Brian Stann could easily be the next great American MMA fighter. After all, his nickname is the All-American. There is one major issue with Stann, and that is his inability to handle himself on the ground. That flaw will be exposed at UFC 152 when he faces Michael Bisping.
The Count is one of the better middleweights in the world, but he sits on the edge of elite status as he's fallen to the upper echelon of fighters. He owns an impressive 22-4 record, and those four losses have come to some of the biggest names in the sport: Wanderlei Silva, Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans.
This is an opportunity for him to get a shot at the middleweight crown, and that will likely mean a date with Anderson Silva. He's been in this situation before. When he lost to Sonnen in January, it was widely known the winner would receive a shot at the Spider (specifically referenced here by Steve Cofied of Yahoo! Sports).
The Count won't let another opportunity pass. He and his manager, Audie Attar, are looking at this fight as a gateway to Silva per Steven Marrocco of MMA Junkie.
Stann represents the easiest opponent he will have faced with so much on the line. The former Marine has tremendous punching power, but he can be had on the ground. Sonnen dismantled Stann with his wrestling technique and ultimately submitted him.
Stann doesn't have a chance in this fight unless Bisping decides to trade with him. That would be a bad move, although I can understand the desire to make an exciting fight for the fans. If he's smart, the Count will smother Stann, take him to the mat and systematically control the fight.
He can ride this tactic to a decision or a submission. Look for him to mix in a little trading with Stann to satisfy the crowd, but he'll fall back on his grappling advantage for a unanimous decision victory.
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