UFC on Fuel 8 is a night of returns for many involved on the card.
Wanderlei Silva is returning to his old stomping grounds (literally) in Japan where he reached legendary status and worldwide recongition as one of the best MMA fighters we've ever seen.
Brian Stann may be known as "The All-American" but he will be returning to the place of his birth, Japan.
Another fact the opponents have in common is that they are both returning to the light heavyweight division for their main event fight on Sunday night's broadcast.
Here's a closer look at what is sure to be a slugfest.
"The Axe-Murderer," as he is so affectionately known, hasn't been in title contention for quite some time but he is still a huge attraction for all MMA fans. Silva always produces exciting moments when he's in the octagon and we expect no different on Sunday.
One of the UFC's most experienced fighters, Silva took another loss to Rich Franklin via unanimous decision in their June rematch – but "Wand" had his moments. He nearly finished the fight in the second round after landing a darted right hand squarely on Franklin's jaw. Although Franklin survived, everyone including us thought Silva performed valiantly in defeat.
For Silva to be successful against Stann he will have to avoid multiple trades by standing on the outside and picking his shots. Silva's chin hasn't been the same since his Pride days so leg kicks and feints will be particularly effective against Stann's incoming onslaught. Once the moment has arrived, Silva can leap in, land a few shots and get back out.
Since both men are returning to 205, we'd expect Silva to carry even more power in his already heavy hands and possibly outlast Stann if the fight does go the five full rounds.
After losing a unanimous decision to Michael Bisping last September, Stann has to be happy he is finally facing a fellow striker. Stann's weakness has always be his inability to keep wrestlers/grapplers off of him but on Sunday night a standup war seems to be in the forecast.
Stann has tremendous power in both hands and the former WEC light heavyweight champion is making a return to a weight class he feels more comfortable at. Just like his opponent, we expect to see even more power from Stann's deadly hands.
It would be in Stann's best interest if he was able to bring Silva into a dogfight. Stann's standup arsenal includes heavy hooks, straight crisp punches and vicious leg kicks. He also sports a iron chin having never been knocked out in the UFC.
Stann will most likely be the bigger, more powerful fighter between the two and if he can impose his size that will be his best shot to win.
The Bottom Line
Neither man will be looking to take this fight to the ground — unless they have a lame game plan — so let's a hope for a war. A bout featuring two strikers is our favorite kind and from watching both men over the years we can assure you, there will be blood.
Zachary Hutton is the lead boxing writer and an MMA contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can see what he's up to at his band's website myunclethewolf.com or also subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.