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Brian Stann: “Fighters are starting to realize that they have to make their fight matter.”

Brian Stann: “Fighters are starting to realize that they have to make their fight matter.”

Retired middleweight Brian Stann has started transitioning from life as a UFC fighter to one as a sports analyst focusing on ACC football at the occasional Octagon occurrence. Though Stann has no regrets about his decision to call it a career at the age of 32, the former WEC champion recently admitted he expects to be a bit emotional this Saturday night when he serves as a broadcaster covering UFC on FOX 8.

“The hardest thing for me, is going to be when I am at the fights, particularly this weekend. When those guys make that walk, those are the times I miss the most. It’s going to take some to let it settle in that I am not going to do that anymore,” admitted the always-tough Stann in an interview with Chris Leslie of MMAFrenzy.

One fight in particular “All-American” will be paying attention to is the welterweight bout between Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald. Stann offered up some interesting insight on the tilt, crediting Chael Sonnen with fueling Ellenberger’s recent upswing in trash-talk.

“Jake and Rory is probably the one that is most exciting outside of the main event. You’re seeing a paradigm shift in mixed martial arts in recent years because of what Chael Sonnen’s done and Jake is a pupil of Sonnen. I don’t know if people have realized that with it being behind-the-scenes, but he is,” revealed Stann. “Fighters are starting to realize that they have to make their fight matter. Boxers have done this for years where they go out and promote to sell their fight and Ellenberger has basically done that. He’s fighting a guy he truly does not like, and he has told him ‘I want to fight you’ and he’s been rewarded with Rory wanting to fight him with major title implications between two guys who are really, really good.”

Adding weight to Stann’s comments, Sonnen recently changed camps to Reign MMA where Ellenberger also happens to train.

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