Adam Conklin | Published in: Fighters
In the UFC's first trip to Sweden, the “All American”, Brian Stann will be making a return to the Octagon after a disappointing performance against now number one contender Chael Sonnen. In a match that was heavily one-sided, Stann's biggest weakness, wrestling, was exposed as he was repeatedly taken down and battered as Chael stayed on top of him, imploring a perfect game plan until he was able to submit Stann in the second with an arm-triangle. He is now set face dangerous Italian striker, Alessio Sakara. Stann needs a win here, obviously, but it's how he wins that will determine where he stands in the division.
After two impressive showings that resulted in KO wins of both Chris Leben and Jorge Santiago, Stann made a name for himself as a tactician with undeniable knockout power. With unmatched training in the ways of raw skill and strategy given to him under the tutelage of the coaches at Greg Jackson's gym, Stann has become a machine who picks opponents apart. A background rooted in the marine corps ensures that Stann is a great teacher capable of meeting and overcoming any physical challenge that MMA has to offer.
For his fight with Sakara, Stann has to silence him early in the fight. Sakara is a streaky middleweight who isn't established as a force to be reckoned with. Stann on the other hand has the potential to challenge anyone in the division once he rounds out his skill set.
This is why a win is so important for Stann and a definitive one at that. If he loses, he will drop low in the division with any subsequent wins carrying little meaning while he remains static in the middleweight rankings.
Now, Stann has a good chin and Sakara's boxing won't matter much as Stann also has outstanding striking. So, Stann must use his agility to move in and out while also utilizing lateral movement that keeps Sakara guessing. This will frustrate Sakara and could force him to throw sloppy shots which will surely be countered by a more precise and powerful shot.
Both men possess kicks but the only Stann uses his kicks to chop his opponents legs down and set up combinations. Combinations that will drop Sakara, and not just drop him but daze him as Stann's power is tremendous.
Speed and aggressiveness will surely be the deciding factors in this fight and Stann must take advantage. Stann can probably end the fight whenever he so chooses the minute he begins to time Sakara but a quick finish will do a lot more for him than a dominant decision.
He needs to show that he is top level competition and that he can hang with the best. For starters, he needs to run through Sakara quick, efficiently, and without showing the slightest bit of weakness and although this seems like a tall order, Stann is just the guy who can deliver.