Three months after disposing of nemesis Steve Cantwell to earn his first UFC victory, former Marine Brian Stann will fight again in the Ultimate Fighter 10 finale on Dec. 5. Stann, 7-2 overall in mixed martial arts, faces Rodney Wallace, who will be making his UFC debut.
A powerful puncher who thrives on his standup game, Stann fights in the 205 pound light heavyweight division, by far the UFC’s most competitive and star-studded. Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, Chuck Lidell and Rampage Jackson have all held the 205 title in recent years, and challengers like Mauricio Rua add to the deep talent pool that Stann will have to overcome if he’s to be successful.
Stann got off to a rough start in the UFC, losing his debut fight to Krzysztof Soszynski by way of a first-round submission in April. But Stann bounced back strong against Cantwell in September, in a fight that was the rubber match between the two. Stann won their first meeting by KO, but Cantwell roughed up Stann up in their second fight in the now-defunct WEC light heavyweight division. Stann showed that he’s a true contender by brushing off that loss and the loss to Soszynski and won a unanimous decision over Cantwell for his first UFC win.
As many know, Stann’s greatest accomplishment came outside the octogon. His actions during a May 2005 battle in Iraq earned him a Silver Star, the Corps’ third-highest honor for valor. You can read more about Stann’s heroism on the Military Times Hall of Valor.
Speaking of The Ultimate Fighter…
Poor Darrill Schoonover. Teased relentlessly for his, um, man boobs by Rampage Jackson on TUF, Schoonover has apparently been recalled to active duty in the Army, according to an MMA blog. I hadn’t even realized that Schoonover was an Army vet; it’s not something he talks about on the show. But Schoonover served four years on active duty and has been in the reserve for the last two years, according to his UFC bio. Don’t worry; this isn’t a TUF spoiler. The report says Schoonover is due to report after the Dec. 5 show finale, so he’s still in contention for the six-figure UFC contract.
Schoonver will face former NFL player Marcus “The Darkness” Jones in his quarterfinal matchup. I like Schoonver for standing up to Rampage’s petty trash talking, but I don’t like this matchup. For anyone. Jones is my pick to win it all this season. He’s just too big and powerful, and has enough strength and ground skills to survive getting taken down by one of the show’s wrestlers.