Sam Stout Says He’ll “Have a Really Big Advantage” Over John Makdessi if UFC 154 Bout Goes to the Mat, Believes Dennis Hallman “Made Him Look Pretty Bad”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Heading into his third and final bout with Spencer Fisher this past summer, Sam Stout warned critics and his next opponent, that he no longer was just the fearless and aggressive striker that fans have come to know. Of course, at the UFC on FX 4 card in June, Stout backed up what he had been saying by turning to his wrestling and top game, to score a unanimous decision win over Fisher.
Having won his rubber match with Fisher, the lightweight is now preparing for a November 17th, UFC 154 bout with another noted striker in John Makdessi. Once again, Stout is citing his grappling game, in addition to his striking, as reasons why he believes he’ll be the victor.
“I think that last fight against Spencer, and I know we’ve done interviews over the years where I’ve said I’m working hard on my wrestling, working hard on my jiu-jitsu, but in that last one, it was the first chance where I showed it off that I had some game on the ground,” Stout said recently in an appearance on Full Contact Fighter Radio. “I had been working on it for years, but there was kind of a mental hurdle that I needed to get over and just go out there and use it.”
The decision win and more diversified attack from Stout, came after he dropped a UD loss to the renowned grappler Thiago Tavares in January.
“I spent so many years, like you said, just being a defensive wrestler, and just using my wrestling for takedown defense, and keeping the fight standing,” Stout (18-7) furthered. “You know, this is the perfect situation, and in the Spencer fight I thought the same thing. There was point in the bout where Spencer was getting the better of me; he has very fast hands, so as soon as I thought, okay, this may not go my way if I keep it standing the whole time, well now I have another option.”
Similar to Stout’s UFC arrival in 2006, Makdessi entered the Octagon in December, 2010, with a reputation for being a dangerous striker. The Tristar fighter of course wasted little time in showing UFC fans why, by utilizing highlight reel strikers to score a UD win over Pat Audinwood. Then in April, 2011, Makdessi furthered that reputation by knocking out Kyle Watson with a spinning backfist.
“His striking is very good,” Stout said about Makdessi. “It’s very unorthodox; it’s very different from what I’m used to seeing. It’s very different from anyone in the UFC is used to doing…He comes from a Karate background and only a handful of Karate guys have been able translate that to MMA…I’m going to have to go in there with a really good game plan in terms of stand-up.”
At UFC 140 last December, however, Makdessi was quickly taken down to the mat by veteran lightweight Dennis Hallman, and was forced to tap-out to a rear-naked-choke.
“Anywhere else the fight goes I think I really have the advantage,” Stout said. “I’ve been working a lot my wrestling, my takedowns, and I really wasn’t impressed with him, his takedown defence wasn’t very good against Hallman, but also the way he fought on the ground…I thought Hallman made him look pretty bad.”
“I think if this fight ends up with me and him on the ground, I think I can really outwork him, and I think I’m going to have a really big advantage.”
It will be interesting to see who the Montreal crowd gets behind at UFC 154, as although Makdessi hails from the city’s renowned Tristar Gym, many of Stout’s early successes took place in the historic city.
“Pretty much my whole pro career up to the UFC mostly took place in Montreal,” Stout noted. “Through the TKO organization, and then I had three big fights in the first three UFC events in Montreal, and I feel really at home there and I’m really looking forward to going back there and fighting again.”