Brian Stann’s focus is not to be called in to question: the former US Marine Corps Captain’s mind is set only on his impending UFC 136 fight against Chael Sonnen – though that doesn’t mean he hasn’t put some thought into how he might fare against the division’s champion in the past.
With the winner of his upcoming tilt with Sonnen possibly in store for a title shot, Stann recently told FightLine.com what he thinks separates him from every other opponent who’s yet stepped in the octagon against UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva.
“My mental abilities,” said Stann. “I think he intimidates a lot of guys, he scares a lot of guys. They fall. He is very crafty and he’s extraordinarily patient in the cage; that and the fact that I won’t fall to a lot of those things. I’m not gonna be afraid of him. There’s nothing he can do to me that I’m afraid of. And the other thing is just preparation. I don’t know anybody that trains harder than I do. I know what I’m willing to go through to prepare for a fight and I bring people in that I need, or I’ll study every ounce of tape. I try to train three, four times a day and my coaches have to kick me out of the gym at times. I’m willing to go through all of that through months and months and months in preparation for a fight. So, I think that’s what makes me different from his opponents, but I haven’t given that much thought at all. I have a huge obstacle in my way right now in Chael Sonnen.”
Following another spectacular finish, this time over Yushin Okami at UFC 134, Silva became the consensus pick for number one pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world. Though Stann isn’t sold on the whole pound-for-pound argument, he does believe that Silva is the best fighter currently competing in the sport.
“I don’t know if I buy into the whole pound-for-pound rankings system to be quite honest with you, but if you’re talking about the most skilled fighter in the sport overall, I definitely think (Silva) is,” he said. “He’s shown some things in his wrestling game that he’s very skilled, he’s shown some great things in his jiu-jitsu game and his striking is obviously masterful and his ability to integrate all those things and win – I mean, it’s hard enough to go on a two-fight win streak in the UFC, let alone how many darn fights this guy’s won in a row. So, in my eyes, he’s the greatest fighter of all time.”
As he said, before he ever gets a crack at Silva, Stann has to get past the hard-nosed Chael Sonnen, whom he meets next weekend at UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3. UFC 136 is to take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.