Meet your UFC rookies

Patrick Barry will give Dan Evensen all he can handle at UFC 92
Patrick Barry makes his UFC debut at UFC 92

Where is a place all champions have been but never want to return? It’s a place where dues are paid and checks are made. It’s a proving ground, a place to show your skills and put on a show. It’s a place where a fighter wants to do their absolute best even though the majority of people may never even see it.

It’s been said that the loneliest place in the world is inside the Octagon. If that is true, then inside the Octagon, ON THE UNDERCARD is the loneliest place in the universe.

The UFC has used their undercards for years to bring in new talent, test them out, and see what they are made of.  Hopefully, the fighters do well enough they can one day fight on the main card.

However, there have been countless fighters who came into the UFC, fought and lost one fight on the undercard and were never seen inside the Octagon again. They made it briefly to the big stage but their time was cut short; they showed great potential but were not ready.

There are a number of fighters who are at that place right now. Over the next couple of months these young mixed martial artists will be stepping into the Octagon for their very first time. Some are well-seasoned and some are still fairly green. All of them are warriors, but the day is soon coming which will tell if they are at the elite level needed to remain part of the UFC for an extended period.

Some of these names you may never hear of again. Some of them may be future UFC champions. They are from different camps and different parts of the world, but one thing each of these fighters has in common is that in the upcoming weeks and months each one will be living their dream for at least one night as they make their UFC debut.

Appearing at UFC 92:
Patrick Barry – 3-0 heavyweight from New Orleans, fighting Dan Evensen
Mike Wessel – 6-0 heavyweight from Arkansas, fighting Antoni Hardonk
Mustapha Al Turk – 6-3 heavyweight from England, fighting Cheick Kongo

Appearing at UFC 93:
Thomas Egan – 3-0 welterweight from England, fighting John Hathaway
John Hathaway – 9-0 welterweight from England, fighting Thomas Egan
Ivan Serati – 10-2 heavyweight from from Italy, fighting Thomasz Drval
Alexandre “Baxinho” Barros – 13-5 middleweight from Brazil, fighting Martin Kampman

Appearing at UFC 94:
John “Doomsday” Howard – 10-4 middleweight IFL veteran, fighting Chris Wilson

Appearing at UFC 95:
Jeff Lawson – 12-2 lightweight from England, fighting Shannon Gugerty

That’s nine rookie UFC fighters in four shows. With all the big names on these cards it’s easy to overlook how much fresh talent the UFC is bringing in.  Take a good look at the names, it may be the last time you see some of them.

There are some other fighters who have recently signed on with the UFC but have not yet officially been assigned a fight. Some of these new arrivals to the UFC are: Neil Grove, Denis Stojnic, Stefan Struve, and Ronnys Torres.

-Jack Bratcher