Brian Stann will face off against arguably the toughest opponent of his career this Saturday night when he takes on the consensus number two middleweight, Chael Sonnen, at UFC 136.
A former US Marine Corps Captain, Stann has made his home with the renowned Team Greg Jackson, where he has grown leaps and bounds as a fighter. The All-American has developed a potent, heavy-handed striking assault and a formidable submission game which has made it impossible for any middleweight he’s faced so far to defeat him. Stann’s biggest weakness, however, is Sonnen’s biggest strength: wrestling.
Sonnen was forged in the fires of the amateur wrestling circuit and was only hardened by his time spent training with the grappling-oriented Team Quest. Many are counting Stann out of this bout as a result of the gap which exists between Stann and Sonnen’s wrestling skills, but Stann believes that he’s found a perfect counter to Sonnen’s grappling prowess: punching.
“Fortunately I started working on my wrestling quite a bit two years ago. It’s been probably the (most) heavily trained art in my training camps in the last two years, for obvious reasons,” said Stann. “If I tried to just train wrestling for the last ten weeks then I wouldn’t have a chance against him, but luckily I’ve been hitting it hard for the last two years and I don’t have to out-wrestle him out there on Saturday night. I think sometimes when oddsmakers and people keep telling me about this fight and how big a longshot I am, I think people forget – I even went back to my bout agreement and checked – but I can punch in this fight. So, I feel good.”
UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 goes down this Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas; FightLine will be back on the night with live, ongoing coverage of the event.