Brian Stann has been inside the Octagon with some of the best fighters in the world, but he will step through the door on Saturday night and meet a legend of the sport in Wanderlei Silva.
The two will comprise the main event at UFC on FUEL TV: Silva vs. Stann. The former WEC champion and military veteran knows all about Silva’s history, especially in Japan, as he grew up seeing it first-hand.
“My favorite fighter was Wanderlei Silva,” said Stann, during the pre-fight press conference Thursday. “Watching his fight in PRIDE, I would marvel at his tenacity in the ring, and the way he carried himself outside the ring. I am so happy to get this opportunity to face him in his return to Japan. I am very honored to be his opponent.”
Stann, who accepted the fight at light heavyweight, doesn’t plan on staying at 205 pounds after this match. Instead, he will return to middleweight and continue to work his way up the ladder.
“One-and-done,” said Stann, in regards to the fight at light heavyweight. “I’m a middleweight fighter. I could compete at light heavyweight, but if I want to compete for the title, and be a Top-10 fighter, I need to be at middleweight.”
Everything came together for “The All-American” to take the bout with Silva, as his shoulder was fully-healed and the chance to compete with an icon in the sport was presented to him. For now, though, Stann is just focusing on the actual fight.
“I have to put all that (other stuff) aside for right now,” Stann said. “Sitting here now, I look across at Wanderlei Silva and he’s forgotten more about MMA than I will never know. But I have to put all that aside, put on the best performance I can to beat him.”
Stann added that he hopes to have a relationship with Silva after the two engage in battle, like “everyone I’ve fought (before). I have life-long relationships with everyone I’ve competed against.”