This was Sonnen’s first fight after losing to Anderson “The Spider” Silva at UFC 117. Even though he came up short, Sonnen put on a brilliant performance, dominating Silva like no one had done before. Fight fans all over the world were anxious to see a rematch between Silva and Sonnen, but he would have to fight his way back to another title shot. His first obstacle, Brian Stann.
Stann had entered the UFC in the light heavyweight division, but moved down to middleweight where he won his first 3 fights, defeating Jorge Santiago, Chris Leben, and Mike Massenzio. A former military veteran, Stann was well respected and feared for his punching power and toughness. He looked very impressive in his last 3 fights, finishing every one of his opponents. Now, this was Stann’s chance to make a statement to the MMA world.
Round 1: Sonnen and Stann come to the center. Sonnen immediately goes for a takedown. Stann defends and Chael works him into the cage. They scramble briefly, and Chael keeps Stann against the cage while he throws knees and punches. Chael pulls Stann away from the cage and trips him down to the canvas. This is Sonnen’s world, on the mat, and he keeps Stann on the bottom. Stann tries to hold Sonnen to prevent taking damage, but Chael stays on him, reigning down punches, knees, and even taking Stann’s back. Sonnen dominates the remainder of the entire round in top position, doing whatever he wants to do. The round ends with Sonnen on top reigning down punches and elbows to Stann’s head.
Round 2: Both fighters come out, and in seconds Sonnen takes Stann down. He starts working immediately, throwing punches over and over again, to Stann’s face. Stann is trying his best to defend Sonnen’s attack, but Chael is having his way with Stann. Chael gets into full mount, throwing steady punches to Brian’s face. Stann is not mounting any kind of offense and tries to hold on.
The referee makes a decision to stand them up even though Sonnen is working. Stann attempts a couple of hard right hands, but neither hit their mark. Sonnen avoids Stann’s attack and closes the distance. He works Stann back into the cage, and moments later he drops down and picks Stann up in the air. He slams him to the mat and moves back into top position. Sonnen is able to put an arm triangle on Stann and jumps over to the opposite side. Stann tries to hang on, but the triangle is too tight and Stann is forced to tap out. The referee comes in and separates the two. Chael Sonnen defeats Brian Stann by submission in Round 2.