Cody Stamann returns to the octagon to face UFC debutant Askar Askar on the main card of UFC Vegas 18: Overeem vs Volkov this Saturday night. Stamann was originally scheduled to fight Andre Ewell. However, Ewell was forced to pull out of the bout due to a positive COVID-19 test. Askar Askar steps up on five days’ notice to take on ‘The Spartan’ at the UFC apex in what will be the 26-year-old’s UFC debut.
Both fighters are originally bantamweights, with Cody Stamann sitting at #13 ranked in UFC bantamweight rankings. However Saturday night’s clash will take place at featherweight, with this being Stamann’s third fight in the weight class.
Cody Stamann, who holds a professional record of 19-3-1, will be looking to make 2021 the year of the spartan as he continues to recover from what was a tough year for the American. The passing of his younger brother Jacob in May of 2020 at the cruel age of 18, will forever be on the mind of Cody Stamann.
The mental toughness of Stamann could not be doubted though, as he entered the octagon a little over a week later following his brother’s passing to score the biggest victory of his career over Brian Kelleher at UFC 250. Showcasing his talent in what was a career-best performance for the fighter who hails from Michigan.
Little is known about Askar Askar (not to be confused with Russian fighter Askar Askarov) and what he has to offer to the UFC. Besides the plausible opportunity of the most confusing name match-up to ever exist in MMA history should he ever face fellow UFC fighter Askar Askarov in the distant future.
Askar is 11-1 as a fighter and has fought in a variety of different MMA organizations, most impressively in the LFA, in which he holds two victories out of two fights, both via unanimous decision.
Unlike what his LFA record shows, Askar is more than capable of finishing the fight within three rounds, having secured five submission victories and one knockout victory out of his 11 professional wins. The 26-year-old representing his ‘AK-47’ nickname in rapid form, having six of his 11 professional fights ending within the very first round.
Askar, who fights out of Chicago, Illinois, last victory came over Kevin Wirth in what was a dominant showing by a 26-year-old who displayed confidence in wherever the fight took place. Winning every aspect of the contest and cruising to victory to now earn his UFC debut.
How could it play out?
Stamann will be by far the toughest opponent Askar will have faced. He will be certain to push his opponent to showcase whether the UFC debutant is really ready for the big time. However, Stamann is coming off of his first loss since losing to the #1 ranked UFC bantamweight Aljamain Sterling.
Having been defeated on a decision by Jimmie Rivera last time out on ‘Fight Island’ in what was the battle of the prospects. Rivera dictated Stamann in the standup in that bout which ultimately earned him the victory.
Cody Stamann’s path to victory on Saturday is to apply the pressure early, tire Askar out, and then the American can look for the finish. Using his wrestling to his advantage will be key with Askar taking the fight on short notice. This may see Stamann grab yet another decision victory or a late finish over his opponent.
As for Askar, he will expect the bout to go the distance. If he is to win he will need to overwhelm Stamann with better striking and be competitive in the wrestling exchanges, emulating Rivera’s path to victory in Stamann’s last fight.
Askar showed his overall all-round game in his last fight, in a comfortable decision victory over Kevin Wirth. He came out with nasty intentions in the first round putting Wirth on the backfoot instantly. Even scoring a knockdown within the first minute as a result of a right hook which caught his opponent completely off guard.
Then Askar continued to control his opponent throughout, coasting to victory with a unanimous decision the verdict. Askar put on show why he was deserving of his shot in the UFC with impressive takedowns, striking, wrestling and ring control.
Askar will need to put in a similar display if he is to come away with a UFC debut victory at the apex on Saturday night.
Prediction: Cody Stamann via unanimous decision
How Cody Stamann will bounce back from the toughest year of his life and career will showcase what he really is made of at UFC Vegas 18. As for Askar Askar, could he come up trumps with the win of his career on his UFC debut?
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