Darryl Dyck / AP
Sunday, June 12, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — From his choice of entrance music to the way he tried to diagnose the problem earlier this week, it was easy to see how much a knockout victory would mean to UFC veteran Sam Stout.
Stout, a lightweight who trains in Las Vegas, got his wish Saturday night at Rogers Arena. For the first time in 11 career fights in the UFC, Stout won via stoppage when he knocked out Yves Edwards at 3:52 of the first round.
“I’ve been calling myself ‘Hands of Stone’ and haven’t knocked anyone out in five years,” Stout said. “So I was starting to get a little worried about it. It was definitely a big relief to get that knockout.”
Stout’s was no run-of-the-mill knockout. It was one that the UFC will undoubtedly immortalize on highlight videos and pre-fight montages for years to come.
He took Eminem’s “Go To Sleep,” his walkout music, quite literally. Stout put all his power in one long, counter overhand left to knock Edwards unconscious.
“It was one of the most vicious knockouts in UFC history, if not the most vicious,” UFC President Dana White said.
After Edwards hit the ground, Stout rushed down to follow up with a few more blows. But he stopped himself even before the referee could jump in.
Stout said he saw Edwards’ eyes roll back, and he knew it was over. He may have waited longer for his first UFC knockout than most strikers, but now Stout has one more emphatic than most fighters will experience in their lifetime.
“It was a good feeling that I hadn’t felt in a while, and I think you can see that if you go back and watch the tape of the celebration,” Stout said. “I was jumping up and down and screaming for a little while.”
Stout also did a somersault and leaped to the top of the cage to hug longtime coach Shawn Tompkins. Meanwhile, numerous people tended to Edwards on the other side of the octagon.
Medical personnel helped guide Edwards out of the arena after checking on him for nearly five minutes following the knockout.
“This is a tough loss for me,” Edwards said. “I’ve got to go back and see the tape to figure out where my defense broke down.”
If he trusts Stout’s comments, Edwards might want to look back even further than this fight to correct the problem. Stout said he knew the punch would be available after Tompkins spotted a weakness when breaking down Edwards’ film.
According to Stout, Edwards would always drop his hands and leave himself open when his lead foot got too far ahead of him. Tompkins thought Stout could exploit it by coming over the top with a big strike.
“I was working on it my whole training camp,” Stout said.
It was an easy selection for knockout of the night, giving Stout an unprecedented fourth bonus check in his last five fights. The 27-year-old is now 4-1 in his last five fights but still not near the title picture in the loaded 155-pound class.
Stout’s 6-5 UFC record still isn’t anything he’s proud of. But it’s worth noting that the Canadian once went on a five-fight win streak all via knockout on the regional circuit. Another tear like that and anything is possible.
“It feels good to be knocking people out again,” Stout said. “I hope I keep it going.”