During MMA’s surge towards the mainstream Sam Stout and Spencer Fisher met each other for a thrilling trilogy of fights inside the UFC’s Octagon. The first of those contests, which went down at UFC 58 in 2006, is remembered as one of the most action-packed fights of the era.
Fisher won that bout by split decision. The rematch main-evented UFC Fight Night 10 in 2007 and resulted in a unanimous decision win for Stout (without much of the fireworks seen in the first fight). The rubber-match happened five years later, at UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida. Fisher won that fight, which earned Fight of the Night, honours via unanimous decision.
Stout and Fisher will always be associated with one another. So it’s not that surprising that, after Fisher disclosed to MMA Fighting that he currently suffers from the affects of head trauma sustained throughout his fighting career, Stout would take notice.
In fact, Stout did more than just notice Fisher’s plight. The Canadian decided to take action as well.
‘Hands of Stone’ set-up the Spencer Fisher Relief on GoFundMe. In the campaign’s description field, Stout writes:
Spencer Fisher is a MMA pioneer that gave us great fights through his entire career, he has payed a severe price for his time in the cage. He suffers from serious medical conditions related to his time in combat sports. Please help donate to help him with his medical expenses and supporting his wife and daughters.
The campaign was set up to raise $2,000 for Fisher. However, the campaign has soared past that goal and has raised, at this time of writing, over $6,000.
Fisher is currently suffering symptoms consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition caused by blows to the head (both concussive and sub-concussive). After he retired from the UFC the company paid for Fisher to visit several neurologists. The company also paid Fisher a monthly $5,000 retainer.
The UFC’s medical assistance, and retainer, disappeared when the Fertitta Brothers sold ZUFFA to WME in 2016.
Stout told MMA Fighting that he was heartbroken after reading about Fisher’s medical situation.
“Spencer’s earned my respect almost more than any other man walking this planet. Just to see him twisting in the wind with no help, it’s really hard for me to watch, because it could have been me.”
Stout also said that Fisher’s situation was an indicator that things need to change in the world of modern mixed martial arts.
“There’s more information coming to light about CTE and the lasting effects of head injuries. I think ongoing medical coverage for the fighters should be part of [the UFC’s] expenses that they need to factor into their business. Sometimes I think they worry about the bottom line more than the people that are making their company the great powerhouse that it is. I think it’s not right and something needs to change.”