UFC 160: "Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2" goes down this Saturday night (May 25, 2013) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and after nearly a month-long break, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to pay-per-view (PPV) with a highly anticipated event.
A heavyweight championship affair headlines the event as exactly one-year after their first meeting, Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva are set to rematch -- except this time the stakes are much higher as the gold is on the line.
Supporting the main event is another heavyweight battle as former champion Junior dos Santos looks to rebound from his first UFC loss when he meets Mark Hunt.
With the three headlining bouts garnering a lot of attention from both fans and media, and for good reason, it's time to break down what --besides a paycheck-- a victory on Saturday means for six of the athletes carrying the UFC 160 fight card.
There isn't much to gain for Cain Velasquez by beating Antonio Silva for a second time, specifically because it will be nearly impossible to win in a more dominant and impression fashion as he did at UFC 146 in May 2012.
There is no denying the fact Silva is a talented fighter and having his name in you win column twice doesn't hurt, but in the eyes of fans, defeating "Bigfoot" again doesn't do a whole lot for the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product.
What a win would do, though, is prove Velasquez is capable of not just winning the belt, but defending it as well. In his first title reign he lost the belt just as quick as he won it, and now he has a second chance to obtain that elusive first title defense and send a message to the heavyweight division that he plans on running the weight class for a long time.
Should Antonio Silva defeat Cain Velasquez for the title it would have to go down as one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, especially after how the first meeting between the two played out.
It goes without saying that a victory for the Brazilian in the UFC 160 main event would be the most significant of his career, especially because at this exact point last year Silva was coming off back-to-back knockout losses to Daniel Cormier and Velasquez, leaving his status as an elite heavyweight up in the air.
Silva has shown he has a strong will by rebounding from those defeats to earn a title shot. If he can come through and take the belt from Velasquez, it would mean the 33-year-old accomplished a feat no one thought was possible.
Junior dos Santos
Just five months removed from losing the heavyweight title to Velasquez, Junior dos Santos has the chance to get right back into a championship fight with a victory over Mark Hunt.
"Cigano" was on the receiving end of a 25-minute shellacking from Velasquez at UFC 155 for his first defeat under the UFC banner and it will be interesting to see how he rebounds from such a lopsided loss.
Fortunately for dos Santos, it won't take long to erase the memory of losing his belt as a victory for him means he is the No. 1 contender in the heavyweight division and, assuming Velasquez wins in the main event, a chance to avenge a loss in what will be a highly anticipated trilogy bout.
When he signed with the UFC in 2010, Mark Hunt had an abysmal 5-7 MMA record. Three years later he is a top contender in the heavyweight division after winning four-straight fights inside the Octagon and is potentially one win away from a title shot.
Hunt is currently in the midst of one of the great career resurgences ever seen in the sport and faces the toughest test of his career in Junior dos Santos.
UFC President Dana White has said "The Super Samoan" can earn a title shot with a knockout of dos Santos, but in reality Hunt should get a crack at the belt even if he wins a decision after three rounds of lackluster action.
Hunt's story is something a lot of fans can get behind and if the train keeps on chugging, it would be utterly foolish for the UFC to not capitalize by awarding the 39-year-old with a shot at the belt.
Gray Maynard and T.J. Grant
It is very clear what's on the line when No. 3 ranked lightweight contender Gray Maynard meets No. 5 ranked T.J. Grant at UFC 160.
The winner gets the next crack at Benson Henderson's lightweight title, as announced by UFC President Dana White last month following a controversial defense of the belt by "Smooth" against Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7.
For Maynard, defeating Grant would mean his third opportunity at winning the lightweight title after two failed attempts at Frankie Edgar. As for Grant, it would be his first crack at a title belt and give him the chance to become the third Canadian UFC champion in history behind Carlos Newton and Georges St. Pierre.
There is a ton on the line in this match up of lightweight contenders, as a win will guarantee a chance to fight for a world title -- something every MMA fighter dreams of upon entering the sport.
What do you think a win means on Saturday for these six men? Let us know in the comments section below!
Remember: MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 160 fight card on fight night, starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m. ET, right on through the FX-televised under card bouts at 8 p.m. ET and then main card PPV action, which is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.