(“Think of this next right hand as my way of thanking you for the opportunity and expressing what an honor it was to meet with you here this evening.” PicProps: Las Vegas Sun)
OK, so maybe “calls out” is a little bit strong in reference to Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre, but the American-Hero-turned-mediocre-light-heavyweight-turned-newly-minted-middlweight-comer certainly didn’t shy away from candidly assessing his skills against both the UFC 185-pound and 170-pound champions while also mentioning his desire to fight Wanderlei Silva and Michael Bisping during a recent interview with the UK Telegraph. Read on to hear Brian Stann‘s respectful, but classicly fighter-centric take of most of the rest of the middleweight division, and beyond. Also, be warned that we took the liberty of changing the British English spellings back to ’Merican, for obvious reasons.
Reasons like the Revolutionary War.
"Hopefully, my next fight will be Wanderlei Silva, who is obviously a legend in the sport, and it would be an honor to fight your guy from the UK, Michael Bisping, an amazing fighter who has truly distinguished himself in the weight class …” Stann tells the Telegraph’s Gareth Davies. “He has proved himself to be an exciting, all-round fighter and has the ranking. Guys like Michael Bisping and Wanderlei have what I want in the sport — the respect and the rankings, and that’s where I want to be.”
Stann pretty much has his bases covered here, calling out the two most-called-out fighters in the middleweight division. There were even reports out last week claiming that the UFC was poised to give Stann the date with Wanderlei that Chris Leben had asked for just prior to getting TKOed by Stann back at UFC 125. Just goes to show you, if you’re a clean cut, fairly well-spoken decorated military vet who punches hard, the UFC just might see fit to put you on a faster promotional track than if you were, say, a tatted-up, fairly-well-spoken skater dude who punches hard and has a well-documented history of substance abuse.
But wait just damn minute. Leben goes 3-0 during 2010 and as a reward gets handed that terrible match-up against Stann (which he so predictably fumbles) but Stann – who’s been a middleweight for all of five months – puts together a measly pair of 185-pound wins (one against Mike Massenzio, for crying out loud) and gets an alleged date with Wanderlei? Not to sound like a sniveling high school girl here, but that is not fair, mom.
If it happens it seems clear that the powers that be are determined to do to Stann what we do to pretty much every MMA prospect with a couple of wins under his belt: Overhype the shit out of him, so later we can tear him down when he doesn’t live up to our own inflated expectations. So, that’ll be fun.
But back to the matter at hand. After doing his due diligence in calling out Wanderlei and Bisping, Stann discusses the possibility of a future fight with Anderson Silva. The following quote makes it sound like he was likely responding to a question from Davies here, which at least means he wasn’t popping off about the middleweight champ without provocation. Still, the tenor of this statement makes us wonder if Stann isn’t overestimating his own abilities just a touch.
“Yes, I think I have the skills to compete with Anderson Silva,” he says. “He is a few levels above the rest of the division and I’m a fight or two away from that. People wonder if I have a ground game, too. I do. It’s just that a lot of fans haven’t seen it.”
Ditto with his comments about St. Pierre. We have to say, we’re starting to wonder if Davies isn’t leading the witness an awful lot here. Otherwise, we don’t know what the heck Stann would even be doing talking about a welterweight, even if he is the best in the world.
“Me against him?” Stanns asks. Incredulously, we hope. “I’d knock him out, before he puts me on my butt three times. I’ve trained with GSP, and he’s a great guy and great for the sport.”