Yves Edwards (left) holds an advantage on the ground over Sam Stout. | Photo: Peter Lockley/Sherdog.com
There are fights that are can’t-miss affairs, and then there are matchups like Sam Stout-Yves Edwards at UFC 131 “Dos Santos vs. Carwin” on Saturday at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The lightweight duo showcases some of the best all-around striking MMA has to offer, and both Stout and Edwards have good gas tanks.
Also featured on the undercard are unbeaten middleweight prospect Chris Weidman’s bout with Jesse Bongfeldt, a heavyweight duel pitting Joey Beltran against promotional newcomer Aaron Rosa and several other intriguing matches.
Here is a closer look at the UFC 131 prelims, with analysis and picks.
Yves Edwards vs. Sam Stout
The Matchup: This is a slugger’s delight, albeit a highly technical one. Stout and Edwards do all the subtle things that make muay Thai such a fine art. Whether it is combining punches and kicks in picturesque combos, hitting exotic moves like spinning back fists and kicks or firing potent knees from the clinch, Stout and Edwards have long track records of putting on standup clinics; and both of them have exceptional chins.
Edwards’ submission and grappling skills are definitely his edge in this fight. Stout’s ground game has evolved in recent years, but he is not as Edwards’ level. If Stout has a key advantage on the ground, it is that he is physically stronger and simply a bigger lightweight. Plus, he has shown enough submission defense in recent fights to get back to his feet.
Standing, this should be a close and competitive fight. Stout probably has more single-shot power in punches and kicks, while Edwards is a little smoother, though, at 34, he is eight years older than Stout and on the tail end of a solid career.
The Pick: This is a tough fight to call, but Edwards takes a decision in a three-round war.
Continue Reading » Next Fight: Chris Weidman vs. Jesse Bongfeldt