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UFC 142 Fight Card: Sam Stout's Hands of Stone Will Need to Fly Earlier on

Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIJanuary 15, 2012

Sam "Hands of Stone" Stout came into his fight with Thiago Tavares as the favorite at UFC 142, but he was unable to capitalize on his best strength early enough.

Stout is known be a great striker, and he didn't get in any useful shots until nearly the last thirty seconds of the fight.

Tavares played to his strength, consistently keeping his opponent near the ground. Stout looked almost clueless throughout the entire thing.

It was clear through all three rounds that this was Tavares' fight, but it certainly could have gone the other way if Stout would have been able to throw a few strikes early on.

You could tell the effect that his late punches had: He took them straight to his opponents face. It slowed down Tavares, but it was really just too late to overcome everything that he had already lost through the entire match.

Stout will continue to be a fan favorite, but he will need to step up his ability to get in punches early.

This match will mark his fifth loss with the UFC, but there is no reason to doubt that he can turn things around and be ready to win his next fight.

In this match, the problem was that he looked to be playing it safe. While it is smart of him to keep his energy like he did for those final few punches, going for the TKO at the end won't always favor him.

He certainly did let Tavares tire himself out, but it was obvious that Stout was the better fighter. It was a strategy worth trying, but from here on he would be wise to get his fists flying much earlier on.

Otherwise, he may continue to lose these unanimous decisions.

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