Brian Stann and the Elusive Signature Win

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Brian Stann and the Elusive Signature Win
Photo courtesy of ESPN

Current middleweight contender Brian Stann has beaten some quality opposition over the course of his seven-year career as a mixed martial artist.

The unpredictable but always dangerous Chris Leben fell at the hands of the Silver Star recipient, as did Alessio Sakara and Jorge Santiago—who while not world-beaters—are tough guys who come up short of greatness, but have earned the right to be recognized as good, solid fighters.

This is a tough Marine right here. He’s proven it on more than a single occasion.

But that really big marquee victory has eluded Stann on more than a single occasion.

Stann’s taken a marked step up in competition a few times, meeting Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping (at UFC 136 and UFC 152, respectively). But Sonnen was able to exploit Stann’s grappling deficiencies and Bisping managed to do just enough to walk away a winner after their encounter.

Although his showing against Sonnen left a lot to be desired, his recent fight with Michael Bisping offered a look at a new and improved Stann. Version 2.0 if you will. He’s been working hard in the gym, and while Bisping didn’t subject him to a grappling assault, he forced him to dig deep and prove his place inside the cage.
   
A sizable portion of the MMA community believed Stann would emerge victorious over Bisping in the buildup to their fight. Bisping’s experience, however, carried him to success.

Stann will be afforded another chance at securing a marquee victory this weekend when he meets Wanderlei Silva in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 8. The match also presents an opportunity to topple a legend of the sport, as Silva brings an amazing resume to the cage.

The fight with Stann will mark Silva’s 49th professional bout. Stann, in contrast, has just 17 fights.

Will Brian Stann finally grab the evasive “big win” that’s escaped his grasp in the past? My gut says yes. The brain is in agreement. Stann has age and general career momentum in his favor, and he’s now been in a few big fights.

Expect Stann to capitalize on a stylistically favorable matchup this weekend. He should be able to use his sharp jabs and quick straights to beat the Brazilian to the punch. He could find himself in some danger if Silva lands a flush shot, but he’s a durable fighter who hasn’t been put in too much danger when engaging in the pugilistic aspect of combat.

Stann’s fight for the career-defining moment ends this weekend when he batters Silva into submission midway through Round 2.  


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