Brian Stann is only one fight away.
Silva also happens to be the longest reigning titleholder in UFC history.
“We’re all in this to be champions,” Stann told Bleacher Report's Gary Herman. “It’s amazing what he’s done. Anyone who can win that many fights consecutively in the UFC? It’s just incredible.”
Silva has won all 14 of his UFC fights. Silva’s most difficult fight was over Stann next’s opponent, Chael Sonnen.
Unlike the Sonnen vs. Silva build-up, Sonnen has shown admiration for Stann. Stann is also a fan of Sonnen’s.
As a result, Sonnen did not use his sharp wit to help build the matchup. Sonnen publicly said that Stann would not be his first choice of opponents but that the two have to fight because of their standing near the top of the UFC middleweight division.
Stann will not let that respect get in the way of his MMA goals.
"No, it’s a competition” Stann said, when asked if it is more difficult to fight someone he knows well. “I don’t want to have to fight any of my friends, but it’s a competition. It has nothing to do with what kind of person they are.”
“It’s just like playing basketball with one another. You compete and then you become friends again after.”
Stann’s preparation for the Sonnen fight has taken place at Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque, NM. Jackson’s MMA is the same place where light heavyweight Jon Jones and current No. 1 contender Rashad Evans first crossed paths.
Jones and Evans have developed a very public rivalry since Jones first stated that he would be willing to fight Evans. Evans was caught off guard, and in direct contrast to Stann’s views on fighting a friend, Evans was disappointed that his alleged friend Jones challenged him.
Evans has since left Jackson’s MMA, and he is now looking forward to the title fight with Jones.
“I’m friends with both guys,” Stann said of the two top light heavyweughts. “Without a doubt, I miss training with Rashad. In fact, he trained with my last opponent. It’s very unfortunate that it happened.”
Stann believes the media played a major role in the feud.
“I think so many people wanted that fight to happen,” Stann said. “Many people were interviewing Jon Jones about Rashad. It created a situation.”
Like Jones, Stann has shown tremendous progression in his MMA career. Starting as a light heavyweight in the UFC, Stann had a pedestrian 2-2 record. However, since dropping to middleweight, Stann is 3-0, with all stoppages.
Stann believes Jackson’s MMA is responsible for a lot of the growth.
“Now, I really feel comfortable with these skills that I’ve learned over the past few years,” Stann said. “I can fight at a much faster pace because I’m not thinking so much while I’m in there.”
Stann will need to have a lot of confidence in order to be successful in the fight. He is currently listed as a +200 underdog to Sonnen.
“Everything is the best it’s been as far as my technique so I’m ready to fight,” Stann said. “It’s definitely my toughest test to date.”