Another action-packed night of fights heads our way under the bright lights of the UFC. Dana White and his team have done an extraordinary job pulling of fights week after week under the current pandemic.
On Saturday night, UFC 255 takes place with a total of 12 bouts on the card with 2-title fights. Headlining the card should have been Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo vs Cody Garbrandt, but unfortunate circumstances have withdrawn Cody Garbrandt from the bout. Alex Perez now steps in. In the co-main event, Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko takes the co-main event slot as he defends her belt vs Brazil’s Jennifer Maia.
In the early prelims card, Dustin Stolzfus faces Kyle Daukaus.
Dustin Stoltzfus (13-1) makes his official UFC debut this Saturday after securing a much dreamed about contract on Dana Whites Contender Series.
The 29-year old secured his spot amongst the UFC roster just three months ago, with a R1 slam over Joseph Pyfer, which discolated his opponent’s arm.
Stoltzfus enters the cage on Saturday with a 10-fight win streak behind him, comfortably beating all his opponents on the German regional scene. The Middleweight hasn’t tasted defeat since 2015.
Stolzfus has shown in previous bouts that he’s more capable of going the full 15-minutes and out-pointing his opponents. A man with no problems with his cardio is a dangerous man. Also important to note ahead of this one, Stolzfus brings a 38% submission rate to the table and recently finished Nihad Nasufovic via twister.
Kyle Daukaus (9-1) will be desperate to put an end to the win streak of Stoltzfus. Daukaus built an impressive 9-fight winning streak of his own before meeting Brendan Allen on his UFC debut. Daukas came up short dropping a unanimous decision, however representing himself well.
Daukaus comes in the slightly more experienced of the two from the amateur to pro ranks.
The Philadelphia born grappling and submission came seems to be his best tool. All of Daukas’s wins bar one, have come via submission. That is an 89% submission finish rate.
A fairly quick turnaround from your Contender Series win, just three months after, you’re making your official UFC debut. How has life been since being awarded the contract and how are the emotions on the lead up to UFC 255?
Stoltzfus – “Life has been a bit chaotic, with lockdowns and quarantines, it’s been more complicated than usual getting my training in. That being said, I do feel fit and well prepared for this match-up.”
After your DWCS victory, did you take some time off to celebrate with family or was it a case of getting straight back into the gym and waiting for a fight, when did you know about the Kyle Daukaus bout?
Stoltzfus – I took about 2 weeks to visit my family in PA, while I was there I had already been offered the Daukaus fight. Usually, I am pretty active while I am there, but I tweaked my back while out on a boat in the Susquehanna River and was forced to take things slow after that. Once I got that worked out, I was excited about getting back into training, but a week and a half into my camp I caught covid and had to take a break again. On the 5th of October, I was finally able to start training again and started making up for lost time.”
Talk to me a little on what it means to you, to be associated and to represent Germany on the biggest stage of Martial Arts. Before your contender series match-up, you fought all your bouts within the Germany regional scene. How long until we see the next generation of Germany fighters come through the doors and make a mark in the sport?
Stoltzfus – “There are some very good fighters in Germany. The main problem is that the sport is still not widely accepted in the mainstream so the pool of talent is really shallow. That being said, I think you’ll be seeing some more guys come up, especially if I and the other Germany on the roster can start picking up some wins.”
Daukas is known as a submission specialist with eight of his wins coming via sub. How much of this camp has been focussed on your grappling credentials and submission defence?
Stoltzfus – “Obviously we’ve been working on that. However, I am very confident on the ground and don’t feel like I will be at a disadvantage there.”
Ahead of UFC 255, you bring a 10-fight win streak to the table, your opponent was on a 9-fight win streak before tasting defeat to Allen which was his first pro loss. Some fighters take that differently. Do you think his confidence will be slightly knocked or it’ll give him the motivation to come in all guns blazing?
Stoltzfus – “I think, especially with the way things ended with him picking up a lot of momentum at the end of the fight, he will feel like he is the better, more experienced fighter. I expect a very confident Kyle Daukaus.”
Have you and your coaches had much time to study your opponent in Daukas and if so, what’re your over-all thoughts on his skill-set?
Stoltzfus – “We’ve watched tape on him, but he is pretty well rounded, so aside from a couple of little things, I just have to go in there and fight.”
You’ll be sharing a card with fellow Middleweight Joaquin Buckley, I’m just wondering if you saw his recent highlight-reel knock out over Impa Kasanganay and if that’s a matchup that would interest you down the line?
Stoltzfus – “To be honest, his highlight is the only thing I’ve seen from him. but sure, I wouldn’t turn that fight down. Let’s see how he dose in his next fight and maybe we’ll end up scrapping. All these middleweights out there can get some. There’s no rush.”
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