By Josh Long:
There are a lot of people who say Jon Jones is the new face of the UFC, but there’s a guy who’s not a high profile fighter who deserves the title “face of the UFC.” That fighter is the former United States Marine “The All-American” Brian Stann.
During his most recent fight, Stann defeated Alessio Sakara. After dropping his opponent with knees, Stann found himself in his opponent’s guard. While in Sakara’s guard Stann knocked him out with short elbows, but instead of continuing to inflict more damage he pulled up and waited for the referee to stop the fight.
After the fight Stann’s decision to spare his opponent any further damage earned him high praise from his boss, UFC President Dana White on Twitter. White tweeted, “Brian Stann is one of the classiest people on earth!”
Something that also stood about Stann during his last fight is his training camp. According to Jamie McAllister of BJPenn.com, Stann decided to train at home in Atlanta to be with his wife after the death of her brother and at one point contemplated calling off the fight.
“This fight was different, there were a lot of things new in my camp, I had to surround myself at home and take care of my wife and with the loss in family it was a real tough time. I thought about calling the fight [off],” Stann said. “But I’m glad to overcome that adversity and come out here and perform well.” (Source: BJPenn.com)
How many fighters do this?
By now most everyone knows Stann’s story. A former Marine Captain who was awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for valor in combat, after he and his platoon held off insurgents for six days. All 44 members of Stann’s platoon survived the attacks.
So why does the UFC need more Brian Stann? Well it can never hurt to have a guy like Stann representing the UFC.
In today’s society there are some who have less than a positive opinion of MMA fighters, after all when fighters are failing drug tests and getting arrested it’s hard to blame them. Brian Stann is a guy who can change this attitude. There hasn’t been one time during his MMA career that Stann has created any controversy outside the cage and it’s a safe assumption that this will never happen.
Stann knows all about honor and discipline after all he was a former middle linebacker at the United States Naval Academy, a place rich in honor and tradition.
Speaking of honor, Stann honored his fallen comrades by scoring a 2nd round TKO victory over Jorge Santaigo at UFC 130. Overcome with emotion of fighting on Memorial Day weekend, “The All-American,” dropped to his knees with chants of “USA, USA, USA!” ringing out from the crowd.
In a post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani for mmafighting.com, Stann explained some of the reasoning behind his emotional celebration.
“I fight in an athletic competition, you know and you’re always worried when you go into a fight aw man I don’t want to lose I don’t want to be embarrassed,” Stann said. “Today there were people that lost their legs, today there were people who lost their family members and so you know I always take that into perspective when I win, I think about guys that aren’t here anymore.”
In that same interview Stann mentioned the crowd was cheering for him like he was a hero, something he called a norm for a UFC fighter, but he doesn’t consider himself a hero and mentioned his heroes.
“My heroes in life aren’t actors they aren’t athletes, my heroes are the men and women that deploy overseas to protect this nation,” Stann said in the same interview.
People say that a parent hasn’t done their job if their kids are looking up to professional athletes, because a lot of times they’re in the news for the wrong reason. If there is an athlete that parents should have their kids look up to it’s a true hero whose name is Brian Stann.Tags: featured, MMA NEWS, Strikeforce, strikeforce news, ufc news, UFC on FOX, UFC on FOX 2, ufc on fox 3, UFC on Fuel, UFC on FX