Coming off a two-fight losing streak, Canadian UFC veteran Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout looks to right the ship in front of his home country.
“Anytime you come to a new venue, a new city, the crowd is pumped about it and I’ve been to Saskatoon before and this is a fight town, people love the UFC here and I always have a warm welcome,” Stout said.
Coming into his 34th appearance in the octagon, Stout said fighting in front of Canadian fans definitely adds to the excitement and he’s looking forward to getting his UFC career back on track in Saskatoon.
“When you come out and the whole crowd is behind you and every time you land a punch you hear the crowd erupt; it definitely gives you an extra boost of energy and it gives you that drive to push a little harder,” Stout said.
The winner of six fight-of-the-night bonuses as well as one knockout-of-the-night, Stout said fans can expect business as usual when it comes to watching him fight, because he plans on taking control of the centre of the octagon and taking the fight to his opponent Frankie Perez.
“He’s still relatively new in the UFC and I have a lot of experience so I want to take him into deep water, I want to keep him guessing and I want to really put a lot of pressure on him,” Stout said.
Rimouski’s Patrick “The Predator” Cote is another veteran Canadian who will fight at UFC Fight Night Saskatoon on Sunday. Of the seven Canadian fighters featured on the card, none holds a better record than Cote, who has 16 wins with only one loss when fighting north of the 49th parallel.
But Cote knows he’s in tough against fellow UFC veteran Josh Burkman.
“He’s going to come very aggressive in the first round like he always does and he has his back up against the wall with two losses in a row,” Cote said. “I was ready to fight last week so Sunday I’ll be more than ready.”
For fans, there’s still lots to take in ahead of Sunday’s Fight Night. On Friday, the UFC will hold open workouts at O’Brian’s Events Centre on Second Avenue. The public event will feature Cote, Burkman, and main event fighters Max Holloway and Charles Oliveira. The open workouts run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Following the workouts, the UFC experience presented by Reebok will hold a special meet-n-greet as well as an autograph signing with Saskatoon’s own UFC star Mitch Clarke and Jordan Mein from Lethbridge, Alta., out by Midtown Plaza from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Modern Martial Arts Centre will showcase a mixed martial arts class led by UFC fighters Tyron Woodley, Jordan Mein and Cody Garbrandt. They will be training with Special Olympics Saskatchewan athletes. The martial arts class runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
The UFC experience continues Saturday at SaskTel Centre featuring more UFC fighters and UFC octagon girls. The UFC Fight Night weigh-ins begin at 4 p.m. at SaskTel Centre.
UFC Fight Night Saskatoon goes Sunday and the event will be broadcast live on TSN and Fox Sports 1. The first fight starts at 4 p.m. with the main card starting at 7 p.m.