Sam Stout walked to the cage tonight with a lot on his mind, his first trip to the cage without his coach, friend and brother-in-law Shawn Tompkins, much like his Team Tompkins partner Mark Hominick he failed to produce the goods without “The Coach”.
But unlike Hominick he wasn’t knocked out in the blink of an eye he fought a hard fifteen minutes – Tavares came in early searching for takedowns and placing the Canadian on his back repeatedly.
The next two frames he played the game of Stout in a kick boxing match that produced fireworks. Most fight fans watching live on FX believed that “Hands of Stone” scored the final two rounds.
The main round in debate was a closely contested second stanza – Tavares was seeking the takedown early before but Stout was quick to stuff them keeping the bout standing where both exchanged firepower with Tavares stalking while he kept him at bay with his effective leg kicking and counter-striking.
Here’s what they had to say post-fight coming off this controversial bout:
“Sam Stout was the toughest opponent I’ve ever faced and this is the biggest win of my career. I thought about this fight for a long time. I have to be honest: of all the ways I saw this fight going, I never expected to beat him striking. I tried to take the fight to the ground, but he has great takedown defense. The fight stayed on the feet and I was able to win there. I want another big name next.”
“This was my first fight without Shawn (Tompkins). It was definitely an adjustment not having him in my corner. I hope Shawn would be proud.”
“I thought I took rounds two and three, but I just struggled to find my rhythm. My head wasn’t in it in the first round. I had a slow start and I have no one to blame but myself for that.”