UFC 154: We Learned from Sam Stout vs John Makdessi

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UFC 154: We Learned from Sam Stout vs John Makdessi
Makdessi out-landed Stout from start to finish and got the unanimous decision victory. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.

Sam Stout has been around for a very long time now. He made his explosive UFC debut against Spencer “The King” Fisher all the way back at UFC 58. He has had trouble stringing together wins as of late but was given something of a tune-up fight against John Makdessi.

Makdessi has not had an especially noteworthy UFC career, sitting on a 2-2 record with wins over total no-namers and losses to Dennis Hallman and Anthony Njokuani. Coming off back-to-back losses, Makdessi found himself against his scariest opponent to date.

Remarkably, the younger fighter with the adorably crossed eyes was able to dictate the pace of the bout by channeling his inner Carlos Condit, allowing his overly aggressive opponent to walk into jab after jab.

This was enough to get the less-experienced fighter the biggest win of his career. What we can extract from this is...

 

Sam Stout Cannot Make Adjustments

This was like a miniaturized version of Carlos Condit versus Nick Diaz.

Makdessi reared back and kept his opponent precisely where he wanted him. Stout had no answers to this.

He could have clinched; he could have fought defensively himself; he could have changed up what he was actually throwing (watch the tape, Makdessi's high guard gave away free kicks to the legs and body). But no, he kept pressing forward into jab after jab after jab and was then surprised when his hand wasn't raised.

Stout is better than many UFC lightweights, but he showed tonight just how he has stayed out of title contention, despite some noteworthy wins.

 

John Makdessi is Still Not That Good

The Canadian striker dominated Sam Stout there. No real question about that. However, there are still plenty of serious questions about how good Makdessi really is and where he fits into the lightweight division.

Yes, Stout was easily his scariest opponent, but he still lost to good-but-not-great fighters in Dennis Hallman and Anthony Njokuani. He is still a striking-focused lightweight that can get beaten in a kickboxing match.

There are plenty of potential opponents out there, but there are few that I, personally, would favor Makdessi over. I don't want to rain on his parade too hard or anything. I just was more disappointed in Sam Stout than I was impressed by Makdessi.

 

It's a Good Night for TriStar Thus Far

Two in a row for the premiere Canadian gym. Ivan Menjivar won by armbar in his fight against Russian newcomer Azamat Gashimov and Makdessi out-landed Sam Stout with little effort.

The card is stacked with honorary Quebecois (and authentic Quebecois), and so far they have done their province proud.

 

Experience Is Not Necessarily Everything

After gushing over Ivan Menjivar's “veteran savvy," Sam Stout reminded us here that fighting more than your opponent does not necessarily factor into chances for victory. While Stout was the substantially more experienced fighter, Makdessi completely took him out of his element.

What went right for Menjivar, but wrong for Stout?

Both fighters were in their preferred part of the cage (Stout standing, Menjivar on the ground), but Menjivar was actually capable of capitalizing on his opponents mistake of leaving him too much room to maneuver on the ground.

Stout wanted to punch Makdessi really, really badly, but simply did not make the adjustments. I don't know if Stout just had no clue things were going to pan out this way, but there is no excuse for fighting this type of fight.

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