Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Most losses are mere blemishes on one's record. No one is going to give JDS grief for losing to Cain Velasquez. Losing to Mark Hunt, however, would be a stain on JDS' career as an elite heavyweight.
Hunt's resurgence in the past year has been incredibly fun, but those wins have not come against the upper echelon heavyweights. Furthermore, Hunt's skills as a mixed martial artist are questionable at best. His takedown defense has been shoddy at times, and his submission defense rudimentary.
If JDS failed to pick up a win it would highlight one of two things: his fight IQ or his lack of other skills.
He may do well standing with Hunt, but we won't know until UFC 160. But conventional wisdom says it's much easier to take him down and submit him. That's the smart thing to do. Standing with Hunt and possibly eating one of his monster punches would not speak highly of having a great fight IQ.
If JDS is unable to take down or submit Hunt, it would speak to his oft talked about submission skills. We know the former champion trains with legendary grappler Minotauro Nogueira, but we have yet to see those skills come to life in the Octagon. If he tries and fails, it won't look good on JDS. Hunt shouldn't have the skills to stop him.
Losing to Hunt would stand out like a sore thumb on JDS' record. He can't afford that.