A lot of fighters say that once the cage door closes, they enter a state of temporary hypnosis, not unlike sleepwalking, that more or less shuts their brain down until the fight is over. Hence why they often need to be reminded what round it is, whether or not they won the last round, etc. It’s a familiar feeling — the combination of nerves, adrenaline, and the tiniest bit of fear — to anyone who has ever spoke in public or performed on a stage, and an example of how our own psyche subconsciously protects us from harm whether we want it to or not.
Clearly, this is the case for Sam Stout, who was jibber-jabbed into oblivion by John Makdessi at UFC 154. Stout’s runaway locomotive-esque strategy of “forward, forward, FORWARD” was picked apart by Makdessi with sharp combinations and simple head movement, resulting in easily some of the greatest punch faces of the night. But if you were to ask Stout how things went down, you’d probably think he fought the reincarnation of Kalib Starnes that night (Author’s note: Kalib Starnes is dead, right? I vaguely recall hearing something about a jogger accidentally running right off a cliff and just assumed the worst).
Stout shared his feelings with MMAMania:
He wasn’t fighting. He was running the whole time. I wanted to fight, I came to fight and I didn’t get the fight I wanted.
I usually like to come out and put on an exciting fight and it takes two guys to do that, to do those kinds of fights. And you know John, he ran, he kept on moving the whole time and I was expecting him to fight me a little more.
Sour grapes much, Sam?
Now we’re not going to sit here and belittle a seasoned veteran like Stout, but suffice it to say, he’s sounding a little bitter. The loss to Makdessi, who was dangerously close to getting the boot from the UFC, dropped Stout to 7-7 in the UFC career and just 2-2 in his last four. Considering his current 1-2 run came after the most impressive finish in his UFC career, one can imagine that he is growing quite frustrated trying to replicate that success. He continued:
He, you know, ran and ran and ran and then timed when he wanted to land a jab and wasn’t — he didn’t really do anything that I thought was very, nothing devastating. A couple jabs in the face, nothing that really hurt me. You know, obviously I got a little lumped up, but yeah.
It takes two to fight and make an exciting fight. I’m disappointed that it wasn’t and you know, I wanted better for the fans
Although we’re sure Sam’s feeling disappointed in the fight, we have a feeling it’s for completely different reasons. We hate to even bring this up, but ever since Shawn Tompkins’ death, the three most well known and sucessful members of his team (Stout, Hominick, Horodecki) have gone 1-6-1 with 1 NC. It really shows what kind of influence Shawn had as both a trainer and a friend, and all the more heartbreaking to see how it has affected those close to him. The numbers don’t lie.
That being said, did anyone see this fight the way Sam saw it?