I’ve decided to do a new segment by this title every week. And I’ve chosen Brian Stann as the subject of its inaugural post. That means Brian Stann is exceptionally extraordinary, and if I were to have a ‘Team Boss’ post somewhere down the road – Stann would undoubtedly captain the squad.
As UFC 152 approaches, people are beginning to chatter about the fight that, in my opinion, will be the most entertaining on the card. Michael Bisping – the incessant trash-talking Englishman and former Ultimate Fighter season 3 winner, vs. Brian Stann – the battle-tested Marine turned UFC fighter who some are already calling, Captain America.
Stann played middle linebacker at Navy. Let’s start right there. And you know he hit like a cement truck. He transfered from the Navy into the Marine Corps and completed two lengthy tours in Iraq before pursuing MMA much more seriously. Stories show that Stann had an extremely violent experience in Iraq, and he doesn’t like to discuss the details. He came home, started a family, and began developing his martial arts. This turned out to be a wise decision, as he finds himself in prime position to battle for the middleweight belt. A convincing victory over Michael Bisping would likely convince UFC President, Dana White, that Stann is ready for a shot at The Spider, Anderson Silva.
Some people really struggle with the UFC, in that it seems as though all the athletes are lewd and classless meatheads who can’t understand anything halfway sophisticated, and are paid extremely well to simply hop around inside a cage and attempt to kill another human being. And as the loser bleeds from his mouth and nose on the canvas, the winner hops on top of the cage and throws both his middle fingers to the crowd. Either that or a horribly exaggerated throat-cutting gesture straight into lens of a camera. Both of which are advertised in full high definition to millions of equally idiotic fans jumping around the bar, ripping Jager Bombs and double fisting Heinekens. I could carried away there pretty easy. The point is, there is an unfair archetype of ‘The UFC Fighter’ that stretches all the way from how he behaves in the octagon, to how he lives his life. I admittedly sometimes question the validity of the sport when I watch Brock Lesnar flip off the crowd and tell Joe Rogan he’s going to go “get on his wife.”
Brian Stann brings an encouraging new outlook to the sport. He refers to his opponents as, fellow warriors, and never bad-mouths anyone. He has the upmost respect for everyone he fights, and is always quick to make amends after its all said and done. That’s because Stann not only loves to fight, but he appreciates and respects that love in other people. He knows that Michael Bisping is a passionate fighter and that he has a family to feed and that his wife is watching him. He still wants to knock Bisping out in the first round, but his agenda is not to dishonor and disgrace the man’s name. You would never hear Stann say anything lewd or inappropriate about someone else. You’ll hear him state his own straightforward opinions. “I think Mike has good punching power, but as far as punching as hard as I do? Nobody does that in the middleweight division.” Honesty. One piece of the sport that people really really struggle with, are those last 3 or 4 shots that land on an opponents face after he is already unconscious. f you watch Stann fight, you’ll see that he never does more than he has to. And he’s had plenty of opportunities. Before, during, and after the fight, the guy is all about respect.
And it’s the contagiousness of this attitude that is so important to the sport. That is, assuming people don’t want to see Josh Koscheck mouth off about how tan he is and how opponent’s girlfriend wants him. Because even Michael Bisping is having trouble talking bad about Brian Stann. Michael freaking Bisping. One of the biggest smack talkers in the game. It’s extremely hard to talk junk about someone who’s sitting right across the room saying the nicest and most respectful things about you and your skill-set. And if you do, you’re going to be fighting in front of a bunch of people who really really want you to lose.
So UFC 152. This Saturday Night in Toronto. The story is great. There is no fighter more English than Bisping, and as we’ve already discussed, there is no fighter more American than Stann. The fight also coincidentally or not, lands on the 100th anniversary of The War of 1812 – a battle found primarily in Canada between the USA and British Empire. If I haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, I like Stann to win this fight. The guy has extremely heavy hands, and will have the entire crowd chanting USA USA USA before the halfway point of the first round. Bisping will be the favorite, and I like Stann as the underdog with nothing to lose. Some could argue Bisping is on his way out, and look for Stann to come out swinging hard and heavy. Cause for concern will come when the fight goes to the ground, which it undoubtedly will if Bisping feels any sort of danger. But Stann brought in two-time All-American wrestler, Raymond Jordan into camp with hopes of strengthening his ground game. Either way, it’s going to be an entertaining piece of television, be it a first round KO or a split decision.
Brian Stann. I’m calling him Captain America. Respect & Class. It’s why he was a Marine, it’s why he was captain of the Navy Defense, it’s why he’s extremely involved in Hire Heroes USA – a not-for-profit organization that helps veterans find employment, it’s why he is a UFC knockout machine, and it’s why he’s our Boss of the Week.
“I think the preconceived notion of me is that because I was in the military, I’m all for war and conflict…Some of my fondest memories were rebuilding schools, opening stores on the streets of Iraq, and injecting more money into the economy to help families. Some of my fondest memories were fighting for people I’ve never met.” —Brian Stann