The UFC returns to Japan Saturday night with UFC on FUEL TV: Silva vs. Stann. The card takes place from the Saitama Super Arena, and will bring back a legend in the now-defunct PRIDE promotion.
Wanderlei Silva will battle Brian Stann in the main event at light heavyweight, as “The Axe Murderer” comes back to his old stomping grounds.
FightLine main writer Dana Becker and staff writer Joseph Lisnow offer up their thoughts on the Silva-Stann contest. And, as always, FightLine will have complete coverage of the entire evening beginning with the Facebook prelims at 7 p.m. ET.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann
Dana: This is an incredible opportunity for Wanderlei Silva, and he will be facing all the pressure in the world. The Saitama Super Arena will explode when he walks out, and “The Axe Murderer” must capitalize on that energy. If Brian Stann is able to get this fight to the third, fourth and fifth rounds, Silva will be in trouble. Stann’s a grinder, and he knows he can’t trade blows with Silva. Still, I expect the former PRIDE champion to push the tempo early and finish off “The All-American” much to the delight of the Japanese people. Wanderlei Silva via second round TKO (strikes)
Joseph: Wanderlei Silva makes his long awaited return to Japan in what could be his final chance inside the Octagon. To keep his UFC career alive, he must get by Brian Stann. Silva is riding a wealth of experience against someone who is still looking to prove that he’s a title contender. Both are making their return to light heavyweight and the crowd will undoubtedly have Silva’s back, but the wars he’s been in have taken their toll as he’s well past is prime and I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of Stann. They’ll trade blows as Stann connects first with the money shot that puts “The Axe Murderer” down as a career concludes for the once fierce PRIDE champion. Brian Stann via second round TKO (strikes)