UFC 216 went down Saturday live from Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena. The even boasted a pair of title fights, with the interim title showdown between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee serving as the main event. Topping off the televised portion of the UFC 216 card, however, was a key bantamweight bout between former BAMMA dual-weight champion Tom Duquesnoy and Cody Stamann.
The signing of Duquesnoy earlier this year was highly anticipated by fans who had followed his career in BAMMA, where he reigned as bantamweight and featherweight champion. Stamann, meanwhile, had also held gold at both bantamweight and featherweight, albeit in different promotions. Both fighters had won their UFC debuts, but someone was looking at a loss in Las Vegas.
So which prospect would come out ahead at UFC 216?
Early on it was Stamann who struck first, scoring a takedown, but to his credit, Tom Duquesnoy was right back to his feet. Duquesnoy’s own offense took off with a right hand and knee combo around the midway mark, and he began pressuring his foe. A kick to the body triggered another takedown by Stamann, and this time, he managed to keep Duquesnoy down and work from guard — but not for long. The ease of which the former BAMMA champ was making it back up had to build his confidence.
After a brief intermission due to a low blow, Duquesnoy would get back underway with a straight left, then another moments later and a pair of kicks to the body.
The second round saw the French fighter pressing the action early, scoring a head kick and following it up with a combination. His forward pressure combined with excellent head movement made him stand out in comparison to Stamann. Stamann would score another takedown at the midway point of round two; Duquesnoy attempted to set up a triangle with no success. This time, Stamann managed to keep his opponent down a little longer, but still, Tom Duquesnoy managed to get back up. How much would the judges value those takedowns, should the fight go the distance?
Stamann finished another double leg takedown around the one minute mark in a move that likely earned him the second frame.
Stamann flipped the script in round three, getting loose, pressuring Duquesnoy and letting his hands fly. Both men displayed some solid footwork, but it was the former BAMMA champ who slowed a step. Surprisingly, however, it was Duquesnoy who would wind up on top at the end of the round.
So how did the judges see it? A split decision, in favor of Stamann.
Cody Stamann def. Tom Duquesnoy by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)