It’s safe to say that 2019 hasn’t quite turned out exactly how bantamweight Cody Stamann had hoped it would. At the same time, just because it hasn’t gone how he planned, it doesn’t mean it’s been a bad year.
Though his activity level has been hindered due to injury, Stamann feels like he’s had a positive 2019 thanks to the advancements he’s been able to make in his game.
“2019, for how much s**t I’ve been through, has been a really good year as far as my actual skill level and growth as an athlete,” Stamann told MMAWeekly.com.
“Obviously, missing out on that (June UFC) fight with (Rob) Font sucks, but I did a full training camp, so in that time I feel I got better and improved in a lot of areas. The injury set me back a little bit, but I’ve able to work out consistently, so it doesn’t feel like that long since the last fight, honestly.”
Though he hasn’t stepped into the cage for a bout since March when he defeated Alejandro Perez at UFC 235, Stamann feels like he knows how he’s grown as a fighter over the course of 2019 and where he’ll be at with his game when he makes his return.
“I know where I’m at,” said Stamann. “I think within the next couple years I’ll peak as an athlete and be the best version of myself that I can be. I think I’m headed in that direction.
“There’s been so many drastic changes in my life. I’ve really just re-focused. I moved from Michigan to Las Vegas. I’m hitting on all cylinders and am on a whole new level in my mind.”
Stamann (18-2) will have his first bout in eight months when he faces Song Yadong (15-4) in a UFC on ESPN 7 main card bantamweight bout on Dec. 7 in Washington, DC.
“I’m a lot more focused on myself this time around,” Stamann said. “(Song’s) a great competitor. He’s fast, he’s athletic, he hits hard, so the biggest thing for me is not getting hit with that right hand.
“I think that’s his bread and butter, his main weapon, and if I can negate that and implement what I’m good at, I don’t see how he can beat me. He’s a one-trick pony. The overhand is how he wins all his fights. In my mind is to avoid the overhand and implement my game plan – that’s it.”
While going forward Stamann doesn’t want to set a hard roadmap for where he wants to go with his career, his main goal of continuing up the ranks doesn’t change regardless of the year.
“The goal is to be the best in the world – that never changes – that’s a day in, day out thing,” said Stamann. “I’m always chasing that number one spot.
“Throughout my career I’ve made hard deadlines for myself, but I’m kind of at the point where I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not putting that pressure on myself. The goal is to be number one, whether it’s 2020, 2021 or 2022, it doesn’t matter; the goal is to be the best in the world.”