Owner of UFC wins over Terrion Ware, Tom Duquesnoy, Bryan Caraway and Alejandro Perez, with his only loss coming in 2018 to Aljamain Sterling, Stamann has taken that blue collar Michigan approach to his bouts on the sport’s biggest stage, and he sees no reason to start switching things up now, whether in Sparta or Las Vegas.
“I just outworked everybody all the time and eventually it started paying dividends and I started passing guys that were better than me when I started,” he said. “I was super critical about who I was as an athlete and what my level of performance was, and I just wasn’t one of those guys that hid behind their ego and talked about how tough they were. I just kept breaking myself down and building myself back up to the point where that process just became secondary. I didn’t even care as much about people thinking I was good; I just wanted to be good. I wanted to be the best, and that same process got me where I am.”
And though his most recent bout was a controversial draw with Song Yadong last December, one in which MMADecisions.com’s post-fight poll saw Stamann winning on 10 of the 14 media members’ scorecards (with four draws), “The Spartan” remains in the No. 11-spot at 135 pounds, and he shook off the initial disappointment with the verdict and moved on.
“At the time, I was devastated,” Stamann admits. “I was heartbroken about the whole situation and I thought I had been cheated out of something I worked really hard for. But looking back, if you’re thinking long-term, that wasn’t that long ago and it feels like a lifetime ago now because so much has happened since then. I don’t dwell on the past, and I think having a short memory is a blessing in this instance because now I don’t think about that fight, and if I did, it would be in a completely different light from what I thought about it then. I’d be watching it, trying to figure out what I did wrong and what I could improve on instead of watching it and getting frustrated and wanting to throw the remote through the TV, like I did for the first few weeks. If you look at a career long-term, if I would have went out and got knocked out or something really devastating would have happened to me in that fight that would change the trajectory of my career, that’s one thing, but going out and getting a draw with everybody knowing that I won, my position in the UFC doesn’t really change that much. It’s just another fight, just another building block, just another thing that I can learn from.”