Cody Stamann might only be 27 years of age and two fights deep in his UFC career, but that doesn’t mean he’s looking to hang around or approach with caution. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite.

Fresh from a decision win, and minor upset, against highly-touted Frenchman Tom Duquesnoy in October, the Michigan-native is keen to build on momentum and keep climbing the bantamweight rankings. He wants big names and big fights from this point on, fights that will advance his ranking, opponents who will test him but ultimately succumb to his talents, and Stamann, a student of the game, who admits he analyses everybody in and around him, has a couple of names in mind.

“I think Aljamain Sterling and Bryan Caraway,” he told Fighters Only editor Michael Owens. “Caraway is a guy I really want to fight next. Too bad he’s fighting December 9 (against Luke Sanders).

“Those are the two guys I definitely feel I want to fight. People are telling me to pump the brakes and not go after somebody that big, but I really feel I can beat those guys in the next couple of months and that will put me into the top ten. I’m not sure my management and the UFC are going to let me do that – I’ll probably have to pay my dues and get another fight before that – but those are two guys I feel I can go and beat right now.

“I need eight weeks. Put me against any of those guys and I feel like I’d figure out a way to beat them. This fight with Duquesnoy, when I first got his name, I was kind of cloudy about him, but eight weeks later I knew I could beat him. I had a great game plan. I study my opponents religiously. I feel like if they give me eight weeks I can beat anybody in the UFC; I don’t care where they’re ranked.”

Rather than running before he can walk, Stamann, 16-1, sees fights with the likes of Caraway and Sterling as being well within his grasp – the next steps in a process. If there’s any doubt about this, any fear he might be getting ahead of himself, he simply points to the way he handled Duquesnoy, a former two-weight BAMMA champion, as proof that he’s more than capable of backing up his words.

“I think that fight definitely put me on a lot of people’s radars,” he said. “Fighting a blue-chip prospect like that was the best fight I could have gotten for my second fight in the UFC. I didn’t necessarily want to fight a guy that had 10 UFC fights and was a huge name – he’d have a lot more experience on that platform than I would – so the fight against Duquesnoy was really win-win. I fought a guy with the same amount of UFC experience as I had, and he also had the following of a guy who was in the top five. Just getting that fight was a huge win for me. Honestly, I’m still surprised I got that fight.

“I think I should be on the radar of everyone in the bantamweight division now. I know Tom Duquesnoy was. A lot of people saw him coming in and being the next guy that would have a run at the title. And I just beat him. I’ve got to be on the fighters’ radars, for sure.”

Radars are one thing. Cody Stamann, in the coming months, hopes to start adding names – big names, respected names – to his record.