Looking back on his victory over Alejandro Perez at UFC 235 on March 2, bantamweight Cody Stamann is pleased he got the win, even if the fight didn’t play out how he anticipated.
Expecting a much more aggressive Perez, Stamann was forced to alter his game plan for the bout and ended up not having the kind of fight he felt he was capable of.
“I think the problem was the fact that Alejandro wasn’t coming after me,” Stamann told MMAWeekly.com. “My whole game plan was to counter his kicks, counter his punches, back him up and try to get him to sit down and throw hard shots so I could take him down.
“The problem was that Alejandro really didn’t engage that much with me. It made for a less exciting fight for me. I did my job and went out and won, beating a guy that hadn’t been beaten in five years, and I did it on three weeks’ notice. Overall I’m happy with my performance.”
For Stamann, rebounding following his loss to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 228 in September of last year was of utmost importance.
“Coming off a loss it’s absolutely crucial for you career that it doesn’t happen again,” said Stamann. “You have to come back after a loss – that’s really what being an athlete is all about.
“You can’t drop two in this sport and think you’re going to go somewhere. It’s a major setback – it’s a career-altering setback (if you lose two in a row). There was more pressure on me to win the fight than there ever had been.”
Back on the winning track, Stamann is looking to make his third year in the UFC the one that gets him into title contention for 2020.
“There’s a couple of fights that are coming up in April that I think is going to steer me where I’m going to head,” Stamann said. “Thomas Almeida and Ricky Simon are two guys right now that are kind of on the top of my s–t list; so if their name pops up, right now or within the next few weeks it will be a no brainer for me to go ahead and say yes.
“2019 is the year that I need to build up my notoriety and my fan base, and I need to do that by beating ranked opponents. There’s so many guys at bantamweight, you almost have to finish guys to move up. I didn’t get the finish (against Perez), so hopefully my next fight is against the guy at the level I’m at to help solidify my spot at the top.”