UFC on Fuel 9: Which Fighter Has the Most to Gain?
On Saturday, the UFC returns to Sweden for a card that is certainly lacking star power, but makes up for it with fights that promise to deliver thrills.
With very few notables on the UFC on FUEL 9 card, there aren't many fighters in a position to launch their careers with a Stockholm win. After all, how much can you gain by stomping an unheralded opponent who is nowhere near title contention?
However, of the handful of fighters who are in featured matchups, only one man has the ability to stand tall and authoritatively plant his flag in the UFC.
So who has the most to gain on Saturday night?
Certainly not Gegard Mousasi, who once had the opportunity to take down the No. 2 ranked Alexander Gustafsson. That opportunity fell to the wayside when Gustafsson was removed from the fight due to a cut over his left eye.
Instead, the Armenian faces a debuting Ilir Latifi, a man who only the most hardcore of fight fans had heard of before this week.
It is Latifi, however, who can quickly make an ascent towards the top of the light heavyweight division were he to pull off the upset.
If this absolute nobody (no offense intended) can make his UFC debut on less than one week's notice and knock off a ranked fighter like Gegard Mousasi, his tale will forever live in MMA lore as the greatest underdog tale this side of Matt Serra.
In terms of what one man can gain from a single fight, it doesn't get much better than that.
Then again, scoring that upset is easier said than done. Mousasi is one of the most talented light heavyweights on the planet and is as much as a 15-to-1 favorite on some sites.