The fight began at a furious pace, with Stann on the offensive stalking the former PRIDE Middleweight and Grand Prix Champion. The two began to trade punches, with Stann pushing “The Axe Murderer” against the cage, forcing him to counter Stann with huge haymakers. At one point, the two traded punches ala Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, clinching with one hand and unloading with the other.
Despite getting clipped by Stann’s foot following a leg kick that missed its mark, Silva fought on and found a way to open up on Stann, whose nose began to stream blood. Towards the end of the first, Stann swarmed Silva and had him hurt, but in the process got caught and went down. Not to be denied, Stann rose to his feet to hurt Wanderlei once again, eventually ending up in his guard to end the round. As the two men went back to their corners, Stann’s nose was bleeding profusely.
In the second, it was again Stann who was on the offensive, as Silva seemed content to fight moving backwards and counter Stann. Two minutes into the second, both men had thrown far less punches and seemed more tentative following the awe-inspiring opening round. Following another misplaced low leg kick that hit Silva low and gave him more time to recover, the two traded leg kicks with Silva throwing high and Stann finally finding his mark with the lead leg.
Then, Silva exploded with a right hand-left hook combination that dropped Stann, who tried desperately to cover up on the ground. Silva followed up with four big right hands on the ground, forcing referee Marc Goddard to stop the contest.
In his post-fight interview, Wanderlei was near euphoric:
“I’m so proud, thanks Dana White, thanks UFC for giving this wonderful opportunity to fight here,” Silva said, jubilant in his victory in his adopted home of Japan.
The “All-American” Stann showed nothing but class in graciously thanking both his opponent and the Japanese crowd.
“I knew what I had to risk when I signed on the dotted line, fighting against that man here in Japan,” Stann said. “My heart’s broken, but I’m still proud that I put my name on the line and I fought him.”
A fantastic match-up to end the UFC’s return to Japan, Wanderlei earned Knockout of the Night honors alongside Mark Hunt and both he and Stann took home Fight of the Night honors.Tags: Brian Stann, mma, MMA NEWS, ufc, ufc news, ufc on fuel tv, ufc on fuel tv 8, Wanderlei Silva