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Have We Overlooked the ‘Fight of the Night?’

Matt Wiman vs Sam Stout at UFC 97Nearly doomed by the preliminary card running over into the pay-per-view broadcast, the fight between Matt Wiman and Sam Stout made its way into a coveted spot between Chuck Liddell’s retirement party, and Anderson Silva’s cool-down sparring session. Luckily, we all got to see this fantastic fight, in which each participant pocketed a cool $70k “Fight of the Night” bonus.

But with all of the juicy storylines coming out of UFC 97, the outcome of this fight seems to have been overlooked. Am I the only one who thinks that Matt Wiman should have won a decision in this one and that Stout earned this decision based on his home-field advantage?

All three judges scored this one 29-28 for a unanimous decision in favor of the hometown fighter. But did he really do enough to pull it off? There can be little doubt that Stout won the second round, as he punished Wiman with big shots to the body, dropping him during the middle of the second round. Despite two submission attempts, Wiman clearly looked gassed as the body shots took a lot out of him.

In round three, Wiman clearly got the better of Stout, securing three takedowns and controlling Stout on the ground, both on his back and in his guard. A couple of nice elbows opened up a cut above Stout’s left eye in the last minute of the fight. The fight ended with a nice slam by Wiman, and a some hard shots after letting Stout onto his feet in the waning seconds.

Round one, then, would determine how this fight got scored. Neither man got the better of the other in the striking or the grappling game, despite a decent takedown by Wiman. Stout may have thrown a few more strikes, but Wiman landed more clean shots. Moving to the intangibles of aggression and octagon control, Wiman was clearly the aggressor, pushing the action against Stout. I thought Wiman squeaked by with round one, which should’ve ended this fight 29-28 for Wiman.

Any thoughts?

Image courtesy of NationalPost.com

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