There are several ways veteran fighters can breathe new life into their careers. They can drop down in weight, switch training camps, or even change their personalities. Of course, the simplest way to get people talking about you again is to start winning dramatically again. A veteran of over twenty fights, Sam Stout recently did just that when he viciously KO’d Yves Edwards at UFC 131. In a new interview, Stout gave some interesting thoughts on what he thinks the future holds should he beat Dennis Siver, his upcoming opponent.
Here are some highlights from an interview Stout recently had with Fightlinker: “You don’t make it to that high in the division… if you don’t know how to do everything and [Siver’s] definitely shown some significant improvements in his game… I think that puts me definitely top 10 if I beat Dennis Siver … that’s the way I feel and that’s the way I hope the UFC head honchos see it.”
Sam Stout makes an interesting point… I think you could consider Dennis Siver a Top 10 Lightweight, and you normally become a Top 10 Lightweight by beating a Top 10 Lightweight. Normally.
However, I just don’t think that beating Dennis Siver puts Sam Stout in the top ten. I think it just knocks Dennis Siver out of the top ten.
I can explain it best if I give you an example. Let’s say that Siver is the #10 Lightweight in the UFC, and Sam Stout is #12. Before the winner of this fight is determined, we need to consider that Siver is coming off of a close fight that many felt he should have lost. We also need to consider that Stout hadn’t finished anyone in over three years before KO’ing Edwards. Based on that, if Sam Stout beats Dennis Siver I think you could make a serious case for Siver dropping down to #12, Stout moving up to #11, and the #11 fighter taking Siver’s spot in the Top 10.
Basically: sometimes beating a Top 10 opponent doesn’t put you in the Top 10, it just takes the guy you beat out of the top ten. This has happened countless times with just about all the major websites that do these kinds of “top ten” rankings.
Of course, we aren’t talking about major websites, we’re talking about the UFC. And the UFC can do whatever it wants, especially with the super-crowded Lightweight division. But just off the top of my head, let’s see if I can name ten Lightweight fighters that I think have as much or even more of a claim to a Top 10 spot than the winner of Siver/Stout.
First and second is Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard, of course. Then you have fighters like Melvin Guillard, Jim Miller, and Clay Guida. There’s also former WEC fighters like Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, and Ben Henderson. And yes, Pettis still deserves a spot in the Top 10 even though he lost his UFC debut due to the fact that he beat so many good Lightweights in the WEC.
That’s, what… eight fighters with relatively little thought? Maybe not the full ten right off the top of my head, but it’s pretty close. With his recent win over George Sotiropoulos and the fact that he’s won four of his last five with one loss to Clay Guida thanks to a freak injury, you could make a case for Rafael dos Anjos taking up a ninth spot in the Top 10. And even though he’s 3-2 in his five most-recent fights, the fact that every single one of those fights earned some type of post-fight “Of The Night” bonus plus the fact that he’s about to face Melvin Guillard leads me to believe that Joe Lauzon could occupy the tenth slot.
My main point is this: the UFC’s Lightweight division is super-crowded right now, and that’s a good thing. Normally I don’t pay much attention to rankings and I just enjoy the fights I’m given. However, and this is said without an ounce of disrespect intended, I just don’t think Sam Stout is realistic when he says that beating Dennis Siver makes him a Top 10 Lightweight.