UFC bantamweight top-prospect Cody Stamann (16-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) secured a win over Tom Duquesnoy (15-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC 216 on Oct. 7.
Duquesnoy was highly regarded by fans and the UFC as a blue-chip prospect, and seemed to be garnering all the hype against Stamann despite the two sharing identical records entering the fight. Stamann set out to at least temporarily halt “The Fire Kid’s” hype train, and he appears to have done so.
“I guess it’s definitely the biggest victory [of my career],” Stamann told MMASucka. “I’m not sure it was the hardest fight or best performance of my career. I don’t think I’ve ever fought anyone as highly regarded as Duquesnoy. I think the UFC and a lot of people had him to win.”
Round 1 saw Duquesnoy land the harder shots and appeared to have stung Stamann at least once, although “The Spartan” managed to land a pair of takedowns. From then on, the fight belonged to Stamann. The Michigan native out-landed Duquesnoy 45-15 over the next two rounds in significant strikes, and controlled much of the second round on the mat. In the end, Stamann had 66 significant strikes to Duquesnoy’s 33.
Bruce Buffer reading the judges’ scorecards should not have been nerve-wracking for Stamann, but it was when judge Chris Lee scored the bout 29-28 Duquesnoy, giving him the first two rounds.
“Definitely not a split decision, that’s bullshit,” Stamann said. “I thought it was pretty obvious.”
He exhaled when the final judge scored the bout 30-27, as he knew there was no way any judge scored all three rounds for Duquesnoy.
“I was really nervous, because I’ve lost a split decision like that before,” he said. “I heard the next judge called the fight 30-27, and thought there was definitely no way on the planet he won the third round. After I heard that final judge’s scorecard, I felt a little more relaxed about the fight.”
Stamann said he would have scored it 29-28 in favor of himself, conceding that Duquesnoy won the first round.
After pulling out a decisive win over a fellow prospect, Stamann reflected on what he thought he did right and wrong in the bout.
He’s glad that he stopped Duquesnoy’s aggression after the first round, and believes it was because Duquesnoy wasn’t expecting him to throw at him each time he came forward. Stamann thinks a blend of body shots and takedowns is what made Duquesnoy more hesitant.
On the other hand, Stamann feels that he came out flat and would’ve liked to use more footwork. However, he said he’ll take one big lesson away from the fight, and it has nothing to do with his mechanics.
“I think I focused too much on Duquesnoy and not on myself,” he admitted. “From here on out, I’m just focused on me and being the best athlete I can be.”
After the win, the victor did not get his chance at a post-fight interview due to the time restrictions involved in switching over the broadcast to the PPV portion. He said that he wasn’t going to call out a specific opponent, but intended to put the top-10 of the bantamweight division on notice.
“I’m coming for them.”
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