After losing back-to-back bouts and landing more broadcasting work with FOX Sports, Brian Stann has announced he’s retiring from mixed-martial-arts competition at the age of 32. The former WEC champion will continue to commentate on FOX Sports UFC broadcasts, in addition to being an on air analyst for the company’s FOX Sports South, ACC football games.
Stann relayed his decision today while appearing on a special edition of The MMA Hour, and in an interview with FOX Sports, he disclosed that he decided to retire after he was KO’d by Wanderlei Silva in March.
“I said it that night,” said Stann, who was stopped by Silva at UFC on FUEL TV 8 in Japan. “I told my coach I was done. I train really, really hard. I put everything into it. But it’s been difficult since the death of my brother-in-law a couple years ago. It’s been a real challenge. I could no longer go to Albuquerque to train at Jackson’s (MMA gym). (Greg) Jackson, (Mike) Winkeljohn and all the other coaches developed me into a top-10 fighter.”
The Iraq War veteran and decorated Marine also added that his desire to provide for his family and spend more time with them, is another reason he’s decided to hang up the gloves. Stann also acknowledged that heath concerns were another factor.
“I played football from second grade on,” Stann said. “Then after football, I went to Iraq and was near several explosions and then there was my eight-year MMA career. I just want to reduce my risk for CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease) so I can enjoy my family. It’s tough.”
Stann leaves the sport having put together a 12-6 record, which included a 6-5 run with the UFC. From August, 2010, through May, 2011, Stann starting working his way up the middleweight rankings by scoring wins over Mike Massenzio, Jorge Santiago and Chris Leben, but was tapped out by Chael Sonnen at UFC 136. After knocking out Alessio Sakara last April, Stann proceeded to lose via unanimous decision to Michael Bisping in September.
It’s typically hard for any accomplished fighter to leave the sport, particularly at the age of 32, but thankfully Stann has some great opportunities lined up. He definitely had a memorable career.