At UFC Fight Night 36, four middleweights will make their cases for a shot at the winner of an upcoming title fight between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort.
In the main event, Lyoto Machida will welcome Gegard Mousasi back to 185 pounds. Also, Ronaldo Souza and Francis Carmont will look to remain undefeated inside the Octagon in a co-main event bout against one another.
Before the feature fights are held, though, many hungry prospects will battle to climb the ladder in their respective divisions. Others will simply be competing to hang on to their positions on the UFC roster, and it is those fighters who follow.
At 24 years old, Charles Oliveira is still one of the brighter Brazilian prospects competing inside the Octagon. For that reason, the UFC brass will be looking for any reason to keep giving him chances.
Still, "Do Bronx" hasn't been able to showcase his abilities in tough matchups recently against featherweight contenders Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson.
Oliveira will find himself in a more winnable bout with Andy Ogle on Saturday. With the step down in competition comes increased expectations for the Brazilian, though. A third straight loss won't guarantee Oliveira's release in this situation, but he will need to perform somewhat well.
Losing badly in a lackluster contest could result in a surprisingly early end to his UFC run.
Cristiano Marcello and Joe Proctor
Following a loss to Sam Sicilia in his UFC debut, The Ultimate Fighter veteran Cristiano Marcello was fortunate to get another fight inside the Octagon.
He made the most of the opportunity, beating Reza Madadi at UFC 153. However, with a recent loss to Kazuki Tokudome, Marcello is now 1-2 under the UFC banner, and his victory over Madadi came via split decision. Should he lose to Joe Proctor this weekend, Marcello would be in danger of losing his UFC job.
Who will win?
Proctor, meanwhile, has been occupying a UFC roster position without competing in the past 14 months. He was scheduled to face Al Iaquinta last April at UFC 159, but the match was cancelled after a training injury. Proctor hasn't won since his UFC debut more than 20 months ago.
Since neither Marcello nor Proctor have lost consecutive fights, the door will be open for the loser of this matchup to get one more shot to prove themselves inside the Octagon. However, look bad in a forgettable fight and one of these lightweights could be sent packing.
Standard practice these days is to give UFC newcomers, excluding those joining the promotion through TUF competition, two chances to pick up a win inside the Octagon.
In his first UFC appearance, Jesse Ronson was edged by Michel Prazeres in a split decision. That puts him in a situation where he must get his hand raised against another Brazilian, Francisco Trinaldo, on Saturday.
Although he's an underdog heading into UFC Fight Night 36, Ronson will need a win or a Fight of the Night candidate to keep his UFC career going.