Former United States Marine Corps captain and WEC light heavyweight champ Brian Stann had a big weekend: He earned his third win in a row — second via knockout — over a respected champion in Jorge Santiago on Memorial Day weekend.
Having knocked out divisional mainstay Chris Leben in his prior bout, Stann is emerging as a legitimate contender in the middleweight division and many wonder who of the division’s elite the All American will face next. Stann addressed the subject in a post-fight interview with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani.
“I honestly have no idea. Legitimately, I do not have a clue who will be next,” Stann said of who he will fight next. “I have a feeling I’ll probably have to wait until fall to fight, which is fine by me. That’s just more time for me to get better and better, enjoy my training and enjoy my family. We’ll just see. A lot of guys are matched up, let’s see how this shakes out. We’ll see who’s there, and see what match ups are there. I know the holes in my game, I know that I’m still about two years from you guys seeing the best Brian Stann yet, and that’s encouraging to me, to know that I still have areas where I’m going to get better. I’m still scratching the surface in some areas and getting better and I’m excited to do that.”
Having defeated Santiago, whom many had ranked as a top ten middleweight, and posted three straight wins in three fights at 185lbs., Stann believes that he now has a spot reserved in the top ten rankings — though he won’t lose much sleep if the MMA websites disagree.
“That was a goal for 2011, to get into the top ten. I would think that I’m there now, but that stuff doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’m getting great fights, I have an amazing opportunity to fight in the UFC — which a lot of people dream of. I’m just grateful that I can do it and leverage the notoriety for a good cause and that’s what’s important to me, what I’m passionate about, and that’s getting veterans jobs.”