Cody Stamann ran the emotional gamut from the time the bell rang, signaling the end of his UFC on ESPN 7 fight with Song Yadong, to when the judges read their scorecards.
“The Spartan” believed he had done enough to secure a decisive win against the Chinese wunderkind in a fight he entered as the underdog. As the judges were preparing scorecards, Stamann said he was reciting his post-fight victory speech in his head where he was going to tell the bantamweight division he’s a contender. However, Stamann was crushed when two judges scored the fight 28-28 for a majority draw; the other judge had him winning 29-27.
“I just got fucked,” Stamann told MMASucka was the first thought that came to mind. “That’s literally what I said out loud. I was like, ‘I just got fucked.’”
Almost a week after the Dec. 7 bout, Stamann admitted he’s just as bitter as when he walked out of the cage.
“I don’t think it’s going to be anything I get over, ever,” he said. “The only way I think I forget about it is if I get another check in my bank account. I’ve watched the fight several times. I just don’t know how anybody could see him winning a round, let alone two rounds. It’s just absurd to me.”
Stamann said the UFC has not paid him win money yet, which would double his show purse. Still, he’s holding out hope he can meet with UFC brass in Las Vegas and make his case.
Stamann admitted every fight is up for speculation, though he believes he did enough to warrant a clear victory.
“It’s not 50/50 from people that I talked to,” he said. “It’s pretty much 99 to 1. In an instance like this, where 99 out of 100 people thought I clearly won the fight, maybe even won all three rounds, I think my initial reaction that I won the fight was the correct reaction.”
Yadong found himself docked one point early on in the contest after he illegally kneed Stamann in the head. Had it not been for that point deduction, Stamann would have actually lost the fight on the judges’ scorecards.
“If I would’ve lost, I believe I would’ve lost my fucking mind,” Stamann said. “I would’ve freaked out. I’d be a lot more upset than I am now. I guess in a lot of ways, I feel like I did lose, because my paycheck reflects a loss, not a win.”
Stamann said he didn’t really feel the knee at the time Yadong connected due to adrenaline. He was more agitated than anything.
After that, Stamann worked to implement his game plan of wearing on Yadong. He said the goal was to put pressure on him, make him wrestle continuously and work to get up, calling the first two rounds investment rounds. It seemed to work, as Round 3 was the clearest round of the fight. Stamann found himself dominating Yadong near the end of the bout to the point he feels he could’ve finished him if he had 20 more seconds to work.
“By the third round, there was no fight left,” Stamann said. “He didn’t want to fight anymore. He was broke and just trying to survive those five minutes.”
With bantamweight currently resembling a logjam, Stamann has mixed feelings on running it back with Yadong.
“At this current point, yeah, I’d fight him again. I think I’d whoop him even worse the second time. But in reality, what is it going to do for me? Everyone already knows I won that fight. What does fighting Song Yadong do?”
Stamann said if Yadong goes out and gets wins over solid opponents, he’d be more willing to take the rematch.
Whoever he fights next, it all boils down to timing. Stamann said he wants to return no later than February or March against whoever’s available and down to scrap.
“I just want to get this nasty taste out of my mouth and move forward, so I don’t really care who it is. I honestly believe I can beat anybody they put in front of me.”
It’s currently an exciting time for the bantamweight division. While the flyweight and bantamweight dual-weight champion Henry Cejudo is recovering from an injury, former UFC featherweight champion and legend of the sport Jose Aldo is making his 135 debut vs. Marlon Moraes this weekend at UFC 245. Frankie Edgar, a fellow legend and ex-lightweight champion, was set to make his own bantamweight debut against Cory Sandhagen, but filled in to fight Chan Sung Jun. This weekend, Urijah Faber fights Petr Yan.
“135 is going to end up being the next 155 at this point,” Stamann said. “There are so many talented guys that it’s maybe the deepest division in all of MMA right now. We just got two big additions. It was going to be Frankie and Jose, but it’s just going to be Jose for now. Frankie’s going to come down eventually. These are really big fights. It’s awesome to be a part of this, because I think I’m going to peak at just the right time and have my opportunity to fight some absolute legends in the sport and make a ton of money doing it, so I’m excited.”
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