Stann called him out. Leben answered. The fight was on.
In the first round of the co-main event, Brian “All American” Stann impressed audiences with a startling knockout victory over the durable Chris Leben.
Putting on the performance of his career, Stann crushed Leben with a hard right hand that dropped him three minutes into the fight. Leben recovered temporarily, only to be dropped again with another assault of punches and a knee, which forced referee Josh Rosenthal to halt the bout at 3:37 of Round One.
"I asked for Chris Leben because he is the toughest guy on the UFC roster,” the former Marine captain said, after dedicating his victory to one of his soldiers who died recently while serving in Afghanistan.
"That could have happened to either one of us, but luckily it was my night,” Stann said of the knockout victory.
With this win, Stann improves his overall record to 10-3 and UFC record to 4-2.
Undefeated at middleweight, it will be fun to see who Joe Silva matches him up with next. Beating Leben is not an easy thing to do, and knocking him out is something only Anderson Silva has done. Leben was running on a lot of momentum after a great year in 2010, which saw him obtain three victories.
With Stann now in the mix and Greg Jackson and company helping him along the way, we could see him facing the top contenders in the division. A match with teammate Nate Marquardt is probably out of the question, but matches with Alan Belcher or Demian Maia could produce interesting results and set him up for a title run.
As for Leben, his dreams as a title contender are lost once again, and he must deal with his upcoming court date for a DUI charge from last year. A rematch with Yoshihiro Akiyama may be the best option for him at this point.