UFC on FUEL TV 8: Brian Stann (-245) vs. Wanderlei Silva (+205)
Middleweight bombers Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann move up to the light heavyweight division for a five-round fight that headlines UFC on FUEL TV 8. Both Silva and Stann are two of the most aggressive fighters in the UFC, so fans can expect nothing less than a knockout in this fight, which could possibly be Silva's last.
Stann (12-5), a former U.S. Marine, is one of the most powerful punchers in the UFC, and has knocked out opponents in 75 percent of his victories. Since making his UFC debut back in 2009, Stann has gone 6-4 with knockout wins over the notoriously hard-headed Chris Leben, veteran Alessio Sakara, and journeyman Jorge Santiago, as well as a submission victory over Mike Massenzio.
However, when the 32 year old has stepped up in competition he has faltered, losing to Chael Sonnen, Phil Davis, Michael Bisping, and a submission loss to Krzysztof Soszynski in his UFC debut also sticks out like a sore thumb. Keep in mind all the fighters he lost to were superior grapplers and, while Silva may be as well, he rarely uses his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in fights so Stann won't have to worry about the threat of a takedown as much.
For Stann to win this fight he has to keep it standing, he has to keep the distance, he has to be patient, and he has to go for the knockout. And considering the state of Silva's chin, it's very likely that's what will happen.
What more can you say about Silva (34-12-1, 1 No Contest)? Known as "The Axe Murderer," Silva is one of MMA's all-time great fighters and holds the record for the most wins in PRIDE FC with an incredible 22 wins, including victories over fighters like Dan Henderson, Kazushi Sakuraba and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Coming back to Japan after over six years away, Silva says he's motivated and ready to put on a show just like he used to. The big problem is, he's a far cry from the fighter he once was.
Since returning to the UFC in 2007 (he fought for the promotion earlier in his career), Silva is 3-5 with wins over Cung Le, Bisping and Keith Jardine, but has suffered brutal knockout losses to Chris Leben and "Rampage" Jackson, as well as decision setbacks to Rich Franklin (twice) and Chuck Liddell.
Silva is still a dangerous fighter. With 24 career knockout victories, he is definitely one of the most dangerous men to step into the Octagon. And, even at the age of 36, he was still able to nearly finish Franklin in his last outing.
The only way Silva's going to pull off what would be a pretty big upset over Stann is to brawl with his opponent and try to land on his chin. But, considering he's been knocked out badly in four of his last seven fights, his own chin might not hold up in a slugfest against a younger, more powerful, and faster fighter like Stann.
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Adam Martin writes for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Follow him on writer at @MMAdamMartin.