This is the first of RSR’s UFC 130 predictions. In this one, we’ll be analyzing the matchup between Brian “All American” Stann and the former Sengoku middleweight champion, Jorge Santiago.
What Brian Stann Brings to the table
Unlike many great fighters in the octagon today, Stann does not come from an extensive martial arts background. The majority of his youth was spent playing football and he spent a good part of his adult life fighting in the Marine Corps.
This shows in his striking; he doesn’t have the silky slick qualities of Anderson Silva nor the technical brilliance of Michael Bisping. Brian Stann, however, is the Toyota Camry of striking; basic, rugged, and dependable.
While his striking is nothing to write home about, it was enough to not only win him a WEC title but also knocking out UFC tough man Chris Leben. Not only this, but Stann has a helluva chin, taking Chris Leben’s best blows before retaliating for the knockout.
In other areas, Stann is adept but not spectacular.
He managed to submit Mike Massenzio at Jones vs. Matyushenko with a triangle choke and he has had held his own against reasonably good with ground fighters.
Overall, very well rounded with room for improvement.
What Jorge Santiago Brings to the table
In terms of his fighting background, Santiago is the polar opposite of Brian Stann.
From the heart of Brazil, he has a black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu and extensive muay thai experience; despite being the same age as Stann, he has four more years of MMA experience under his belt. He has won 11 out of his last 12 fights and only one of those fights went to a decision.
His finishes range from heel hooks and arm bars to body shots and flying knees. His title defense against Kazuo Misaki was considered for fight of the year by many publications, and he truly showed the heart of a champion by getting up from knock downs and hard shots and forcing Misaki’s corner to throw in the towel with his brutal ground and pound.
X-Factor: Stann said after his Chris Leben fight that he would never cut weight when he fought at light-heavyweight and he truly paid a price for it in the UFC.
Now his nutritionist helps him cut to 186 on the dot and Stann himself admitted he weighs almost 205 pounds against Chris Leben. Twenty pounds of hydration and calories over 185 pounds of solid muscle is a significant size advantage in the division.
While Santiago is undoubtedly the flashier and more experienced striker, Stann one distinct advantage…when Chris Leben hit Jorge Santiago, Jorge went to sleep. When Stann got hit by Leben, he shook it off and retaliated ten-fold. This means there’s a significant chance that Stann will end up doing more damage in the stand-up department as his chin will hold out longer.
On the ground, there’s no doubt in mind that Stann is the star eyed virgin and Santiago the experienced frat boy. Getting Stann to the ground will be difficult…however, he enjoys a significant strength over Santiago, who will most likely be clinging on for dear life any time the two clinch.
More likely than not, Brian Stann will stuff a couple take down attempts and trade with Santiago until he puts him to sleep.