I met with Sam Stout today. If you haven’t heard of him then you must not be an avid fan of Ultimate Fighting Championship. Sam is currently the TKO World Lightweight Mixed Martial Arts Champion with over 5 title defences, one of the top elites in the UFC (Lightweight Division) and a K1 Kickboxing Veteran. Even with a 16-5-1 record, he made time to sit down an have a chat with me this afternoon.
Sam first became involved in mixed martial arts when his sister brought home her boyfriend to meet the family. It wasn’t that Sam wanted to take on the new boyfriend, but that the boyfriend was Shawn Tompkins. Shawn was already involved in Martial Arts and Sam took a keen interest in the sport, helping Shawn at area competitions. As time passed, Sam’s sister married Shawn and Sam grew increasingly involved in MMA.
Shawn and I both attended East Elgin Secondary School in Aylmer, Ontario, but were no more than mere acquaintences. Today, Shawn is the Lead Instructor of Team Tompkins (teamtompkins.ca) and the Head Trainer Tap Out Training Center (Las Vegas, Nevada).
Sam began his career in mixed martial arts in 2002. He trains more in one week that many of us do all year. Twice a day during the week up to 2 hours each time, and once on Saturday for up to 2 hours. Doing the math, I figure 42 hours of weight, strength, agility and combat training each week. I think I broke a sweat waching him train this afternoon – and I sure wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of his fist, or his feet. He is a weapon.
Sam’s perspective on life is akin to the Golden Rule – treat each other with respect and you will get respect.
Sam speaks highly of MMA. It has taught him self discipline and physical endurance. He has traveled the world and seen many sights that most only dream of. What stood out as we talked was this comment about his experience in MMA: It teaches you to push yourself to the limit, then push past those limits. If only more people would apply this to daily living, maybe our world wouldn’t be in the shape it is.
A loss in 2006 to Kenny Florian was Sam’s toughest moment in his career. He shared that he went into the match far too confident, and it cost him the win. Sam speaks highly of the poeple who have helped him in his career, and his lifein general; his family and friends, training partners, Mark “The Machine” Hominick, Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki and Shawn Tompkins. He adds “Give credit to the people who deserve it.”
Thanks Sam for taking the time to meet today. I appreciate it.