Brian Stann (pictured) knows where his middleweight bread is buttered, however the 32-year-old couldn’t pass up the chance to stand opposite a man who inspired him to start mixed martial arts. So when Wanderlei Silva said he’d be interested in engaging in a shootout, but only if it took place in the light heavyweight division, Stann was happy to return to his former stomping grounds.
“When I first thought about coming into the sport, my favorite fighter was Wanderlei Silva,” Stann revealed during Wednesday’s pre-fight press conference. “I would watch his fights in Pride and just marvel at the tenacity that he brought inside the ring and how he fought. Not only that, but the way he treated other people and the way he conducted himself outside of the ring. I’m honored to get to be his opponent.”
Stann once donned the WEC light heavyweight crown, but achieved marginal success in the weight class upon his promotion to the UFC. After winning half of his first four fights in the big leagues, Stann decided he needed to shed 20 pounds in order to perform at his best.
“I did not think it would benefit me to put on extra weight. I think speed is more important,” Stann revealed. “I’ve always been strong and always been powerful even with training with much larger light heavyweights early in my career and fighting light heavyweights. I think it’s more important to be athletic and fast.
“I’m a middleweight fighter. With my style and the ways that I’ve had difficulties in my career with people neutralizing me, it benefits me to be the bigger, stronger individual when people are trying to neutralize me against the cage and on the ground.”
So Saturday is a one-and-done deal for the former military hero. He’ll soon return to hunting Anderson Silva’s middleweight belt.