UFC 159: Which Fighter Has the Most to Lose?
UFC 159's main card has several interesting fights with a lot on the line.
The undercard features fighters outside the title picture in their respective divisions. Wins will naturally help their case, but it won't thrust any of them significantly up the ladder. A loss won't hurt their chances dramatically.
The main card is different.
It opens with a big fight in the lightweight division. Jim Miller is coming off a fight-of-the-year candidate against Joe Lauzon at UFC 155, and he is trying to get back into title contention. His opponent, Pat Healy, is trying to do the same.
In the light heavyweight division, Phil Davis will try to ruin Vinny Magalhaes' return to the UFC and assert himself back into the thick of things alongside Alexander Gustafsson. Davis was at one time right by Jon Jones as the new blood in the division, but Rashad Evans set him back.
Heavyweights Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo will try and knock each other out. A loss for either man will hurt their chances for a contender's bout in the near future. Nelson has won two in a row, and Kongo is coming off a lackluster win against Shawn Jordan.
Those men all have plenty to lose on Saturday, but a loss won't dramatically alter each man's current trajectory. It will simply send them back to the drawing board.
The man who has the most to immediately lose at UFC 159 is Michael Bisping.
Bisping may have lost by TKO to Vitor Belfort in his last fight, but Bisping remains one of the best middleweights in the world. Also, he remains one of the fan favorites. Fans still want to see him get a shot at the championship.
Back-to-back losses would likely remove Bisping from title contention for the rest of his career. He is no longer a spring chicken.
A win would put him right back at the top of the division and could even lead to a title shot depending on how everything works out ahead of him. At the very least, he would probably have a contender's fight in his next outing. He is fighting for big things on Saturday.
Alan Belcher will have something to say about that.
Belcher is coming off a loss to Yushin Okami just as he was making his way up the list of contenders. He has a lot to fight for in this bout, too, but Bisping's drawing power is what sets them a part. It gives Bisping an edge in earning meaningful fights, which could lead to gold.
With the possibility of a title shot looming, and at the very least a contender's bout, Bisping has the most to lose on Saturday. It could be his last chance to make a run at the championship.
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