MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Former Marine and Ultimate Fighting Championship athlete Brian Michael Stann, visited Cherry Point Sept. 4 for the UFC Fitness Event at the Roadhouse hosted by the Air Force Reserve.
Stann was invited to Cherry Point to speak about health and fitness due to his background in Marine Corps and his fighting career. As a second lieutenant, Stann was assigned to 2nd Mobile Assault Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. He earned a Silver Star for his actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2006. He left the Corps as a captain in 2008 and began pursuing a career in mixed martial arts. Two years later, Stann was crowned the World Extreme Cagefighting light heavyweight champion with a 6-0 record. He debuted in UFC’s octagon in April 2009 and made regular appearances against some of the sport’s most renowned names including Chris Leiben, Chael Sonnen, Michael Bisping and Wanderlei Silva. He announced his retirement from the sport in July.
“We chose Cherry Point for the event because of Stann’s previous military experience in the Marine Corps,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Garrett Martin, the event coordinator with Air Force Reserve headquarters. “He’s a natural leader and his background speaks to the Marines.”
Stann made it clear his love of the Corps and its Marines remains unchanged.
“If I had to choose between my fellow fighters and Marines, I would choose the Marines in a heartbeat,” he said. “One of the things I love about the Marine Corps is that everything we do is as a team.”
Stann visited the Center for Naval Aviation and Technical Training Marine Unit Cherry Point where he fielded questions from students about his Marine Corps experience and his fighting career.
“It was really fun to pick his brain,” said Lance Cpl. Keith J. Dion, a student with CNATT. “I think it’s great that he took the time to come out and talk to us.”
Stann also brought along motivation for the Marines that didn’t go unnoticed.
“It’s good to see someone like him come out and pick up the motivation for our Marines,” said Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey V. Dagenhart, the CNATT sergeant major.
The motivation did not stop there however, Stann went on to speak at a Corporals Course and reinforced his belief in noncommissioned officers’ role as the backbone of the Marine Corps. Afterward, he kicked off the UFC Fitness Event at the Roadhouse where Marines and civilians lined up to meet the athlete.
“It’s awesome because you never get the chance to meet someone like him,” said Cpl. Dereck Moreno, a field radio operator with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28. “I was so pumped that I showed up really early just waiting for him to walk in through the door. It was really motivating.”
During the event, Stann spoke about getting in shape and offered tips on fitness and nutrition.
“What you put into your body is what you should expect in your performance,” Stann said. “As Marines, we should always give it everything we’ve got.”