Cody Stamann admitted that he has a chip on his shoulder entering his second UFC fight against highly-touted prospect Tom Duquesnoy.
On paper, the UFC 216 match-up looks extremely tight. Both Stamann, 27, and Duquesnoy, 24, will enter the fight with identical records: 15-1 in MMA and 1-0 in the UFC. Both are viewed as solid bantamweight prospects with futures in the division. That’s where the similarities end. It’s Duquesnoy who enters the fight as the widely-regarded blue-chip prospect, and Duquesnoy who 82 percent of Tapology are backing to win next Saturday, as of Sept. 30.
“I didn’t realize I was a big underdog,” Stamann told MMASucka. “That’s fine with me. Bring it on, I’ll be the underdog. I’ll derail the hype train.”
Stamann made good on his UFC debut back in July; he took a clear unanimous decision over fellow debutant Terrion Ware on a week’s notice at featherweight, up a weight class from where Stamann intends to ply his trade.
Duquesnoy had a successful UFC debut of his own with a second-round TKO over Patrick Williams.
Don’t count Stamann among those impressed with “The Fire Kid’s” debut, however.
“Patrick Williams got tired,” Stamann said. “That was a fight that Williams was probably winning in the first round.”
The Michigan native is adamant that he won’t meet a similar fate as Williams in the cardio department.
“I’m a guy that prides myself on my conditioning,” Stamann said. “I get more comfortable as the fight goes on. Right now, I’m in good enough shape to go 25-30 minutes.”
Stamann said that he wasn’t the UFC’s first choice for Duquesnoy’s opponent. He heard that after one or two fighters didn’t take the bout with Duquesnoy, that’s when the UFC finally offered it to Stamann, who was more than happy to jump on the opportunity.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” he said. “I’m fighting a guy who has a big name and one who has the same UFC experience as me. You have to beat guys like that if you want to move up the rankings. I think it’s a great opportunity for me to cement my name in the bantamweight division.”
Stamann said that he certainly respects Duquesnoy, but believes that he is a terrible match-up for the Frenchman. He pointed to his wrestling credentials and the fact that he’s a boxing Golden Gloves state champion as keys to the fight. It also doesn’t hurt that Stamann is more prepared for Duquesnoy’s bread-and-butter, striking, than many of his previous opponents on the European circuit.
“One of my main training partners is Daron Cruickshank,” Stamann said of the former UFC lightweight and current Rizin fighter. “He can switch stances, hit you from anywhere, kick you from anywhere. He’s a sniper. Nothing that Duquesnoy does will surprise me. He goes out and shoots double-legs, that might surprise me, but I’ve been shot on before. The closer it gets to fight time, the more confident I feel about this fight.”
If that weren’t enough, Stamann will be able to spend even more time in the gym going forward in his MMA career. The Michigander recently got his parents’ blessing to step away from his family’s restoration business before each fight.
“I’ll always be part of the family business, but when it’s 10 weeks out from the fight, I won’t work at all,” he said. “My parents have always supported me as an athlete. My dad said, ‘You have the opportunity to do something great here. You should be spending your time in the gym.’”
Outside of fight camp, you’ll also catch Stamann fishing, doing water sports, spending quality time with his family or watching MMA fights. But these past several weeks have been all bout preparation for Stamann, who is eager to cement his status as a bantamweight threat.
“People will know who I am soon,” he said.