Sam Stout knows he won’t be entering Saturday night’s UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes card alone. Rather, in the mind and heart of Stout, former coach and best friend Shawn Tompkins, who passed away last year, will be watching from above. For Stout, this is another chapter in a long road ahead without Tompkins in his corner. The Canadian was with Tompkins for the better part of ten years, and even became a brother-in-law to him when his sister married Tompkins.
“He’s the biggest influence I’ve ever had in my life,” said Stout, in a recent interview with UFC’s website. “I spent so much time with him and we were so close that I feel like I can really look inside myself and realize what he would be telling me. I just have to remember all of the lessons he taught me over the years. Just because I don’t hear him in my ear doesn’t mean I can’t look inside of myself to the things he used to inspire me.”
Stout takes on Thiago Tavares at the event where Jose Aldo will also defend his UFC featherweight title in the main event against Chad Mendes. While the Canadian knows he won’t be the fan-favorite based on his opponent’s nationality he remains carefree, eagerly anticipating the atmosphere in the arena rather than being concerned about it.
“There’s nothing I love more than going into an arena and you can feel that electricity in the air,” Stout said. “I’m sure that’s how it will be in Brazil. The first couple fights in Canada were like that. You can feel that rumbling in the arena and it’s an amazing feeling.”
Stout is 17-6-1 in his career, and “Hands of Stone” will be looking to make it three straight wins when he squares off with Tavares. Since 2009, Stout is 4-1, while his overall UFC record stands at 5-3. Catch his bout with Tavares on the PPV portion of the show.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC