When the news first broke that Chael Sonnen would be fighting Brian Stann on his return at UFC 136 in October, one of the first thoughts that would have come into many fans heads was how exactly the always outspoken Sonnen was going to get under ‘The All-American’s’ skin in the build-up to their fight.
Sonnen’s had plenty to say about others in the past, particularly with regards to some of MMA’s most prominent Brazilian fighters like Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva, but it’s hard to see where he would start with someone like Stann who is a legitimate American war hero with an impeccable character and easy-going demeanor outside of the cage.
In fact, even Stann himself believes that the likelihood of the former No.1 middleweight contender taking pre-fight pot-shots at him is slim-to-none.
“I know Chael; he’s just not going to do it. I know there’s respect there,” he tells MMAJunkie.
And Stann is in a good position to make such a judgement as it turns out he already knows Sonnen. Not only have they trained together in the past, but Sonnen also recently contacted Stann to see if the Marines veteran could help place a couple of his ex-army friends in the ‘Hire Heroes USA’ charity program which he fronts.
That’s good news for Stann who has no interest in getting verbal with his opponents prior to meeting them in the cage, noting, “If I get wrapped up in the trash talk, I’m not focusing on the technical skills that I need to win the actual fight.”
It’s not such good news for Sonnen however who’s become acutely aware of how to generate huge levels of interest in his fights and accelerate his progress towards a title shot with his often outlandish and outrageous statements.
After spending a year in the MMA wilderness following a suspension for testosterone usage the 34 year-old would have been keen to pick up where he left on that front, but now it seems he may have to bide his tongue and do his talking with his fist in the Octagon.
Truth be told I can’t see him doing that. Rather I expect him to simply ignore Stann and instead go over his head and start calling out Anderson Silva once again in an attempt to set up a rematch between the two next if he can get past ‘The All-American’ in October.