Saturday night will feature the culmination of years of hard work mixed with some success and a lot of failure for the Strikeforce promotion. The promotion's final card features some big names, but also big mismatches.
With so many names on the card predicted to win and win big, which one has the most to lose should an upset occur?
It'd be easy to say Nate Marquardt or Josh Barnett, due to the nature of their mismatches, but both likely know their fate if they lose. Barnett has been in Dana White's dog house for years and isn't guaranteed a roster spot even if he wins. Marquardt has been on good terms with the UFC, despite his impromptu firing, but will likely get another chance to step in the Octagon with a win or a loss.
That leaves just one of Strikeforce's big names who stands to lose the most with a loss—Daniel "DC" Cormier. The former Olympian skyrocketed up the heavyweight rankings after winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and will likely be put "in the mix" for a heavyweight title shot (should Cain Velasquez drop the belt) or light heavyweight if he chooses to drop down in weight.
However, a loss will likely be a monumental setback for the AKA fighter. His opponent Dion Staring is a relative unknown and is also predicted to lose by a wide margin. Anything less than pure domination by "DC" will ultimately be viewed as a failure.
At 33 years old, Cormier may not get enough time to make another title run if he loses to Staring. With the UFC placing themselves on a pedestal far above the Strikeforce level, a loss in a Strikeforce cage is a virtual death sentence in terms of UFC rankings.
Adding in Cormier's tendency to injure his hand could mean Cormier not only plummets down the rankings but also fails to get another immediate opportunity to bounce back. For someone like Cormier who has years of competition under his belt, time isn't a luxury.