5 Fighters With The Most To Lose At UFC Fight Night 29

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Fighters with the most to lose at UFC Fight Night 29

Bruce Fedyck-USA Today Sports

UFC Fight Night 29 may not have the star potential as other UFC events, but there is still plenty of talent on the card. In the main event, there are two welterweight contenders in action. One of them, Demian Maia, is looking to advance his standing as a top-five welterweight in the UFC, while the other (Jake Shields) is hoping to remain to earn his third win in four outings.

The Maia/Shields fight may end up being a “boring” grappling match, but the fact still remains that the winner will be on a nice streak as of late and move on to better fights in the future. Expect someone to tap out or win by decision in this fight.

In the co-main event, welterweight prospect Erick Silva will square off against UFC veteran Dong Hyun Kim. For Silva, he is looking to build on an impressive performance against Jason High at UFC on Fuel TV 10 and hoping to get the bad taste out of his mouth from last year’s loss to Jon Fitch.

Kim is looking to go on a three-fight win streak and improve his chances of competing against the top of the division. He has only lost two fights in his career (Carlos Condit and Maia) and has to be hoping a victory over Silva will get matchmakers to give him another shot at the contenders in the division.

Though none of the fights on the card will matter in terms of title shots, though Maia hopes the fight will push him into a title eliminator, there will be something to lose for each fighter. Here are the fighters who will have the most to lose at the event:

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5. Mike Pierce

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA Today Sports

Mike Pierce has 12 fights inside the UFC. Of those 12, he has lost only three and those were to the likes of Johny Hendricks, Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch. Each of those fighters have or are currently among the top-10 welterweights of the world. Now Pierce wants a fight against a challenger that means something.

If Pierce loses his fight against Rousimar Palhares, the chances of that happening are slim to none. Pierce complained after getting the fight with Palhares, so if he loses the backlash from UFC brass will be relentless. He needs to finish off Palhares in impressive fashion to get UFC matchmakers to take him seriously.

If he loses to Palhares, who is looking for his first victory since January 2012, then Pierce may highlight the under card for a bit longer.

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4. Erick Silva

Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

Nobody can deny the talent Erick Silva has. He virtually entered the UFC and won his first three fights, if he hadn't got disqualified in the Carlo Prater fight. Then disaster struck in the form of Jon Fitch. Silva took it to Fitch last year but eventually got Fitched, much like everyone else did at the past. Silva looked impressive against Jason High winning by submission.

Now Silva is looking at a fight against a UFC veteran in Dong Hyun Kim. This is an important fight for Silva. If he wins he will have beaten a man who has only lost to Carlos Condit and Demian Maia. That is why he has so much to lose.

Silva has a chance to show matchmakers what he has to offer, much like he did prior to the Fitch loss. If he loses, he will continue to get fights with lower ranked opponents. Silva has the potential to be great a welterweight, but a loss to Kim will set him two steps back.

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3. Jake Shields

Bruce Fedyck-USA Today Sports

Once considered one of the best fighters on the planet, Jake Shields enters UFC Fight Night 29 with a chip on his shoulder. Having won two of his last three outings, Shields will be fighting a man (Demian Maia) many see as a top-five or 10 fighter.

Coming into the UFC, Shields was one of the most talked about fighters from Strikeforce. He beat Dan Henderson in his exiting fight in the now debunked organization and won against Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut. Fast forward three years and two losses later, Shields is rarely talked about unless people are talking about him as a disappointment.

Shields will have a chance to silence some critics with a win over Maia. If the opposite happens, he may fall back into UFC obscurity. A loss will most likely mean he will never reach the top of the division again, which is a hope dream as it stands today.

Shields simply cannot afford to lose to Maia.

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2. Demian Maia

Mike Dinouo-USA Today Sports

Will Demian Maia lose his job if he can't beat Jake Shields? No. Will Demian Maia drop off the face of the UFC if he ends up losing a decision to Shields? no.

One thing that will happen if Maia loses to Shields is a chance at the UFC welterweight title. Maia enters the fight on a three-fight win streak. The signature win of those three fights came against Jon Fitch. If he beats Shields, that will make four in a row leaving matchmakers no choice but to give Maia a top-five opponent in what could be a title-eliminator.

If Maia does lose to Shields, the chance of him getting a title shot are slim to none. It's hard to say if Maia would ever get another chance at a UFC, he is 35 years old. Now entering the twilight of his career, Maia can't take that chance. He needs to go into the fight Saturday, do what he needs to do to win the fight and walk away with his fourth straight victory. If he doesn't, then his title hopes may be gone.

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1. Rousimar Palhares

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Those who follow the UFC know Rousimar Palhares has the most to lose at UFC Fight Night 29. Going into his fight with Mike Pierce, Palhares his riding a two-fight skid. One more loss could mean the end of his UFC career considering the UFC appears to be cleaning house.

Palhares lost to Alan Belcher at UFC of Fox 3 and Hector Lombard at UFC on FX 6. Now he will fight Pierce, who should look to stand against the likes of Palhares. This fight is nothing more than a job audition for Palhares. There is a small chance the UFC keeps him around with a loss, but that chance is microscopic.

Palhares will be looking for employment elsewhere if he losses to Pierce.