Brian Stann's glaring weakness was exposed last night for the first time in the middleweight division against Chael Sonnen—wrestling. Phil Davis exposed it in the light heavyweight division, but many felt that Stann would be able to hold his own in the wrestling department against the smaller guys in the 185-pound division, but size apparently wasn't the only problem for Stann.
Stann is a great guy, he is a humble opponent in both victory and defeat and he is simply a fan favorite—it's hard not to like the guy.
After winning three straight since his drop to the middleweight division, which included notable stoppages over resident UFC tough guy Chris Leben and former Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago, it looked as if he was only a fight or two away from title contention.
After the fight against Sonnen, it looks like the marine won't ever get in to title contention unless he is able to improve his defensive wrestling or at the very least, his skills off his back.
There is no doubting the fact that Stann has the stand up skills to hang with the best in the division, but in the sport of MMA it takes more than good stand up to rise to the top of the heap nowadays.
If you look at the current champions, all of them have the skills to be able to compete anywhere the fight goes.
Middleweight champion Anderson Silva maybe lacks the wrestling defense to keep the fight standing against high-level wrestlers, but with submission victories over Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen he has proven that he has the offensive skills off his back to deal with the toughest wrestlers in the division.
Despite being a long way from a title shot, Stann can get there depending on how he treats this loss. If Stann accepts his weakness and works towards improving his defensive wrestling, he could get back to where he was prior to the Sonnen fight and go further.
However, if he decides to continue training the way he has, Stann will probably be nothing more than a gatekeeper in the middleweight division.
As a U.S. marine, Stann has been trained how to work his way out of problems and hard work and determination are ingrained in to his mind set.
Stann is part of the famed Greg Jackson Submission Fighting Camp a camp that is home to a host of good wrestlers and Jackson himself is a great game planner who will undoubtedly watch the tapes on Stann's fight and put together a training program to iron out the wrinkles in Stann's game.
Leon Horne is a writer for Bleacher Report and is part of the B/R MMA interview team, Follow @Leon_Horne