UFC Fight Night 26 has plenty of star power on it, from former UFC champion Mauricio Rua to former WEC champ Urijah Faber. With that, their are plenty of fighters on the card who have a lot riding on their respective fights.
However, the man with the most to lose on the card is a former Strikeforce and K-1 champion. That man, of course, is Alistair Overeem.
Overeem came into the UFC pretty much with a title shot set in stone. He dominated Strikeforce with wins over the likes of Fabricio Werdum and Brett Rogers. Not only that, but the MMA fighter won one of the most prestigious kickboxing tournaments in the world.
That type of resume-building, in unison with the shallow title picture in the UFC heavyweight division, had him as a shoe-in to face Junior dos Santos.
Furthermore, he made a highly-anticipated UFC debut against former champion Brock Lesnar in the headliner of UFC 141. It looked like he barely broke a sweat, as he punished Lesnar into a TKO stoppage.
That earned him a look at dos Santos. That was, of course, before he failed a pre-fight drug test and lost that privilege.
He would have to climb the mountain again.
He seemingly got a cookie in the form of Antonio Silva for his comeback from the drug suspension. Many fans said this was a tuneup fight for a shot at Cain Velasquez's title. Overeem was the vastly superior striker and would be able to keep Silva on the feet.
But one ferocious knockout by Silva and an embarrassing loss later, and Overeem is against the ropes. The former top contender now finds himself in a huge must-win situation against Travis Browne.
Overeem again comes in as the favorite, so a loss would be incredibly damaging for his future with the company. He likely would not get cut, but he would definitely be more than a couple fights off from getting back in the title picture.
This is especially true against Browne, who despite being a top-10 talent, has yet to really get a marquee win—like Overeem has—in building his career.
When the cage door closes, Overeem needs his A-game or he could be an afterthought in the UFC title picture.