Cody Stamann: No Longer an Underdog
This Saturday night Cody Stamann will enter the octagon for the biggest fight of his career to date against MMA veteran Bryan Caraway. Unlike his last encounter, the ‘Spartan’ enters this bout as the bookmakers favourite and as such has an heir of expectancy to live up to, as opposed to an underdog status.
‘I feel like I’ve been an underdog for most of my fighting career, so being the underdog in that fight wasn’t really something new to me’ he said, when referring to his last bout with Tom Duquesnoy; He’s not wrong. Duquesnoy was a consensus pick for the bout and very few gave Stamann a chance – a combination of Duquesnoy’s reputation as a lethal striker (garnered largely by his work in the European scene) and Stamann being more of an unknown quantity meant that he was dismissed by many heading into the match up.
For the last bout, a determination to upset the applecart and announce himself as a legitimate contender was enough to spur Cody on through a tough camp, but this time out the mentality won’t change. A win against a vet like Caraway will show a lot of people where Stamann sits on the scale of contender to pretender and he’s confident that he’ll be having his hand raised on March 3rd. ‘It’s just business as usual. I never usually let the pressure affect me – I feel like if you can’t handle pressure well in this sport then you’re not gonna make it. I gear up for every fight in the exact same way’ he explained.
‘I was telling everyone that I’d be in the top 10 within three fights’ he said, before adding ‘This was part of the plan, Caraway was a guy that I’ve been looking to face for a long time. I trained with him a while back, I’m familiar with him and I think he’s a good matchup’. His last bout gave the impression that ‘Mr Wonderful’ is primarily a wrestler, but he’s keen to change that impression in Saturday’s bout, he explained ‘I don’t wanna be known as a wrestler, I wanna be known as a flashy striker. I’m sure he’s gonna shoot on me, but I’m gonna stuff his takedowns and then beat him up on the feet’.
It appears to frustrate Stamann that he doesn’t get the due credit for his striking, but he does understand why there may be a certain impression of him at this point, he said ‘I think because of my build, and because I’ve landed a lot of takedowns in my first few UFC fights then people haven’t been paying attention. But I really feel like my bread and butter is my striking, it’s easy to forget that Duquesnoy was known as one of the best strikers in the bantamweight division and I out-struck him 3 to 1’.
When looking ahead to how the fight will play out, Cody feels like he has a fairly clear understanding of the style clash - 'He’s a boxer wrestler, I would describe myself as that also but I feel I have a lot more weapons than he does and I’m hungry . He’s on his way out and I’m on my way up. It’s the ideal timing and the ideal fight for me. We’re definitely gonna fight on the feet; I’m not looking to shoot on Bryan Caraway’.
Cody isn’t looking past this Saturday night, but he certainly has goals bigger than Bryan Caraway; when asked about his ultimate goals, he was firm in his response – ‘I want to be the Champ, if you’re in the sport and you don’t think you should be the champ then this isn’t the sport for you. I train for that moment my entire career’.
The fighting life isn’t for everyone, but Cody Stamann seems to be right at home with it – ‘I love the competition, I love being an athlete, I love the lifestyle, I’ve always had dreams of being filthy rich from doing this and I still think that will happen. I love the sport and everything that comes with it’. The journey to those riches starts on Saturday night, and unfortunately for Bryan Caraway, he’s standing in the way.