UFC middleweight and light heavyweight contender and former WEC light heavyweight champion has retired from MMA, four months after being defeated by Wanderlei Silva at UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann.
Stann was born on Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, but grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 2003, he was assigned as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps. On May 8, 2005, then-Lieutenant Stann and the 2nd Mobile Assault platoon were ambushed by insurgents during Operation Matador. Stann and the other Marines held out for six days of heavy attack before they were eventually relieved on May 14. All 42 Marines survived, and Stann was awarded the Silver Star the following March. Stann remained on active duty until May 2008, having achieved the rank of Captain, and having used accumulated leave to train and fight.
The 32-year-old made his MMA debut in January 2006 while still on active duty in the US Marine Corps. The Naval Academy graduate won the WEC light heavyweight championship in March 2008 at WEC 33, defeating Doug Marshall by KO at 1:35 in the first round. Stann lost the belt to Steve Cantwell less than five months later at WEC 35.
In 2008, Zuffa — the parent company of the UFC — announced plans to shut down WEC’s 185 and 205 pound weight classes and bring those fighters to the UFC. Stann was supposed to make his UFC debut at UFC: Fight For The Troops on December 10, 2008, but was forced to withdraw from the card after sustaining a foot injury. Instead, he made his debut at UFC 97 on April 18, 2009 against Krzysztof Soszynski, who submitted Stann after locking him in a kimura, forcing him to tap out for the first time.
Stann fought his last match in the light heavyweight division at UFC 109, losing to Phil Davis by unanimous decision. He made his middleweight debut at UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko against Mike Massenzio, winning the bout by a triangle choke submission. Stann ended his MMA career with a 12-6 record, going 6-5 in the UFC.
Brian Stann announced his retirement on The MMA Hour Thursday.
“Yesterday, news broke that I’m going to be branching out and doing some college football. But a couple months ago, I had made the decision and just wasn’t sure when I would announce it, that I was no longer going to continue fighting,” he said. Stann added that he wanted to spend more time with his family — a wife and two daughters — and wanted to focus his career on broadcasting. He has been active as an analyst for Fox and Fuel pre- and post-fight UFC coverage.
“So I wanted to use this opportunity to say thank you,” Stann added. “The relationships and experiences I’ve gotten from fans and fellow fighters have honestly made me a much better person. I leave fighting having taken more from fighting I have ever gave.”
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