Stann: "They picked the wrong f*** marine!"
Story by Victor Perea
Photo by Chris Cozzone
With a little less than a year left before his 30th birthday Brian Stann has achieved more noteworthy accomplishments than most people will their entire lives. After being birthed at the Yakota Air Base in Japan, Stann was brought back stateside and grew up in Scranton, Pa. After a stellar High School football career he went on to attend the United States Naval Academy where he continued his football career while earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics. After continuing his service to his country as an Officer in the Marines, Stann served tours in Iraq, earning a Silver Star for his action during an ambush. Fast forward a few years and after turning pro in 2007, yes 2007, and holding the WEC Light Heavyweight Title, “All American” Brian Stann (8-2) continues to fight, only now inside the UFC Octagon.
“ I feel so fortunate to fight in the pinnacle of our sport. I think we should all be thankful for the opportunity to be fighting in the UFC the biggest stage in the sport. We take a lot of slack and criticism sometimes but we train hard and fight hard for the fans,” said Stann while preparing for his upcoming bout on Saturday February 6th at UFC 109: Relentless. The fight will take place at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas where he will face undefeated UFC newcomer Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis (4-0).
“I like fighting in Vegas. I love the Mandalay Bay. I don’t get all googly eyed about it anymore I look forward to it but I also enjoy fighting outside of Vegas and seeing other places too.” Stepping inside any platform of combat would be nerve racking enough for most, but stepping inside the Octagon, where a large majority of the world’s premier mixed martial arts fighter’s call home certainly adds to the suspense. Unless, like in Stann’s case, you’ve done two tours in Iraq and faced a combat far beyond what you find in a sanctioned event.
“We all feel a little anxiety; I mean this is how we make a living but I’m sure some of us experience more than others. My experience helps me a lot with the mental side of the game. After both losses and wins, to be honest with myself about where I’m lacking, what I did well and other things. My experience helps me think through that friction and adrenaline rush. I’m able to change my game plan when it’s not working out. ”
Beyond the host city, venue and organization in which the fight is taking place “All American” Stann is focused on the main ingredient of his fourth UFC bout; the highly regarded and undefeated twenty-five year old Phil Davis, a four-time collegiate wrestling All-American.
“He has an amazing wrestling pedigree, he’s new to the UFC and undefeated so he is looking to make a name for himself” said Stann of “Mr. Wonderful."
At first I thought -Is this guy trying to make a name for himself over me or is the UFC trying to make a name for him over me? Either way they picked the wrong f***ing Marine . . . excuse my language.”
Whatever the reason for the match up fans have a lot to look forward to when these two entertaining light heavyweight fighters face off the day before the Super Bowl. Stann fans should especially enjoy the action as Stann, who welcomed his second child in November just two weeks before his last bout, expects to temporarily change his focus from training to helping out the very understanding Mrs. in these very important and precious first few months. “Ya I think she’s going to have me on a very short leash after this fight. I think she’ll have me on a very short leash even from (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva.”