The 411 MMA Top 10 5.25.14: Top 10 Brian Stann Fights
Posted by Alex Rella on 05.26.2014
From his hard-hitting battle with Wanderlei Silva and his tough fight with Chael Sonnen to his wars with Chris Leben, Michael Bisping, Alessio Sakara and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 Brian Stann fights of all-time!
Brian Stann's Top Ten Fights
Hey there gentle readers, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. I figured this week should go to a veteran and American hero like Brian Stann since it's Memorial Day weekend. Stann served in the United States Marine Corp from 2003-08, reaching the rank of Captain. Stann was even awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the Iraq War. Stann's MMA career lasted from 2006-2013 as he competed at light heavyweight and middleweight. The former WEC light heavyweight champion retired with a 12-6 record. The fights are ranked based on the usual criteria of fight quality, the significance of the fight in relation to his career, and some of my personal opinion.
· VS Miguel Cosio WEC 21- Stann won via first round TKO
· VS Rodney Wallace TUF 10 Finale- Stann won via unanimous decision.
10: VS Steve Cantwell WEC 26
The first fight on this week's list is Stann's first fight with Steve Cantwell. Both fighters were still undefeated at this point as their careers were just starting up. Cantwell was 3-0 as he was making his WEC debut here, while Stann was 2-0 and looking for his second WEC win. Stann needed only forty one seconds to win by TKO. Cantwell would get his revenge at WEC 35 as he would give Stann his first career loss and become the final WEC light heavyweight champion before the UFC absorbed the WEC's heavier divisions.
9: VS Steve Cantwell UFN 19
The rubber match in what was a solid and entertaining trilogy. Stann won the first, while Cantwell won the second and the WEC light heavyweight title. Cantwell can always put on his resume that he was the last WEC champ at 205 lbs. Unfortunately, neither guy got off to the hottest start in the UFC. Cantwell was 1-1 and Stann 0-1 at this point. This fight didn't even make the main card of a Fight Night show, so their stock wasn't very high at the time and both men needed a win. This was the first time one of Stann's fights went to the judges and all three would give him the win. Cantwell would go on to lose five fights in a row, get released, and hasn't competed since 2012.
8: VS Michael Bisping UFC 152
This fight was set up after both men called each other out as they were both also looking to get back into title contention. These two went at it for fifteen minutes in a pretty good fight that holds up well after re-watching. Bisping won by unanimous decision (29-28 x3), but each round was close with some great striking. Stann came close to finishing him off at the end of the first round, but Bisping's more precise striking and wrestling would give him the clear edge.
7: VS Mike Massenzio UFC on Versus 2
It was clear after Phil Davis dominated Brian Stann at UFC 109, that he wasn't going to excel in the UFC at light heavyweight. So Stann made the move down to 185 lbs and breathed some new life into his career. The All American's first opponent at middleweight was Mike Massenzio. Massenzio came into the fight with a respectable 11-3 record and was 1-1 in the UFC. The two stole the show with a fun back and forth fight as Stann picked up the only submission win of his career as he locked in a cool looking triangle choke in the third round. Massenzio would get cut following the loss, but at least he got the Fight of the Night bonus on his way out.
6:VS Alessio Sakara UFC on Fuel 2
After his first loss at middleweight to Chael Sonnen, Stann looked to rebound to against the hard hitting but not overly good Alessio Sakara. Sakara had been with the UFC for six years at this point and was 3-2 since dropping down to middleweight. They traded punches to start it off, but it wasn't long until Stann connected with a hook and a nice knee in the clinch to drop him. Then Stann went to work with strikes and elbows to knock Sakara unconscious. Stann would notice he was out before the referee did as he pointed it out for him to stop the fight. A classy move as Stann picked up a great knockout in what would turn out to be the last win of his career.
5: VS Chael Sonnen UFC 136
This was a huge fight for both Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann. Stann was a perfect 3-0 in the middleweight division at the time and this was Sonnen's first fight in fourteen months since he lost to Anderson Silva at UFC 117. Sonnen immediately went for a takedown, but Stann was able to stuff it and then we got to see them work nicely in the clinch. Sonnen was able to eventually take him down and he went to work. Stann tried his best to work out of it and had some nice maneuvers, but he wasn't good enough for Sonnen on the ground. Sonnen took him down immediately in the second, the ref stood them prematurely but Sonnen just took Stann right back down. Sonnen then picked up a nice submission victory when he locked in a triangle choke. Stann's first loss at 185 lbs, but still a great fight.
4: VS Jorge Santiago UFC 130
Jorge Santiago was released from the UFC in 2006 after going 1-2 in the company. Santiago rebounded about as nicely as one possibly could as he went 11-1, won Strikeforce's Middleweight Grand Prix, won Sengoku's Middleweight Grand Prix, won and defended Sengoku's middleweight title. Plus throw in his two amazing fights that he won against Kazuo Misaki during this time. All of this was good enough to get him back in the UFC in 2011. His opponent was of course Brian Stann who was 2-0 at 185 lbs. This turned out to be an easy choice to win Fight of the Night at UFC 130. Stann nearly won the fun striking battle at the end of the first, but Santiago managed to survive and comeback pretty strong in the second. Then with less than a minute left in the round, Stann's right hand met Santiago's temple and it was all over.
3: VS Doug Marshall WEC 33
After unsuccessfully challenging James Irvin for the WEC heavyweight title at WEC 15, Doug Marshall would drop down to light heavyweight and eventually win the WEC title at WEC 23. Marshall was a pretty good champion as he defended the title twice. Stann was making his own tear through the division during this time as he was 5-0 and won all his fights by TKO. About a minute and a half into the fight, Marshall started unloading on Stann and swinging for the fences. Then Stann connected with a quick counter shot to send him to the floor where he was finished off. Stann went 6-0 as he became the WEC light heavyweight champion.
2: VS Chris Leben UFC 125
In 2010, Stann dropped down to middleweight and found immediate success. He took on the also recently retired Chris Leben in the co-main event of UFC 125. A huge fight for both men as Stann was taking on one of the toughest guys in the UFC's middleweight division for years and Leben was on the best streak of his career in my opinion. Leben was on a three fight win streak himself and looking to climb to the top of the division. This fight had 3:37 minutes of stiff striking. Stann dropped Leben with a right and Leben worked his way back up, but he went down again after some knees and was finished off on the ground.
1: VS Wanderlei Silva UFC on Fuel 8
It's always weird putting a loss at number for a guy, but this fight was beyond awesome. Stann's title hopes at middleweight were pretty much done at this point after just losing to Bisping at UFC 152, so he moved back up to light heavyweight for one night against Wanderlei Silva. Silva was also coming off a loss against Rich Franklin at UFC 147. This was a homecoming of sorts for Silva as this was his first fight in Japan since losing to Dan Henderson at Pride 33 back in February 2007. Almost everybody was picking Stann to knockout the aging legend. From start to finish these two just threw everything they had at each other and it was amazing. They were both covered in Stann's blood, but he took the first round as he knocked Silva down multiple times. Then Silva dropped him with a bomb in the second and finished him off with ground & pound. This was one of the best fights of 2013 and one of the best light heavyweight fights of all time in my opinion. Stann would announce his retirement a few months later, maybe Silva should have done the same.
So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
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