UFC fighter Brian Stann learns from his mistakes, writes the book on leadership

Link to Article: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/breakingnews/ufc-fighter-brian-stann-learns-from-his-mistakes-writes-the-book-on-leadership-99588419.html

By: Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

“People told me I couldn’t win the fight and that drove me towards it. I said ‘OK now I want to take the fight and see if I can find a way to stop him.’ And unfortunately I could have wrestled for the next 10 years and still not be able to outwrestle Phil Davis in that fight.

“He turned it into a wrestling match and that was smart of him.”

He admits to conflicting emotions that night. For one, it was frustrating being unable to escape Davis.

“When he gets on top of you, there’s not much room to get out.”

But he took pride in refusing to stop battling Davis.

“I remember saying to myself, I don’t care if this fight was 10 rounds, I would go all 10 rounds and I would take everything he had and I would beat him based on exhaustion.

“In order to beat me you’re going to either break a limb or you have to knock me out.”

A small light-heavyweight who sometimes did not have to cut weight to make 205 pounds, the six-foot-one Stann has moved down to 185 pounds.

“The UFC has now given me three straight wrestlers. Realizing for some reason that’s just the matchup they want to give me, dropping down makes more sense,” he explained. “Having to cut some weight makes some sense because I’m bigger, stronger, I’ll be harder to take down and more importantly harder to hold down.”

Stann normally walks around at 220, but says the pounds melt away because of his work ethic in the gym. He says he feels “great” as a middleweight.

“I’m faster, I have not lost much strength at all, which is a very dangerous thing for the guys in the middleweight division. I haven’t lost any power in my strikes at all and my cardio’s better too.

A striker who is working hard on his ground game, Stann had been told by his manager after Davis that he would be facing a standup fight next time out. Instead, he got Massenzio, another wrestler.

“I just laughed,” Stann said of the matchup.

He took four days off and went right back to work, focusing on his wrestling and jiu-jitsu. “I put the gi on for 5 1/2 straight months.”

“Mike Massenzio is a great wrestler, no doubt about it. But he’s not Phil Davis,” said Stann.

For Stann, Massenzio (11-3) is the final exam to those months of hard work and study.

Whatever happens Saturday night, Stann will no doubt turn it into a positive.

“When I fail, I’m not going to hang my head, I’m not going to hide in the corner. I’m going to pick my head up and I’m going to keep coming.”

He points to all those people who told him he had no business fighting.

“I’m still here,” he said. “I’m still in the UFC, I’m still winning fights.”