At UFC Fight Night 47, Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux will attempt to continue their respective climbs toward the top of the light heavyweight division.
With back-to-back wins since his loss to Glover Teixeira, Bader is about ready to get another crack at a Top Five 205-pounder. Before then, he'll have to go through St. Preux, who has not lost in his four UFC appearances and now has a spot in the Top 10 rankings.
Bader and St. Preux clearly have a good amount of job security heading into the weekend, but multiple UFC Fight Night 47 competitors could be fighting to save their jobs. Here are the individuals sitting on hot seats heading into Saturday's event in Bangor, Maine.
He's only three fights removed from his memorable pair of lightweight title fights with Frankie Edgar, but Gray Maynard has quickly fallen further from 155-pound title contention.
In his past two outings, Maynard has been knocked out by Nate Diaz and T.J. Grant in the opening round. While losing to those very tough lightweights wouldn't put most fighters in this position, Maynard may need a win over Ross Pearson on Saturday to keep his spot on the UFC roster.
Losing to Pearson, who does not currently own a spot in the Top 15 lightweight rankings, would effectively eliminate Maynard as a contender in the division. At The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale, his most recent appearance, Maynard had the largest reported salary on the fight card despite losing to Diaz badly. If Maynard can't remain relevant in the 155-pound title picture, he may have to choose between a cut in pay and working with a smaller MMA promotion.
Shawn Jordan and Jack May
Who will win?
While the UFC heavyweight division could use some depth, it doesn't seem likely that the loser of this matchup will stick around.
Consecutive knockout wins over Mike Russow and Pat Barry had Shawn Jordan looking like a potential contender in the heavyweight division midway through 2013. The Savage hit a wall when he was matched up with Gabriel Gonzaga, though. Jordan was knocked out by the Brazilian and then suffered another opening-round knockout loss to Matt Mitrione in March.
Although Jordan is one of the more athletic heavyweights on the UFC roster, his technique hasn't caught up with his physical assets. Should he lose a third straight fight, this time against an opponent without a UFC victory, Jordan will be looking for a new promotion.
At 33 years old, Jack May got a late start to his UFC career in April. The kickboxer didn't have much chance to showcase his skills, as he was knocked out by Derrick Lewis in the first round. While Jordan isn't an easy matchup by any stretch, May can't afford to fall to 0-2 inside the Octagon, as that almost always results in a fighter being released.
A Jackson-Wink MMA fighter with solid experience prior to joining the world's top MMA organization, Tom Watson looked to be a solid addition to the UFC middleweight division. However, he has mostly been a flop through four Octagon appearances.
Since his lone UFC win over Stanislav Nedkov, Watson has suffered two straight decision losses. Unable to defend his opponents' takedowns, Watson was shut down on the ground by Thales Leites and Nick Catone, showing that he has a major weakness that Sam Alvey might look to exploit on Saturday.
Making his official UFC debut this weekend, Alvey is an adversary Watson needs to beat in order to prove he deserves a position on the UFC roster. Losing to the TUF 16 contestant, unless it's in a Fight of the Night effort, would likely lead to Watson being cut by the UFC brass.