Forgive me in advance for a generally weak concept for a post, but bear with me.
I feel like fighters are basically put into a certain mold very early on in their career now, and it is very hard to break that mold.
Spike TV Fighters
There are a certain breed of fighter, the Nate Diaz's, the Gray Maynard's, the Clay Guida's, and numerous other fighters who basically only appear on free-to-TV cards or at least the free portion of a PPV. It seems if you start on these free cards, you're kept there until you wash out of the UFC onto prelims or really work your ass off to make it to the PPV cards. Basically, starting on a Spike-TV card is a rough way to begin your MMA career.
I don't know why it is but once you're done your season of TUF, it seems like your next few fights are gonna be against your former castmates. Maybe it's because the timing works out well for scheduling your next fight, but it just seems like an odd pattern and aside from convenience to the matchmaker it seems terrible for a fighters development.
It seems to me like they're keeping a lot of former WEC fighters on the Versus cards. Do they believe there are viewers of Versus who already know WEC fighters? If feels like they're almost saying they don't believe these lighter weight classes can hold their weight anywhere else...
Two wins from a title shot at all times
There are just a bunch of guys who just seem like they are ready to be vaulted back into the title picture at the slightest sign of a career resurgence. Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, BJ Penn, Kenny Florian, etc. It just seems like there are certain guys out there, not a whole lot, but certain guys that the UFC just wants to put in the title picture. Being one of those guys must be awesome.
You had your shot, now retire or die, we don't care
Despite impressive records some guys just never catch breaks until their streak runs out and now it's justifiable to get them out of the title picture. Maybe it's because of the logjam in the LW division, but consider Melvin Guillard, George Sotiropolous, Dennis Siver, Jim Miller. In any division these guys would have probably had title shots already, but they're still just being kept a fight away, chasing that carrot. I really hope Jim Miller pulls through, that guy deserves it more than anyone on this list.
Those are all the types I can think of at the moment, feel free to criticize my current list or even create productive debate and add your own category.