Wanderlei Silva: Why Brian Stann Is a Terrible Matchup for the Axe Murderer

Hunter Homistek@HunterAHomistekCorrespondent IJanuary 1, 2013

CREDIT: fighthubtv.com
CREDIT: fighthubtv.com

Mixed martial arts legend and fan favorite Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva is headed back to the light heavyweight division after a relatively unsuccessful stay at middleweight.

That is just an awful decision

Silva has competed in some absolute wars for nearly two decades, and the wear and tear shows more brutally each time he steps into the cage. 

Silva has fought eight times since stepping foot inside the UFC Octagon in December 2007, and he has an unimpressive 3-5 record to show for his efforts. 

In two of those five losses, Silva was knocked out cold, and he was staggered and battered in the others. Simply put, Silva's chin is gone, and he severely endangers himself each time he steps into the cage. 

In moving to light heavyweight, Silva exposes himself to more powerful one-punch knockout artists than at middleweight, and this serves to heighten the danger he will face. 

Who did he draw in his return to 205, you might ask? 

First of all, why would you ask when the answer is in the headline? Second, it's Brian Stann. 

The iron-fisted Brian Stann. 

The Brian Stann who has only been fazed by strikes inside the cage once in 17 career fights.

The Brian Stann who, if you were to make a list of desirable matchups for Wanderlei Silva, would be between Junior dos Santos and Anderson Silva on the "please-don't-make-him-fight-this-guy" list. 

This is a terrible matchup for "The Axe Murderer" and his continued health. 

Look, concussions are cumulative. It's not like you can get knocked out and bounce back the next day as healthy as ever. The effects of a concussion linger, and they are compounded with each successive concussion you suffer. 

Silva has been knocked out six times in his professional MMA career, and, as I noted earlier, he was staggered and stumbled even in his decision losses. 

This figure does not include all the times he was knocked out in sparring or, say, backstage at a Pride Fighting Championships (NSFW language) tournament. 

When you look at it in this light, a heavy-handed, box-first-and-box-well fighter is probably not the best draw for Wandy. 

You have to give Silva this though: He does not care one bit about this aspect of the fight. In recent interviews, he has stated he will be "testing Brian Stann's chin" and will put on a "classic" fight. 

The dude just wants to bang, bro, and the fans thank him for that. 

Part of me wants to think this is actually a great matchup—that Stann's standup tendencies will bode for a great battle inside the Octagon—but I just cannot see it. 

Stann hits hard and has a great chin. That's all I need to know about this matchup. If Silva is to emerge victorious, he will need to obliterate Stann early, and I just do not see that happening. 

Maybe I'll look insane after he blasts Stann and gets a vintage first-round victory, or maybe you can call me crazy after the two engage in a back-and-forth five-round brawl for the ages. 

Most likely, though, I'll look like Nostrahuntus after Wandy is lying face-first in a heap of retirement and concussed skin and bones in the middle of the Octagon.