Two serious UFC lightweight veterans settled the score last night (June 22, 2012) as Sam Stout and Spencer Fisher finally finished off a trilogy that was over five years in the making in the co-main event of UFC on FX 4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Stout, as a member of the Team Tompkins crew, had been in a huge rut as of late as none of the key trio of Tompkins-trained fighters had been able to earn a victory ever since the renowned trainer has shockingly passed away.
Well consider that streak over.
So what adjustments did Stout make in his game that allowed him to put a finishing touch on the trilogy? And what happens next for both men?
In past bouts, it was Fisher's aggressive striking and willingness to drag the bout into a brawl which had helped him prevail. That's how he was victorious in the original rematch way back in 2007.
This time, it was Stout who was the better striker as he routinely landed first and was much more accurate. Not only that, but Stout, who has been criticized in the past for his one-dimensional striking style, actually mixed in some leg kicks and takedowns throughout the bout which kept "The King" on his toes constantly.
Fisher was never able to truly get comfortable as the second he started to get in any sort of a groove, Stout would shoot in for a double leg or blast him with a leg kick. This constant frustration, while it never accumulated into any semblance of a finish, allowed Stout to easily win a unanimous decision on all the judges' scorecards.
For Spencer Fisher, time has simply caught up to him. Perhaps in 2007, he would have beaten the Sam Stout that stepped into the Octagon last night, but he's no longer that level of fighter. Age, injuries and overall wear-and-tear have taken their toll on the once-proud "King." He was just a step slow last night and was constantly having to adjust to what his Canadian foe was bringing to the table.
After having lost five of his last six fights, including three and a row, I not only expect Fisher to be done with the UFC, but he'll probably retire. It hurts to see the man underperform, but it happens to almost every veteran fighter at some point or another if they stick around lock enough.
For Sam Stout, this was a solid showing. He answered his critics by coming out and showcasing more than just his crisp and technical boxing. He had a point to prove with his repeated leg kicks and takedowns and he succeeded. "Hands of Stone" is back and hopefully can continue to develop as a mixed martial artist.
There are a ton of potential opponents for Stout that could make entertaining fights. The list includes Takanori Gomi, Melvin Guillard (should he get past Camoes) or perhaps the resurgent former WEC champion Jamie Varner.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you impressed with what Stout brought to the table last night? Is this the last we've seen of Spencer "The King" Fisher?