Sam Stout will square off against K.J. Noons in what should be an entertaining lightweight scrap at The Ultimate Fighter Nations finale. The April 16 bout in Quebec City has the makings of being a pure standup affair. “Hands of Stone” has six Fight of the Night bonuses and a Knockout of the Night bonus to his credit in a 17-fight UFC career. Stout’s Octagon record may be just 9-8, but he has been able to carve out a solid career because of the exciting nature of his fights. His last appearance didn’t deliver the usual fireworks as he recorded a unanimous decision victory over submission specialist Cody McKenzie at UFC on FOX 9 in Sacramento. It was a good bounce back victory after a loss to James Krause at UFC 161. Matchmakers have made the right move here in putting Stout up against a fellow competitor in Noons who also takes pride in his striking game.
Noons has a solid boxing pedigree and used that to his advantage in outslugging George Sotiropoulos at UFC 166. It ended a three-fight losing skid and was a much-needed win for Noons after falling short in his Octagon debut. He was battered by Donald Cerrone in suffering a unanimous decision loss at UFC 160. Noons has been in with solid competition during the course of his MMA career — including Nick Diaz and Josh Thomson — and actually owns a victory over Diaz dating back to their days in EliteXC. Noons’ career fortunes have taken a turn for the worse in the last few years as he is just 2-5 in his last seven fights. Noons will be in search of back-to-back triumphs for the first time since 2010.
Both fighters will be looking to impress in April and put together a modest win streak. With the high-level striking skills of both competitors and their sturdy chins this one has the prospects of delivering an exciting battle. With Stout involved it couldn’t be any other way.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports