UFC 161 could always use a little more Canadian star power, because the PPV headed to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada just added two stalwarts of Canadian fight shows. The card, which is headlined by an interim bantamweight title fight between champion Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland, takes place on June 15 at the MTS Centre. Sam Stout will be looking at a four-month turnaround when he faces Isaac Vallie-Flagg, and Sean Pierson looks for his third win in a row when he faces TJ Waldburger.
Stout will be facing his second Strikeforce veteran in a row when he fights Vallie-Flagg, and the two have a common opponent. Vallie-Flagg fought Yves Edwards in his debut in the Octagon, and he took his third split-decision victory in a row. Stout won his own split decision when he faced Caros Fodor at UFC 157, but he knocked Edwards out cold back when they fought in June of 2011. The Canadian fans can expect a striking battle between the two who generally like to trade punches in their fights.
Pierson has gone 3-2 in the Octagon, but he always puts on a fight every time he enters the cage. It will be a contrast of styles when he faces Waldburger, because one is a finisher and the other is not. Waldburger has earned 13 submissions in his 16 career wins while Pierson has never finished a fight in the Octagon. If the fight stays standing then Pierson will have a better chance of winning, because he does not want to go to the ground with a grappling ace like Waldburger.