• UFC 136

Stann 'two, maybe even three' fights from title shot

ESPN staff
July 7, 2011

Brian Stann believes he could be as many as three fights away from a title shot, even though he has been matched with Chael Sonnen at UFC 136.

Stann is riding a three-fight win streak, having beaten Mike Massenzio, Chris Leben and Jorge Santiago. Only Phil Davis, in the light-heavyweight division, has beaten Stann in his last six outings.

Sonnen is returning from suspension as arguably the second-best middleweight in the UFC. His title shot against Anderson Silva saw the champion come within a whisker of defeat, and now Sonnen wants to work his way back to a deserved rematch.

Victory for Stann would effectively mean he has beaten the No. 1 contender (Sonnen defeated current No. 1 challenger Yushin Okami in 2009), but the hugely popular American is taking nothing for granted.

"I think I have a couple more fights," he told Fight Day. "I have no issues fighting anybody in the middleweight division right now. To turn down a title fight is just ridiculous at this level.

"Everybody has a shot to win [the title]. Especially when the champion is a guy like Anderson Silva, who does like to stand and bang, you're always going to have a puncher's chance.

"But for me, I know I'm going to have to fight one or two times before I get that shot at the title. I'm going to have to fight two, or maybe even three, really good guys. That's what I'm focused on right now."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.