Dana White is like a walking, talking, movie trailer. He reveals just enough to get his audience hot with anticipation, only to deny them with the necessary answers as to why they were watching him in the first place. During the UFC 136 pre-fight press conference, and in accordance with multiple sources, “The Baldfather” apparently revealed that the winner of the upcoming bout between Brian Stann and submission savant Chael Sonnen at UFC 136 would be next in line for a chance to dethrone Anderson Silva. Sort of. Maybe.
The question that sparked all the fuss was as follows: ”How could you feel that if Sonnen wins, he deserves a shot at the title but if not Stann doesn’t?”
To which DW responded: “Stann’s been on a tear and has beat some good guys and has looked good doing it. Leben, Santiago, and now Chael? It would be tough to deny him.”
Dana went on to further confuse everyone when questioned by Megan Olivi following the press conference, stating that Dan Henderson would most certainly be in the mix if he gets past Maricio Rua in their upcoming fight at UFC 139. Truly the David Lynch of straight answers.
I’m assuming that this is one of DW’s many ways to get the notion across to his fighters that title shots are often based on impressive performances rather than win streaks (ie. Jon Fitch). Hopefully this will provide some much needed spark for Sonnen, who has admitted to not feeling his best leading up to his match with Stann. Keep in mind, the last person that apparently fought Stann at less than 100 percent was Chris Leben, and it did not end well for him.
And it is hard to deny that Stann has earned it. The man has had possibly the best year of any non-title holding fighter out there, scoring back-to-back TKO’s of Leben and Jorge Santiago, respectively. Combine that with a successful win in his middleweight debut against *cough* Mike Massenzio *cough* and that would be enough to earn Kenny Florian a title shot in any division he wanted for the next few years.
Now, I must admit that I am a little conflicted about who I want to win this one. On one hand, I am a big fan of Brian Stann, because how can you not be? But on the other, I don’t see Stann’s orthodox striking being very effective against a freak like Silva, and though I consider Chael to be a troll of sorts, there’s no denying that he had the best showing against Silva and could give the champ another run for his money in a possible rematch. But now with Henderson in the mix, it’s likely that Stann could get overlooked based on his ability to draw PPV numbers alone.
Another outside factor here is the simple fact that the Hendo/Rua match is being held at light heavyweight, yet Dana is making no mention of the winner getting the next shot against Jon Jones, after Rashad Evans of course. Either way, it looks like Dana has got some ‘splainin to do.
What say you Potato Nation? Stann or Sonnen, who takes it and how, and does the winner deserve the title shot? Also, would you rather see Hendo fight Jon Jones or Anderson if he is successful against Rua?