Halfway through the first preliminary Facebook fight of UFC 163, it was clear who was the biggest star to emerge out of the event. It was retired UFC fighter Brian Stann, who had the role of color commentator for the night. Joe Rogan, who usually has that job, was unavailable as he worked on a show for the SyFy Network. It was Stann's first time in this job, and he was fantastic at it.
Throughout every fight, Stann showed off thorough knowledge of the sport. Instead of just applauding an easy takedown for Thales Leites, he pointed out how Tom Watson's aggressiveness opened the door for Leites to make his move. He spoke of not just Phil Davis' collegiate wrestling credentials, but his actual wrestling style. Stann listened to the advice Chan Sung Jung's corner gave him, and then compared it to Jung's original game plan.
The noticeable thread that ran through Stann's work was his preparation. He referenced previous fights by Jose Maria, a flyweight making his UFC debut. He talked about a conversation he had with Amanda Nunes and her plans for her fighting future.
He does have work to do on his postfight interviews. Stann wasn't as at ease in questioning fighters right after their performance. However, he had to deal with using a translator in every interview, which can throw off the rhythm.
Stann, who played football for the Naval Academy, will also start doing commentary for college football this season. But hopefully, football won't take up all his time and he will also get the chance to do more UFC events soon.