WEC 30 thoughts: Did Stann fight a can?
Brian Stann is a great story. He's a veteran of the Marine Corps; he has fought in Iraq; and he's won a Silver Star. He is also an up-and-coming WEC light heavyweight. It's understandable that WEC would be enamored with Stann because he has a story that draws fans in.
However, I take issue with the matchmaking that led the promotion to pit Brian Stann against Jeremiah Billington at WEC 30 this past Wednesday for a couple of reasons:
1) While Billington is 9-2, I did a quick examination of the won-loss records of his opponents on Sherdog.com and found out that his nine wins came against opponents with a combined record of 16-49 (including one with a record of 1-22 -- Matt Albright.) Billington has defeated only one fighter with a winning record -- John McElroy, who is 7-4. Remember, all these fights came in fairly small promotions, too. Billington's other loss came against Jason Black, who has fought in PRIDE and UFC.
2) According to WEC, Billington weighed in at 195 pounds in a division where the maximum weight is 205 pounds. That means Billington probably had to put on weight to get to his weigh-in weight. In reality, he'd be better suited to fighting at middleweight or even welterweight. The size disparity between Billington and Stann was very noticeable in Wednesday's fight. To borrow an old cliché, Stann wasn't even picking on a guy his own size.
So, why do I bring all this up? First, let me be clear -- I don't blame Stann for this. He fights whoever WEC puts up against him. And, of course this isn't the first time a promotion has set up an easy fight for a fighter it has picked to be the chosen one.
However, I do believe that we still don't know that much about Stann after this fight and that we have to be careful before we draw any far-reaching conclusions about his ability as a MMA fighter. He's taken care of business up to this point but let's see how he does against better competition before we leap too far.
If you are looking for more analysis on WEC 30 or a brief preview of UFC 75, check out the debut episode of MMA Madness Radio, which was taped Wednesday following WEC 30. Jeff Hamlin was the host and Luke Thomas and I joined him to discuss these as well as other topics. Click here for the audio.