UFC middleweight Brian Stann has no illusions about what he’s set to face tomorrow night in Japan at UFC on Fuel 8 when action fires up in his main event match-up with Wanderlei Silva. Silva, a ferocious Brazilian beloved by countless fans, doesn’t necessarily have the same fire he did during his time in PRIDE but he’s definitely packing similar firepower.
As such, Stann isn’t underestimating “The Axe Murderer” entering their bout even if Silva is 3-7 in his last ten fights. The hard-hitting former Marine talked about the challenge of Silva in a recent interview with the UFC’s website where he outlined his expectations of the tilt…
“Preparing for the way Wanderlei fights now is different than it would have been a few years ago. You can’t count on him coming forward the entire fight. There are going to be bursts, but he’s become more economical with his strikes. He’s become a much smarter fighter and more dimensional as well. He’s added some takedown capabilities into his game as well and I’m not banking on him to just come out there swinging. I think he’s going to be much more patient in this fight. Looking at his past few fights, he’s begun to counterstrike a little bit more. I think that is an interesting tactical layer in this fight and I’m interested to see how it plays out.”
“If you look at all of his fights, there haven’t been too many where Wanderlei hasn’t hurt the person he’s fighting. Even in the fights he’s lost, he’s extremely dangerous. His fights against Rich Franklin were razor-thin. There were moments of those fights where it could have gone either way and he had Rich nearly finished. Wanderlei Silva is always dangerous.”
“It’s going to be a different Brian Stann. Fans are going to see a Brian Stann who is completely dangerous in every aspect of the sport. I’m going to be more focused. There were a lot of things happening in 2012 that, unfortunately for my fighting career, were more important than fighting. They needed my attention. Luckily for me, those are over and we closed the chapter on that when 2012 ended. Now I’m able to fully focus on my goals and what I want to accomplish in this sport. In 2013 I plan on having a great year.”
PHOTO CREDIT: UFC