UFC 142 Predictions: Thiago Tavares vs. Sam Stout

Matt Saccaro@@mattsaccaroContributor IIIJanuary 14, 2012

MMA fans are fortunate that Sam Stout vs. Thiago Tavares—an intriguing and exciting fight—is for free on the FX preliminaries.

Stout vs. Tavares is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup.

Sam "Hands of Stone" Stout is a feared Canadian striker with one-punch KO power who recently put Yves Edwards' lights out worse than anyone ever has.

Meanwhile Tavares is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt from Brazilian Top Team.

So who has the advantage?

Usually the grappler, but Tavares has been knocked out by guys who don't have the power that Stout does; if Stout connects on just one good punch, it could be lights out for Tavares.

Tavares showed in his most recent fight against Spencer Fisher that he can deal with a striker. He took Fisher down, dominated him and eventually earned a TKO victory (only the second of his career) in the second round.

Can Tavares do this to Stout?

Stout has only been finished once in the UFC and it was by a title contender in Kenny Florian, so it's unlikely that Tavares will be able to really push Stout around.

However, Stout is coming into this fight off the back of an unfortunate circumstance. 

His trainer, Shawn Tompkins—one of the most highly regarded in the business—passed away in August 2011. This will be Stout's first fight after his death. It's unsure how this will impact him.

Assuming the death of his trainer doesn't interfere with his game, Stout should take home the KO victory in the first round against a Tavares with a questionable chin.

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