UFC on FX 8: Which Fighter Has the Most to Lose?
In the year 2013, Vitor Belfort is still relevant in the UFC title scene. "The Phenom" knocked out perennial contender Michael Bisping in January, and looks to be one major win away from a much-desired title fight.
Belfort feels that the Bisping KO was enough to get back into a title fight, despite coming up short in a championship bout against Jon Jones only three months prior.
However, at the age of 36, it's unlikely that the title aspirations of Vitor Belfort could recover from a third loss in a six-fight span.
Team AKA's Luke Rockhold may not walk out to the Octagon holding a title, but let's not forget that the kickboxer twice defended the Strikeforce middleweight championship before the organization folded earlier this year.
Currently, Rockhold sits at No. 4 in the official UFC rankings and is likely to get a crack at UFC gold should he be successful at UFC on FX 8.
In the world of mixed martial arts, highly touted champions come over to the Octagon and perform below expectations. When that happens, their careers have a tough time recovering. If you don't believe me, take a look at the current status of Hector Lombard, Nick Diaz and Jake Shields.
However, at 28 years old, Rockhold has time on his side. A loss at this stage of the game wouldn't condemn his future as much as postpone his inevitable success.
Who has the most to lose at UFC on FX 8?
In the evening's co-main event, Ronaldo Souza was originally scheduled to face No. 6 middleweight Costa Philippou. Unfortunately, Philippou was injured during training and will be unable to compete. Taking his place is Ultimate Fighter alumni Chris Camozzi.
"Jacare" is currently a 6-to-1 favorite according to sports betting website Bovada. Considering that his opponent has four consecutive wins inside the Octagon, this betting line illustrates the incredible skills possessed by Souza.
However, upsets happen more often than you'd think, and stranger things have certainly happened. A loss for Souza would result in the jiu-jitsu wizard falling from the ranks and fading entirely from the title picture.
Don't misunderstand. We are not suggesting that Souza is likely to lose on Saturday night. However, should the former Strikeforce champion be upset in his promotional debut, it will be hard to overcome this sort of setback.
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report MMA for all things UFC on FX 8, including live results and post-fight analysis.
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