Brian Stann – The End of an Era
By SGT Awesome
Husband and Father
Champion, Marine, Hero
Brian Stann is many things and a simple haiku could never do him justice. So instead, after the day of his retirement from MMA fighting, we’d like to take you back and help you remember just how special he was.
After four years of playing football for the Naval Academy he earned his degree in Economics and took his commission into the Marines in 2003. Something happened in 2003, I seem to forget what, but it kept him rather busy the next few years. Towards the end of his busyness (where he earned a Silver Star), he yearned to get back to athletic competition. So he reached out to a fight promoter and got an MMA fight where he earned a first round knock out and also the notice of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).
He was quickly scooped up by the WEC while still fulfilling his commitment as a full time Marine Captain. In his first fight under the banner, he earned the quickest knock out in WEC history at 16 seconds of the first round. His third fight would be against a man he would get to know well, Steve Cantwell. Well, not quite yet, as Brian would win by TKO in only 41 seconds.
This trend would continue for the next year as he won his first six fights all by first round knock outs. At this point Brian not only became the WEC Light Heavyweight champion, but he also became an official Ranger Up sponsored fighter.
Brian left the Marine Corps a couple months after his second Cantwell match-up to concentrate on fighting. Shortly thereafter, Zuffa decided to fold the WEC Light Heavyweight and Middleweight fighters into the UFC.
He debuted in the UFC at UFC 97 in April of 2009 and lost via first round kimura due to a self admitted “lack of ground game.” In his second UFC fight he once again squared off against Steve Cantwell. This time neither fighter could get the better of the other and it went the full three rounds (a first for Brian) where he won the rubber match via unanimous decision.
He went 1-1 in his next two fights at 205 before deciding that his size, strength, and speed would translate very well to the 185 pound division. At Middleweight he quickly finished all three of his first three fights including becoming only the second person (the first being Anderson Silva) to TKO iron-chinned Chris Leben.
At UFC 136 Brian faced off against Chael Sonnen which ended in a close loss. Determined to get back to his roots, Brian Rangered the Fuck Up and in his next fight won via first round knockout against a tough Allesio Sakara. This would earn him the fight that everyone, and boy do I mean everyone, wanted to see.
September 22nd, 2012 Brian faced off against perennial contender Michael Bisping in Toronto. Alas, since Jesus hates me, this fight went all three rounds and Bisping pulled off the win.
Six months later Brian would face off against MMA legend Wanderlei Silva in Saitama, Japan not far from where Brian was born. If you somehow missed this fight, you seriously missed possibly Brian’s greatest fight. Even though he would end up losing by a late second round KO it showed, more than any other fight, Brian’s unshakable heart, iron determination, and indomitable will. More bombs were dropped during this fight than during the entire Atlantic campaign of World War Two. Unfortunately, Wanderlei ended up getting the better of the exchanges and it became Brian’s final UFC fight.
During this entire time Brian wasn’t only concentrating on fighting. He was also working as an MMA commentator for the UFC and as the CEO of a veteran focused non-profit Hire Heroes USA of which Ranger Up is a partner. He may also have done some commercials for Ranger Up’s new denim line.
His decision to leave MMA, while hard, was ultimately easy when he looked at his priorities which were to provide for his family and share a full and happy life with his wife and three children.
Worry not Stann fans, for he is not leaving the public eye; as of yesterday it was released that Brian has expanded his commentating job at FOX to not only include the UFC but also ACC football.
We at Ranger Up wish to congratulate Brian on his new job and successful MMA career. We look forward to continuing our work with him on future projects.