Sam Stout (17-7-1, 6-6 UFC) vs. Spencer Fisher (24-8, 9-7 UFC)
The Matchup: Some things are just meant to be. In the lightweight big picture, a third Stout-Fisher meeting does not mean a whole lot. In terms of entertainment value, however, few fights have delivered like the first two matchups between “Hands of Stone” and “The King.” The third could provide some nice closure to their rivalry and potentially bring out the best in them one more time.
Stout did not get going until it was too late in his most recent bout against Thiago Tavares at UFC 142, resulting in a decision loss for the Canadian. The setback came under the most extenuating of circumstances, as Stout was fighting for the first time since the death of his coach and mentor, Shawn Tompkins. Although it seems like he has been around forever, Stout was just 21 years old when he made his Octagon debut against Fisher at UFC 58. He has been plagued by inconsistency -- Stout has never won more than two straight fights in the UFC -- but remains in the prime of his career at 28.
The 36-year-old Fisher, meanwhile, has lost four of his last five Octagon appearances, and it appears that injuries and time have taken their toll on the Team Miletich standout. The first two battles between Stout and Fisher were characterized by their ability to absorb tremendous amounts of punishment; it remains to be seen if Fisher can survive a similar type of fight this time around.
Working in his favor is the fact that Stout is not the top-control grappler that usually gives Fisher problems. The Canadian would prefer to keep the action upright and put his smooth muay Thai to work. Stout mixes punches and kicks in his combinations and is equally comfortable attacking the head, body or legs of his opponents. In the pocket, he lands with volume and accuracy; his body punches can be especially devastating. That said, save for his one-punch knockout of Yves Edwards at UFC 131, Stout is not known for numbing power.
Fisher generally connects with more force behind his punches, and he is always ready and willing to put his versatile striking to use in a brawl. Fisher will have to maintain solid lateral movement and make good use of counters to capture the rubber match; otherwise Stout will land with variety and rack up the points.
The Pick: Stout seems to have more left in the tank these days than his old rival. There will be some high-energy exchanges, but Stout will land with more volume en route to a decision victory.
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