On Tuesday night, Michael Bisping offered up two names of fighters that he would like to face for his next fight.
Ironically, on the 4th of July, American hero turned top ten middleweight Brian Stann has formally accepted the challenge and now it's up to matchmaker Joe Silva to put the fight together.
Stann, who is currently recovering from a shoulder injury, heard Bisping mention his name on Tuesday night's edition of UFC Tonight and he was immediately excited about the prospects of the fight.
“I think that's a fight that I need to jump at because he's obviously ranked higher than I am. He's a guy that's right up there in the mix for a title shot, which is what we all want. Of course I want to fight Michael Bisping,” Stann told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
“He's a star in the UFC, he makes big time money, he's got everything that everybody else wants, and he's earned it. So I want to take that. I saw the interview and I know my shoulder will be ready for Sept. 22 in Toronto (UFC 152) and that would be a great honor to put that fight on for the fans.”
Stann last competed in April when he put on a masterful performance finishing off Italian heavy hitter Alessio Sakara. Now the decorated Marine has his sights set on another European born fighter.
For several months a great many fans have put Stann and Bisping in the same sentence and have asked for that fight to happen. While Bisping is always happy to voice his opinion on any number of subjects, Stann has always been more reserved to let his fists do his talking for him.
As a tough, grizzled American it's easy to call Brian Stann the John Wayne of MMA, but how fitting that he's ready to take on one of the loudest voices in the entire sport in Michael Bisping.
“I could care less. I've had fights where they talk; I've had fights where they don't talk. I bury my head in the sand with my family and I just train for fight. I could care less about the attention, the fame, etc. He gets a lot of it and that's part of the game,” said Stann.
“I want him because he's a very good fighter, he's very close to a title shot and I was close to a title shot as well and that's what I want to get to. I know I've gotten better in the last seven or eight months. I went up to Oregon to train with Chael Sonnen to prove to myself how much better I've gotten and I know I can compete with anybody.”
On the same night that Bisping uttered Stann's name, he also mentioned fellow UFC middleweight Alan Belcher‘s in the same interview. Stann has nothing but respect for Belcher, but with both Bisping and Stann having obvious drawing power, putting them together in a fight seems like an easy decision.
“He's the biggest star in England and with my background here in America, it's just a fitting storyline going into a fight. Alan Belcher's a fantastic fighter, he's a great guy, but I just personally think the fight between me and Bisping would attract more attention,” Stann stated.
Over the last several months, Stann and Bisping have crossed paths on different occasions while promoting events for the UFC or handling different public relations work for the promotion, but there's been one common theme the entire time.
While pleasantries are always exchanged, Stann admits that he's never gotten to know Bisping all that well because he knew eventually they'd be locked in the Octagon together and he'll wait until after he knocks him out to be friends with him.
“Me and Mike have been in the same location on several occasions and we've both known this fight was coming and so I think we've just purposefully avoided getting to know one another because we know this fight is eventually going to happen. Why make nice with each other until after we've fought?” said Stann.
Stann isn't always in the business of guarantees and he's never talked trash on an opponent, or say disparaging comments for the sake of attention. His prediction for a potential fight with Michael Bisping, however, is an easy one.
“It will deliver.”
- Michael Bisping
- Brian Stann