Wanderlei Silva, ladies and gentlemen.
Take a bow, Mr. Silva. You have earned it.
Sometimes the natural world will play out more beautifully than even the most meticulously crafted script, and UFC on Fuel TV 8's main event between Brian Stann and Wanderlei Silva delivered one of those rare instances.
On paper, this matchup looked to be a brawl for the ages, and even though many felt Wanderlei Silva's chin could not hold up to Brian Stann's fists of fury, it did, and the result was a back-and-forth donnybrook that will live forever on UFC highlight reels thanks to its storybook ending.
Silva was dropped early and often in Round 1 against Stann, but the legendary fighter weeble-wobbled and never fell down.
"The Axe Murderer" was rocked repeatedly, but he stood tall, dished out more punishment than he took and delivered the knockout blow to Stann's chiseled chin midway through Round 2.
Stann's power and chin were no match for Silva on this night, and MMA fans were treated to a truly special moment inside the UFC Octagon.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
Wanderlei's emotional entrance, his inspired performance, Stann's always-game spirit and, of course, that finish.
Every single movement—every punch, kick and knee—was memorable, and this fight will never be forgotten.
What We Learned About Wanderlei Silva
Wanderlei Silva is a warrior.
I understand the implications this term carries, but no other term so adequately encompasses everything that MMA fans love about The Axe Murderer.
He never quit, he faltered only briefly and he stayed in the pocket and executed a vintage performance at UFC on Fuel TV 8.
His chin is not quite as shot as we may have thought, and his devastating power was on full display against Stann.
What We Learned About Brian Stann
As is the case for Silva, we did not necessarily learn anything new about Brian Stann in this fight.
We confirmed that he hits hard, we confirmed that he could take a punch, and we confirmed that he is, in fact, a human.
Stann showed the raw emotion and passion following the loss we knew he possessed, and he did nothing but confirm everything we already suspected regarding his persona both inside and outside of the Octagon.
What's Next for Wanderlei Silva?
Retirement, I hope.
The huge knockout victory will undoubtedly cause Silva to consider another fight or three, but he needs to hang it up now.
He has done enough, his brain needs a break and no situation can ever top the sheer perfection that surrounded the events leading up to and encompassing his UFC on Fuel TV 8 victory.
The time, place and manner in which the action unfolded was the stuff of legend, and Silva needs to stamp his name in MMA history books with blood-red ink and call it quits right now.
What's Next for Brian Stann?
The brutal loss to Silva stings for Stann right now, but I suspect "All-American" will drop back to 185 and continue to showcase his extraordinary knockout power in his more natural weight class.
He looks flat-out better at middleweight, and plenty of interesting matchups await Stann at 185.
If you recall, Hector Lombard also lost to Yushin Okami on this card, and word on the street is that he likes to strike as well.
Stann's next fight may not be as sensational and breathtaking as his matchup with Silva, but a fight against Lombard can certainly keep the momentum rolling.
For fans of MMA, heavy metal or general absurdity, Follow @HunterAHomistek