In a sport where there aren't too many guys who bring the full package, Sam Stout is an excellent technical striker. But sometimes it's simply not enough against a bigger, stronger brawler. Stout landed some good combinations along with stinging body and leg kicks, but Stephens walked through most of them and fired back with big overhand rights and left hooks. Stephens impressed the judges enough to take a split decision win, 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29, in bout No. 3 on the UFC 113 pay-per-view in Montreal.
"I felt I was more powerful," Stephens told UFC analyst Joe Rogan. "That body shot really hurt me but I'm a [expletive] warrior."
Stephens (18-5, 5-4 UFC) did major damage in the first as Stout (15-5, 4-5 UFC) tried to score points with kicks, he got countered with big rights. He went to floor three times. The second round was tighter and the scoring depended on what you prefer, volume or power.
Stout's volume caught up with Stephens a bit in the final round. The Iowan got blasted by a body shot and froze. Trying to catch his breath, Stephens was charged by Stout, who began to unload. Then for some reason Stout decided to take it to the ground. It gave Stephens a chance to rest and get back in the fight in the final minute.
Stout's chances were also hurt when he took a left thumb to his right eye in the first three minutes of the fight. The eye swelled immediately and it looked like he had trouble seeing the rest of the fight.