Brian Stann has likely surprised more than a few people today by announcing he’s retiring from professional MMA at the age of 32. The accomplished fighter has decided to pursue a career in broadcasting, and in addition to his UFC commentating duties, Stann has secured a position with FOX Sports South as an ACC Football analyst.
The news comes nearly approximately four months after Stann was knocked out by Wanderlei Silva at UFC on FUEL TV 8 in March. In an interview with FOX Sports about his retirement, Stann relayed he decided to leave the sport after losing to Silva.
“I said it that night,” Stann told FOX Sports. “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 decorated soldier also cited his responsibilities as a father and husband, as well as concerns about injuries, as reasons why he’s decided to hang up the gloves.
“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.”
“As a father of three, I can’t just think about me. It’s not about pride. It’s not about glory. It’s not about personal goals. My No. 1 job in life is a husband and then a father. That’s not just about providing for them. I want to enjoy every moment with my kids.”
Before facing Silva, Stann dropped a unanimous decision loss to Michael Bisping in September, after knocking out Alessio Sakara at a UFC on FUEL TV event last April. The former WEC light-heavyweight champ went 6-5 during his time with the UFC, and retires with an overall record of 12-6.
It’s sad to see such an entertaining and talented fighter leave the sport, but Stann clearly has given this some thought and has his reasons. Of course, the good news is that fans can still look forward to seeing the “All-American” on the air.