UFC middleweight “All-American” Brian Stann (11-3) made another big splash in the 185lbs. division last Saturday at UFC 130 with his striking clinic win over “Sandman” Jorge Santiago (22-9). Many thought it would be a back-and-forth battle on the feet with the former Sengoku champion, but Stann proved them wrong. The USMC soldier worked angles, mixed up his strikes, and countered the seemingly ineffective advances of Santiago. After a power-counter that dropped the Brazilian in the closing seconds of the first round followed by a rain of bombs up to the closing bell, Stann was already breaking the will of the more experienced Santiago. The second frame was just a continuation of the beating. Then with only thirty seconds left on the clock, Stann dropped “Sandman” again and finished him with a powerful combo.
Having steadily climbed the ranks of the UFC’s middleweight ladder, now the question is: What’s next in the bright future of “All-American”?
Boasting a newly acquired spot in the top ten of the 185lbs. division, it’s just good sense to pair up Stann with fellow top ten competitors so that he may test his grit and skill against the UFC’s elite. With upcoming bouts between “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-9) and Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-4), The Ultimate Fighter 14 coaches ”The Count” Michael Bisping (21-3) and “Mayhem” Jason Miller (23-6), and Demian Maia (13-2) and “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (8-2) all scheduled within the next few months, most of the division’s best are presently spoken for. Additionally, “The Great” Nate Marquardt’s (31-10) descension from middleweight to welterweight and Chael Sonnen’s (24-11) career in limbo could render Stann a viable recipient for the honor of representing the UFC in the first middleweight Strikeforce vs. UFC face-off. There are several options at the top of the Stikeforce 185lbs. division that could pose an interesting match-up for Stann, including “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-7) and Strikeforce king “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (13-2). If all else falls through, Stann is in a perfect position to step in for an injured fighter in one of the aforementioned upcoming bouts and further his own standing against an opponent who hasn’t had time to prepare for his powerful striking.
As of now Stann will have to sit back and wait to see what his future holds within the UFC. Needless to say there is no rest for the weary when it comes to Stann’s drive to the title.