Former MMA fighter Cameron Conaway explains why Brian Stann’s victory in Sweden, and the subsequent viral video, prove that he is a good man.
On April 14th Brian “All American” Stann took on Alessio Sakara at UFC Sweden. Although Stann truly seems to be a good man, many fans have become numb from his good-manness being forced on them every time he’s interviewed or competes. Stann is a decorated Marine and he even founded a terrific organization called Hire Heroes, a not-for-profit that helps veterans transition to civilian jobs. But commentators mention Stann’s military and philanthropic accolades so frequently that they’ve become a joke in MMA circles. However, as any Introduction to Writing workshop will teach, the most memorable stories come not from moments told but from moments shown. Check out the video above to watch Stann show his goodness by stopping the fight as soon as he sees Sakara go unconscious.
Why is this a big deal? Because under UFC rules, fights continue until the referee stops the bout. In adrenaline’s heat, this often means fighters receive punches even after they are unconscious. Aside from the ref not reacting quickly enough, another reason this may happen is because the winning fighter does not want a glitch whereby he stops competing only to see that his opponent isn’t unconscious or is recovering. Either of which could mean the crucial loss of a dominant position. In my first two MMA bouts, for example, I held the fight-ending choke longer than I should have because I was determined to stop only when the ref stopped me. Likewise, at such high-speed competition it’s awfully difficult to know (and coordinate this knowingness with your body so it stops) precisely when your opponent is out.
Brian Stann—certainly in large part because of his training as an elite soldier and now as an elite mixed martial artist—was able to stop before the ref stopped him. This takes an unbelievable amount of trust, awareness and integrity. And it showcases the discipline and focus of a genuine mixed martial artist. The video has since gone viral and this is yet another step in the right direction for manhood and mixed martial arts.