UFC 143: Are Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum on the Hot Seat?

Michael Evans@@MikeEvansMMACorrespondent IIIFebruary 4, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 30:  Mixed martial artist Roy Nelson arrives at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at the Palms Casino Resort November 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In a sense, all fighters are on the hot seat. The only fighters who make big dollars are the top guys, and there are only so many organizations that can pay that kind of dough.

In the UFC, it is far harder to win and keep one's job. Often times two losses in a row can be reason to be handed a pink slip. On other occasions, fighters are released after only one defeat in the Octagon.

There are many factors that come into play for certain. Some fighters get to keep going after a few losses and some don't, and there are always individual circumstances.

Recently, the subject of UFC fighter pay has been featured on ESPN Outside the Lines. The UFC has come under harsh scrutiny for how much of its profits that it shares with the fighters. Often times fighters at the top make millions and the average UFC Joe makes scraps.

However, the UFC gives many discretionary bonuses above and beyond the call of duty as well as fight night bonuses that are given after each event.

Neither Fabricio Werdum nor Roy Nelson have set the MMA world on fire with their careers in the Octagon. When Nelson first entered the UFC he rattled off a couple great knockout victories, but he then suffered two defeats to the likes of UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos and former heavyweight champion Frank Mir.

Nelson has since rebounded with a win over Mirko Cro Cop, but, considering Mirko was coming off of back-to-back knockout losses, the win is not as impressive as it would have been four or five years ago. Nelson needs to win or he may be one loss away from an exit from the UFC.

Fabricio Werdum returns to the UFC tonight, but he does so without a lot of job security. In his first tenure with the UFC he had mixed results. His record was 2-2, which is not bad.

However, most remember only his devastating knockout loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 90. That loss is memorable not only for how quickly Werdum was decimated, but also for how out of shape and uninterested he looked.

Werdum will need to impress UFC officials tonight if he wants to begin a new career in the UFC.

Are Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum on the hot seat tonight? I would say yes. Both men have something to prove to fans and the UFC brass.

The UFC is more competitive than ever and a great performance tonight would keep both men in the organization for the near future.