Oftentimes fans are "sold" a fight that simply doesn't live up to the hype. Whether it's a slow pace, the unexpected strategy of one of the competitors or just a mix of circumstances that leads to a "boring" fight, it is oftentimes difficult to live up to the billing of a "can't miss" fight.
The UFC on Fuel 8 main event between Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann is not one of those fights. In fact, it's the rare kind of scenario that an already-hyped fight actually exceeds expectations. These two warriors blew the roof off the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and turned in an early candidate for MMA Fight of the Year
It was billed as a stand-up war, and Silva and Stann delivered just that. Each fighter was dropped numerous times in the first round alone—a bloody frame which included Stann being cut deep on the bridge of his nose.
A little blood never stopped a Silver Star recipient, though, and Stann fought right on through, standing in the pocket and exchanging some hellacious shots back and forth with the former PRIDE champion. When they got into these flurries, it seemed like neither man would back down until one of them fell to the mat. Then they got back to their feet and did it all again.
It wasn't until late in second round that Silva finally tagged Stann with a solid right hand, following it up with a left that dropped the "All-American" once and for all.
It wasn't the most technical fight, but the heart and determination showed by these two combatants was incredible. Like Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar years ago, we learned again Saturday night that there are no "losers" when the fight is this entertaining.
After a relatively uneventful undercard, Silva and Stann showed up and gave the fans what they paid for—an unbelievable finish to make UFC on Fuel 8 a memorable night.