UFC 159: Fighters Who Can't Afford to Lose on Marquee Card

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

Apr 26, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Jim Miller weighs in for his lightweight bout against Pat Healy (not pictured) at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Every time the UFC puts on an event, fighters are on the chopping block and UFC 159 is no different. All across the card there are fighters that are in must-win situations.

Unless you have an incredible ability to sell fights (ahem, Chael Sonnen), just one loss can either send a fighter to the bottom of the totem pole in their weight class or looking to sign a contract with another organization. Either way, there are some fighters that simply can't afford to lose.

Here are the fighters that face must-win situations Saturday night.


Jim Miller

There's no way that Miller should be in jeopardy of losing his job. He's 22-4 and one of the better fighters in the lightweight division.

But if he loses his fight against Pat Healy on the main card, there's no way he will ever become a legitimate contender. After starting off 20-2 in his career, he's just 2-2 in his last four fights with losses to Nate Diaz and Benson Henderson.

Those losses are excusable. Henderson is the defending champion and Nate Diaz was the top contender when he defeated MIller. Healy isn't a joke but he isn't a big name either. Miller has to get back on track with a victory.


Michael Bisping

If Bisping is ever going to be the title contender that his fans have claimed he can be, he absolutely must beat Alan Belcher.

Bisping has lost two of his last three fights with losses to Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen. Both of those guys went on to fight for the light heavyweight championship (or will have fought for it by the end of Saturday).

Belcher won't be fighting Jon Jones anytime soon, but he's still a tough challenger. If he beats Bisping, that would be three losses in his last four fights. That would relegate him to nothing more than a European draw for the foreseeable future.


Leonard Garcia

It's a well-known fact that being entertaining will keep a fighter in the UFC a little bit longer than their less fan-friendly brethren. But sooner or later, you have to win fights.

Leonard Garcia puts on some wildly entertaining slugfests for the fans, but his four-fight losing streak could be extended to five against Cody McKenzie. That should mean he gets a pink slip before he gets to the locker room.