UFC 154 Fight Card: Which Fighter Has the Most to Lose?

Andrew Saunders@SaundersMMACorrespondent IINovember 16, 2012

Courtesy of ESPN.com
Courtesy of ESPN.com

Saturday night, the UFC rolls into Montreal for a ruckus night of action and combat entertainment. At UFC 154, the world's top welterweights will meet in fights that will have tremendous and lasting impact on the division.

With 13 total fights on the card, there are several pugilists who have a lot on the line. Returning champion Georges St-Pierre is looking to return successfully in defense of his title. Meanwhile, interim champion Carlos Condit hopes to become an undisputed title holder.

Even the bottom of the card has important ramifications. The winner of the curtain-jerker between Darren Elkins and Steven Siler will have an impressive four-fight win streak in the featherweight division. 

But for every star who has something to gain, there is someone who is also on the cusp of losing everything that they have worked so hard to achieve.

Who has the most to lose? Some might argue that it's St-Pierre. After all, the longtime champion is risking his belt against a man who is seen by many as a partial champion. If "Rush" loses the fight, he loses his belt, his momentum and his status as a top pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

In my opinion, the severity of GSP's injury is what prevents him from having the most to lose. No matter what, if Carlos Condit gets his hand raised on Saturday night, it will not be because people think he was better. Instead of giving credit where it is due, you are going to hear every fan in the world scream that GSP had ring rust and that the injury took too much of a toll.

So if GSP isn't the man with the most to lose, who is?

Johny Hendricks and Martin Kampmann each have their eyes on a future title shot. Whoever comes out victorious in their bout will likely get their wish, assuming that the champ doesn't end up across the cage from Anderson Silva in May.

Because a title shot isn't guaranteed for the winner, I can't say that either man has anything more to lose than the momentum that they have built over the last year.

Instead of these men, the fighter with the most to lose on Saturday night is none other than Carlos Condit.

"The Natural Born Killer" entered the UFC as the final welterweight champion of the WEC. Since that time, he has struggled to earn convincing wins, even when his opponents were unranked. With a split decision win against Jake Ellenberger and a come-from-behind victory against Rory MacDonald, many expected Condit to burn out against the top dogs in the UFC.

Although neither Dan Hardy nor Dong Hyun Kim were ranked particularly high, Condit's first round knockouts convinced many that he was ready for a chance against the division's elite.

Still doubted by many, Condit met Nick Diaz in a fight where he was a sizable underdog in a fight for the interim title. After outstriking and outpointing Diaz, Condit finally strapped a UFC championship around his waist. However, due to the nationwide debate over scoring criteria, many still argue that Diaz was robbed on the scorecards.

The long, hard climb to the top for Condit has come to this: a title fight against Georges St-Pierre 13 months after it was originally scheduled. If Condit comes up short on Saturday night, expect to hear cynics decry him as little more than an overrated fraud who didn't deserve his "fake belt" in the first place.

To go from a world champion in the largest fight organization in existence down to a perceived phony who is unworthy of his spot in the division's rankings is about as far of a drop as a man can make within a single fight.

Stay tuned to Bleacher Report MMA for all things UFC 154, including previews, live coverage and post-fight analysis.