UFC 163: Fighters with Most to Lose in Rio
The stakes are high for several fighters scheduled to compete at UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night.
Featherweight champion and proud Brazilian Jose "Scarface" Aldo will have his pride and title on the line against the "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung.
There has been talk that Aldo could move up to lightweight should he win in Rio, vacating the featherweight title. Still, it's a given that he'd prefer to give up the strap as opposed to being beaten for it.
That would put a huge damper on his potential plans and leave questions as to where he stands amongst the sport's elite.
In short, Aldo wants a win over Jung badly.
Other fighters on the card who desperately need a win on Saturday aren't in as good of a position as Aldo.
Rani Yahya Has to Beat Josh Clopton
When a submissions master like Yahya takes on a significantly less-experienced grappler with no striking prowess like Clopton, the expectations are that Yahya should take Clopton to school.
Yahya has had 25 professional fights, he's 18-7 with 15 wins coming by way of submission. Clopton has had only eight fights in his career. He is 6-1-1, but he's never won by KO and doesn't display any notable striking potential.
If Yahya were to lose this fight, there be would serious questions as to where he fits in the UFC. But he should win.
Uncle Creepy Needs a Win Over Illiarde Santos
Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall has faced two of the best flyweights in the world in his most recent fights. He drew with champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson in March 2012 and lost a decision in the rematch three months later.
After an eight-month hiatus, McCall returned and dropped a decision to Joseph Benavidez in February.
Illiarde Santos is not as highly regarded yet in the UFC, but he is a formidable striker with 12 of his 27 wins coming by KO. McCall is faced with the possibilities of losing his third-straight fight.
A loss to Santos would clearly send McCall plummeting down the ladder of one of the UFC's lowest-profile divisions.
What Happens if Phil Davis Can't Beat Lyoto Machida?
If Davis can't beat Machida, what will you consider him?
Everyone hungry for a new set of serious challengers for light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones will weep.
Hardly anyone should believe that Davis has a chance to beat Jones—assuming the champion takes care of Alexander Gustaffson at UFC 165—but at least Davis would represent a new face for Bones to punch.
If Davis can't beat a still-formidable Machida, he'll have ascended to the cusp of a title shot for the second time only to lose his chance, as he did against Rashad Evans in Jan. 2012.
Davis needs to win to avoid being known as a Michael Bisping-like B-Class fighter.
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