Velasquez vs. Silva Fight Card: Who's Under the Most Pressure at UFC 160?

Dustin FilloyFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2013

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 17:  Junior dos Santos arrives at the TUF Australia Launch Party on July 17, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

While the remainder of his peers positioned at the top of the main card will enter the bout on a winning streak, former UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos will attempt to avoid his first career losing skid.

"Cigano," who surrendered his belt to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 in December, can vindicate his second career loss and punch his ticket to another title shot with a win in tonight's co-main event at UFC 160.

However, with surging former K-1 champion Mark Hunt standing in his path, Dos Santos surely has more pressure on his shoulders than any other fighter at UFC 160.

Cigano reeled off 10 straight wins, including nine in the Octagon, before absorbing a five-round thumping from Velasquez in their rematch.

Originally slated to square off with Alistair Overeem, Dos Santos received word in early March that an injury would be forcing the former K-1, Dream and Strikeforce champ to pull out of their scrap at UFC 160.

Days later, Dos Santos discovered that he'd instead be forced to lock horns with Hunt, a significant underdog who's garnered "Knockout of the Night" honors in two of his last four bouts.

While a win catapults Cigano back into title talks, a loss against Hunt, whom Bovada has deemed a 3.25-1 (+325) underdog, could devastate Dos Santos.

Regardless of how severe the element of pressure has become, Dos Santos refuses to deviate from his typical modest and carefree attitude. 

"I'm really, really, really happy with everything what is happening in my career," Dos Santos said during an interview with MMA Heat's Karyn Bryant. "Even if I lost my last fight. I don't care about know...because I'm having good times."

Cigano also sounded off on the nature of matching up a pair of heavy-hitting knockout artists on such a significant stage by saying: "For sure he's going to try to stand and bang, but it's MMA. I think I'm faster than him and I will try to knock him out. My first strategy is always to try to knock my opponent out. But if I see I have to take him down, I will do that, because he's really dangerous, and I respect that."