Oktagon 55’s Niklas Stolze Says UFC Run Put Him in Deep Waters, Prepared Him for Everything Else

A little bit of distance between Niklas Stolze and his UFC run has helped put his brief stint with the company in perspective.

Stolze (13-6), who will look for his second straight win at Oktagon 55 this Saturday, was put in against the likes of Benoit St. Denis and Ramazan Emeev, no easy outs to be sure. Looking at their success since has helped put things in perspective for Germany’s Stolze.

“One hundred percent. Everyone who I fought in the UFC was a straight up killer,” Stolze told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “I guess they just sign killers; obviously there are some fights where you can move around a little bit, where you’re like ‘okay this is maybe doable, no this is not really doable.’ But I had no real choices. The first time I joined the UFC I was with a small management [company], so I had no real voice, I didn’t have much Instagram power or something else to choose something.”

Looking back, Stolze is “totally fine” with his debut performance against Ramazan Emeev. “I came straight up from construction work so I was not doing any training at all, so I was cool with that.” His second fight, due to positive COVID tests, he lost his entire team one day before the fight, though he’s not taking anything away from Jared Gooden.

Finally, there was Benoit St-Denis. “Benoit, everyone knows him now because he fought [Dustin] Poirier.”

“Straight up killers, like you said, overall it didn’t go well but I learned so much about myself,” added Stolze. “It put me in such deep waters and now I’m super prepared for anyone else.”

Stolze, whose UFC run ran from 2020 to 2022, is one of the fighters covered by a pair of class action lawsuits the UFC has recently settled, pending approval by a judge. While most fans are more familiar with the Cung Le/Jon Fitch suit, which covers a period from 2011 to 2017, a second lawsuit with ex-UFC fighters Kajan Johnson and CB Dollaway also targeted the promotion’s anti-competitive practices, from 2017 to at least 2021.

That suit was also covered under the settlement. Which means that Stolze could be due for a payout. It’s something he needs to look into, after his Oktagon 55 bout with Mate Kertesz.

“Bro I don’t know. I really, really don’t know. All I know is I got some money from the UFC a couple of weeks ago because of some, I think merch or something. Some earnings, which was pretty cool. It was a small amount but it was still fun to look at your bank account and see oh, UFC is dropping you some money. That’s what everyone is dreaming about.”

“I’m going to ask my management. At the end of the day, I mean money would be super nice and everything but I stopped believing and thinking that I’m going to be super, super rich through MMA,” added Stolze. “I work my ass off and I’m going to fight all my fights, I’m going to win all my fights and I’m going to make my money; my brand is growing and everything, you know, everything around me, and I just evolved so much as a person so I’m not really fearful or scared of not really getting much money.”

“But at the end of the day I saw the huge amount of money they filed for this lawsuit. If there’s just a percent for me, I wouldn’t say no.”

Watch our full interview with Oktagon 55’s Niklas Stolze above.