The UFC roster seems rather large right now with more than 400 fighters under contract, but there are always hungry up-and-comers looking to add their names to that list.
It's a dog-eat-dog world for young fighters trying to land on the radar of UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby, and it really comes down to separating themselves from a pack of thousands all looking for that same opportunity.
With a 9-3 record overall, former Ultimate Fighter hopeful Steve Magdaleno is hoping to make the kind of impressive run to where the UFC can't ignore him forever. Magdaleno took a shot at making the Ultimate Fighter cast back for season 12, but things didn't go his way that day, so he's rededicated himself even more to earn a chance to fight in the Octagon.
As he stares ahead at his fight in BAMMA USA this weekend, Magdaleno knows he's got the talent to hang with the best in the UFC, it's just a matter of getting the chance to prove it.
"I feel I'm already there now," Magdaleno told Bleacher Report. "I've trained with a lot of UFC guys for many, many years. I feel like I'm at that point. My last three fights have been knockouts and I've been in this game for a long time. I just need the chance, but I feel like I'm there already."
It takes more than just a winning streak these days to get a call from the UFC, and Magdaleno is well aware of that. The UFC likes to see fighters face good competition outside of the promotion as well as put on a show in those fights.
Magdaleno believes his style is tailor made for the UFC, and if he keeps racking up knockout after knockout, they can't help but pay attention eventually.
"My style tends to lend itself to finishing fights because I think I'm dangerous everywhere. There's that element where I feel like I do want to finish the fight, I feel like I have that need to finish the fight. It's kind of the nature of the beast. Early in my career, I got a couple of decisions, but now I'm good everywhere and I feel like 'end the fight standing or on the ground.' It's not that much pressure because wherever the fight goes, I can finish it," said Magdaleno.
The tough part of being a fighter in his position is that there are no guarantees. The UFC could come calling after his next fight or it could be five fights from now, there are no set guidelines for what it takes to receive an offer from the UFC.
Magdaleno is realistic and knows that he may not get the call today, tomorrow, next week or even next month. His job is to win, win convincingly, and the rest will work itself out.
"I'm already thinking two or three fights from now in my head. It does get trying at times, so there definitely is some frustration, but you can't let it get to you. I'm a pretty patient guy," said Magdaleno. "As long as I keep beating good-level opponents and doing it in convincing fashion, they have to notice."
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.