A battle between K.J. Noons and Sam Stout has the potential to produce plenty of fireworks at the TUF Nations finale in Quebec City. Both veterans have been involved in a number of wars during their respective careers and are more than willing to engage in a fan-friendly striking contest.
The fight will be contested at the welterweight limit of 170-pounds rather than the 155-pound lightweight limit as originally scheduled. Both fighters approached the UFC with the request and it was approved by both the organization and the Quebec Athletic Commission. Stout has fought his entire UFC career as a lightweight while Noons last competed as a welterweight back in 2010 when he lost a Strikeforce title fight against Nick Diaz.
Noons would seemingly have more on the line in this matchup as he’s struggled of late. He snapped a three-fight losing skid at UFC 166 when he recorded a unanimous decision victory over George Sotiropoulos. Noons leveled his Octagon record to 1-1 after dropping a lopsided decision to Donald Cerrone in his UFC debut. He has a solid boxing background and owns career victories over Diaz and Yves Edwards. He also fought current UFC lightweight contender Josh Thomson dating back to his days in EliteXC and Strikeforce.
Noons hasn’t been able to maintain that top-tier status as his career has taken a downward spiral with just two wins in his last seven fights. He’s looking to post back-to-back victories for the first time since 2010 and a win against the always tough Stout would be a major confidence boost. Noons has a 12-7 career mark with eight finishes by way of knockout.
Stout has delivered plenty of excitement during his 17 fights inside the Octagon. “Hands of Stone” has earned a total of seven Fight and Knockout of the Night bonuses. He has tremendous striking skills and a sturdy chin. Those components are key reasons why so many of his bouts have been so entertaining. Stout is probably best known for his thrilling trilogy with Spencer Fisher and also holds career wins over Joe Lauzon and Matt Wiman. While known for his striking prowess, Stout has shown an improved wrestling game of late.
Stout is coming off a unanimous decision victory over submission ace Cody McKenzie at UFC on FOX 9. It wasn’t the best stylistic matchup for Stout and failed to deliver the action that he’s noted for. This fight against Noons will be more in line to testing his skills against a fellow striker.
With Noons and Stout both seeking elusive back-to-back victories, this one shapes up as an all-action affair that could very well produce the Fight of the Night.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports