expiration date on this 31-year-old has not happened and should still be used on future cards.

 

Alex ‘Bruce Leeroy’ Caceres

Unfortunately, fan favorite ‘Bruce Leeroy’ from The Ultimate Fighter season 12 is forced to take control of his destiny if he wants to avoid having his name on that tweet of fighters that has been cut (By the way UFC, give the guys a courtesy call, would you please?). We all love seeing him walking out to the octagon in a yellow Bruce Lee tracksuit and throw down, but this former backyard street fighter needs to come out of this with his hand raised, otherwise..

 

Damon Jackson

Here is a special case, Jackson came to the promotion on a nine fight win streak and has fought on the big stage twice, but having lost both, were of the last one was later changed to a ‘No Contest’ after Rony Jason tested positive for PED and suspended for nine months. Jackson is hoping the third time’s a charm, otherwise, this 27-year-old needs to hit the regional circuit and work his way back. If he is banking on matchmakers to have a heart for his situation of facing cheaters, it’s a dangerous bet to cling your hopes on if the night doesn’t go your way.

 

Tony Martin

In the short time Martin has been in the UFC, this is his second time with his back against the wall. Last time, he got away from it and pulled out a Kimura to win, but the fight after that, he lost again. So here we are for the second time, trying to avoid the fat lady singing, facing a UFC newcomer who hasn’t lost by submission in his professional career, which unfortunately for Martin, is his strong suit. A victory here though, especially if it comes by the way of a submission, would give him some breathing room, job security and opportunity to fight another day.

 

Matt Dwyer

Even though he is fighting on the early prelims portion of the card on Saturday, Dwyer’s contest is not flying under the radar. Why, you ask? Well, his opposition is the next guy picked from Dana White´s reality show Lookin’ For A Fight. The first one was ‘Super’ Sage Northcutt, who we all know has been making loud noise with his short time being there and with the massive potential of becoming a future star for the promotion. The second fighter picked up is no other than the 6-0, Randy ‘ Rude Boy’ Brown, and people’s expectations and hopes of him going the same projection as Northcutt is a party. Dwyer needs to crash and show everybody, he is not only game, but a winner. The former Ring of Combat welterweight champion needs to stop this hype train before ever taking off, otherwise, his career could be on the line with a pink slip hiding in his future.

About The Author

Christian Larusson
Staff Writer

Christian Larusson is a passionate Mixed Martial Arts fan. With experience in writing for Swedish MMA sites, he now solely writes in English through blogging, PunchDrunkSports and The MMA Corner. Got his heart broken early in his life when a friend, ‘Judas’, told him that WWE/WWF wasn’t real. Then one day, he saw MMA on a friend's computer, he was overwhelmed with emotions from what his eyes had just seen. He´s been in love ever since. Christian has been published in different Swedish papers and books, nothing to do with MMA though, so who gives a shh-.