The word “hero” is thrown around far too often. However, in the case of UFC middleweight Brian Stann it can never be used enough (though he would likely disagree with the notion, a testament to his overall humility). Beyond being an accomplished Mixed Martial Artist, Stann is also a decorated Marine who won the Silver Star after keeping his entire platoon alive during a three-day siege in Iraq.
Stann recently peeled back a layer in discussing the harrowing experience of Operation Matador on an episode of UFC Ultimate Insider where he was joined by a fellow soldier who was injured in the conflict.
“People always want to ask me about it, they want me to talk about, and beat my chest like I was Superman out there, like I saved the day and that’s why I got a medal on my chest,” said Stann of the events of 2005. “It’s interesting because I don’t hang any of those medals in my house. I don’t even know where they are. I lose sleep at night, every day of my life, thinking about those men who were wounded that time. If I’d have gone right instead of going left, if I’d have gone this direction, if I’d have come at this time, if I’d have used this air support…what could I have done…because ultimately it was my responsibility. It was my decisions that put those men in the places where they got hurt.”
Watch the full interview below including footage from the actual mission:
MMATraining Take: This is without question one of the best things I’ve ever seen from the UFC production-wise and a reason I’ve been wanting a program like Ultimate Insider for years. The men/women of MMA are fascinating individuals and deserve to be highlighted, though few more so than Stann. Amazing stuff to be sure.