UFC 154 saw several decisions in Montreal Saturday night. Some were entertaining, some, not so much. John Makdessi vs Sam Stout was a solid fight, in my opinion, and showed off some great footwork and boxing from Makdessi. Stout was not satisfied though, and stated that he felt like The Bull was running away throughout the fight. It sort of reminded me of when Jamie Varner stated that he came to fight and Ben Henderson came to grapple. In this case, Sam came to fight, and got boxed up. I reached out to John this morning, and got his thoughts on Stout's comments. Here's what he had to say:
You know, I showed him a lot of respect before and after the fight. People don't even realize two of his closest friends, Chris Horodecki and some other guy, were training at TriStar the whole time I was. I kept my cool and didn't say anything, and was respectful to those guys, too, even though they were probably spying. The whole time I was in training camp, they were eyeballing me. My guys were telling me, 'These guys keep looking at you man.' You know what, they could look all they want. I didn't really care. I mean, one of the guys I was training with ended up cornering him. I'm not stupid. I knew that guy was probably going to go back and tell him some tips as to how I trained. I was just focused on what I had to do with my own gameplan.
Makdessi states he has a great love of boxing and cites Willie Pep as one of his favorites. He gave a breakdown of the fight from his own perspective, and says that Stout made rookie mistakes that led to his defeat.
There's a difference between running and footwork. If I was running away, I would have never been able to hit him back. If you watched the fight closely, every time he got aggressive, the more I kept countering. Everything he gave me, I countered. For me, it's all about footwork. He would lead with his head the whole time. It's one of the biggest errors in boxing. It's an amateur mistake. They teach you to never lead with your head, but that's what he kept doing, leading with his head. I've never connected with so many punches before in my life, as I did with this guy [laughs]. It's unfortunate that he looks at it as running around, but pictures and video are louder than words, and if you review the pictures and videos, you'll see his head popping back every time I threw something his way.
Regardless of all that, I still have respect for Sam. There was even a time I had him hurt, and I stepped back momentarily. My corner got all over me about that. I gave him time to breathe. I highly respect the guy. He's an amazing veteran of the game. He's fought the best guys in the world at 155. This was my biggest win.
You can follow John via his Twitter account, @JohnMakdessiMMA