Brian Stann- The Heart of a Champion
"I knew what I had to risk signing on the dotted line to fight in Japan against that man. Wanderlei has always been one of my favorite fighters ever. He's one of the fighters that inspired me to start this sport. I'm very proud to have been a part of his career, as much as this hurts right now. My heart's broken. But I'm still proud that I put my name on the line and fought him." Brian Stann after getting knocked out by Wanderlei Silva
Whether you enjoy watching Mixed Martial Arts or not, it is still easy to appreciate the courage and dedication of the fighters who climb into a cage, one on one, and give it everything that they have. Brian Stann knows a thing or two about courage and dedication. As a young Marine second lieutenant, he saw combat in Iraq. In 2005, Stann's unit was tasked with securing a bridge as a part of a larger operation. Insurgents ambushed the Marines and a vicious fight ensued over the next six days. Lieutenant Stann and his Marines were surrounded, but Stann's excellent leadership kept them in the fight. When reinforcements finally arrived, all 42 of Stann's Marines had survived. Lieutenant Stann was awarded the Silver Star, the nations third highest award for valor, for his actions and leadership during this battle.
Stann eventually left the Marines after attaining the rank of captain. He had started his mixed martial arts career while still on active duty. Stann left active duty in 2008 to focus on his professional MMA career. Making a living as a fighter requires an amazing amount of discipline, dedication, and skill. Stann won the WEC World Light Heavyweight title in 2008 but then lost the title in his first defense. Since coming to the UFC, Stann's record is six wins against five defeats. This is not a very impressive mark but it speaks to the quality of the fighters that Brian has been fighting. There are not many easy fights in the UFC and Stann has never been afraid to take on the best. He understands that he may not win every fight but that is not because he has not trained hard or is not ready to fight.
The fight with Wanderlei Silva is a great example of Stann's heart. The action was fast, intense, and punishing. The fight's non-stop action earned it the "Fight of the Night" honors and a shot to be "Fight of the Year." Silva is one of the all-time greats of the sport and Stann showed no fear once the action started. Stann landed heavy punches, knocking Silva down several times in the first round. Stann appeared much faster and stronger than Silva. Stann could have probably earned an easy decision by boxing and controlling the slower Silva. Instead, the aggressive Stann wanted a knockout and traded punches once too often with the hard hitting Silva. Silva caught Stann late in the second round and knocked him out.
Always classy, Stann did not make any excuses. He praised Silva and said that he was proud to have fought him. Brian Stann's motto has long been, "Combat is my profession." Win or lose, the man is a warrior and inspires those around him. Whether it was leading his Marines into combat or working with his training partners at his gym, or even fighting against an all-time great like Silva, Stann has the ability to bring the best out of other fighters.
Would those that work with you describe you as someone who is able to bring the best out in others? Are you happy with the example that you set for those around you?
Thanks to everyone who is partnering with us as we prepare to go back to Brazil. We could not do it without you! Obrigado!