UFC 185 Fight Breakdown: Ross Pearson vs. Sam Stout

Caros-Fodor One of the prelims at UFC 185 is a three-round lightweight bout between Ross Pearson and Sam Stout. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Pearson is a -350 favorite (bet $350 to win $100) while Stout is a +290 underdog (bet $100 to win $290). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Pearson at -210 and Stout at +160, and the public has been all over the favorite Pearson. Personally, I feel this is a competitive matchup so at the huge underdog odds, I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Stout to get the W. Here’s why. Pearson (16-8, 1 NC) was the winner of TUF 9 and has since gone on to achieve a 8-5, 1 NC inside the Octagon with wins over the likes of George Sotiropoulos, Gray Maynard, and Dennis Siver, amongst others. Pearson is a striker and has excellent boxing skills and knockout power in his hands. He has won five fights by knockout, including TKO wins in his last three wins. His wrestling isn’t great, but it’s passable and he’s able to keep the majority of his fights standing. His chin, though, is a bit of a question mark, and he’s lost three fights in his career via T/KO, including a knockout loss to Al Iaquinta in his last fight. There’s no doubt Pearson is a solid striker, but you have to wonder where he is now mentally after losing to Iaquinta in a fight that dropped him out of the top 15. The UFC is giving him a good matchup to bounce back to against Stout here, but he has to keep active in the fight because in Texas there’s a very real threat of a Diego Sanchez-esque decision going against him, and therefore a knockout become even more crucial in the matchup. Stout (20-10-1) has been in the UFC and has achieved a 9-9 overall in the promotion with wins over the likes of Joe Lauzon, Matt Wiman and Yves Edwards, amongst others. A longtime kickboxing standout, the 30-year-old Canadian has managed to stay on the UFC roster for nearly a decade despite his .500 record and that’s because he’s been involved in a number of exciting fights over the years. He has a very aggressive striking attack on the feet, and while Stout doesn’t possess much power, he does throw with good volume and he’s always walking forward, which historically has been favorable with the judges. Overall Stout doesn’t have great wrestling but it’s been getting better over the years and it complements his striking pretty nicely, especially against the lower-tiered fighters he’s been facing. There’s no doubt Pearson is a step up in competition from the guys Stout has been fighting recently, but Pearson is also a guy who will stand and bang with Stout, and that’s exactly what he wants. He’ll have to watch his chin, as it’s declining and hew as knocked out brutally by KJ Noons in his last outing, but if he doesn’t get knocked out by Pearson he’ll hang with his opponent on the feet and make it close on the cards, and at the huge odds it’s definitely something to think about. I know everyone is down on Stout, and it’s understandable considering his recent performances, but I feel like Pearson has also hit a decline spot in his career, and I’m really not sure why he’s such a big favorite in this fight considering he was just brutally knocked out in his last fight. Historically, Stout has been involved in a ton of competitive, close decisions that go to the cards, and although Pearson has knockout power, I don’t think he’s going to finish Stout in this spot. Taking into account both fighters’ styles, I think this is a fight that’s going to be close and I think it’s going the full 15 minutes, and you’re getting 3-to-1 dog odds on one fighter, and in my opinion this is a good spot for a small value play on Stout. The judging in Texas is horrible and even if Stout is getting picked apart, just the fact he’s walking forward and being aggressive might be enough for him to get the judges to sway his way in a close fight. I’m not super confident in Stout, but at the odds this one stood out to me as a spot where the favorite is overvalued and the dog is undervalued, and therefore I have to lean towards the dog Stout considering the situation.

Written by Adam Martin.

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