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Sam Stout could live up to reputation and please crowd once again at UFC 131

Las Vegas-based fighter has won Fight of the Night awards in five of his 10 UFC bouts

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Sam Stout celebrates his three-round decision win over Joe Lauzon at UFC 108 Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Sam Stout Work Out

UFC lightweight fighter Sam Stout works out in preparation for his upcoming fight Wednesday, April 28, 2010. Launch slideshow »

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Case Keefer and Ray Brewer discuss UFC on their weekly radio show, which airs Monday at 5:30 on 91.5 KUNV. They preview this weekend's UFC 131 fight card in Vancouver and briefly look back at last week's "The Ultimate Fighter" 13 finale.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Sam Stout has lost a couple of close split decisions during his 10-fight run with the UFC.

To most fighters, those experiences would rank as the most frustrating moments of their career. Stout (16-6-1 MMA, 5-5 UFC) is different.

He vividly recalls which one of his bouts left him most angry. It came in a 2008 win over Per Eklund at UFC 80 — the only time Stout has ever heard a crowd boo one of his fights.

“I was furious,” said Stout, a Canadian who spends most of his training camp in Las Vegas under longtime coach Shawn Tompkins at Tapout Training Center. “There wasn’t much action. He wasn’t fighting back. He was more passive and just being defensive.”

Stout continually stuffed Eklund’s takedown attempts in the fight. Eklund responded by going to the ground, but Stout refused to follow him there.

It made for a bland fight and brought Stout’s biggest fear when the fans voiced their displeasure.

“I was waving him up and screaming at him and trying to get him to fight me, but it takes two guys to fight,” Stout said. “There’s nothing I hate more than hearing the crowd boo because there’s nothing happening in my fight.”

Stout hasn’t given the fans many opportunities to boo. He’s established himself as one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC with half of his bouts ending with a Fight of the Night bonus, including three in a row before his last fight.

Many are expecting the kind of war Stout has become known for Saturday at UFC 131 at Rogers Arena when he takes on fellow veteran Yves Edwards (40-16-1 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in a lightweight bout that will air on Spike at 5 p.m.

“This is obviously a great stylistic fight,” UFC President Dana White said. “It’s a perfect matchup. Both these guys are elite strikers.”

Edwards is known mostly for his Muay Thai game. That’s Stout’s strength, too. Well, Muay Thai and cashing bonus checks.

Stout has made $185,000 in the last two years by winning Fight of The Night awards alone.

“I’ve had a little fun with it here and there, but no crazy purchases,” Stout said. “I’ve always been the type of guy who would rather have a big bank account than a lot of toys.”

Stout did make a down payment on a house and bought a car with some of the bonus money. He also set some aside for a special gift.

“I bought my dad a driveway for Father’s Day last year,” Stout said. “I think this year, I’m going to get him a win over Yves Edwards.”

As epic as some of Stout’s battles in the octagon have been, he’s never finished an opponent in the UFC. It’s something that’s been on his mind and bothering him lately.

Stout wants to end the streak by knocking out Edwards. He even said he’d swap his trademark 15-minute show-stealer bout for a quick finish.

Although Stout hasn’t knocked anyone out in four years, Edwards said the power was still there. Edwards could tell by watching some of Stout’s Fight of the Night performances.

“I don’t think that just comes out of the blue,” Edwards said. “I just want to keep my hands up and not let him execute that.”

As long as Edwards doesn’t back down, Stout should be in good spirits. He couldn’t imagine having to hear the wrath of another crowd.

“It’s an entertainment business, so to be regarded as one of the more entertaining fighters is something I take a lot of pride in,” Stout said. “I consciously go out and try to make the fights exciting.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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