A bout between UFC middleweight competitor Wanderlei Silva and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Brian Stann looked to be a done deal at one point, even according to UFC President Dana White.
Ultimately, that fight was scrapped as Stann is now set to face off against Sengoku veteran Jorge Santiago at UFC 130.
And reportedly the Silva vs. Stann fight mainly fell through because “The Axe Murderer” was staunchly against facing Stann.
According to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Silva “absolutely refused” to fight Stann. He even went as far as to tell people “he would rather retire than take” the fight.
Silva stated in an interview with MMA Heat that his reasons for turning the fight down were because he was unsure of when he would be available for a fight and that Stann is “an American hero”.
Silva would go on to name a number of possible opponents that he would be willing to fight next including Vitor Belfort, Nate Marquardt, Chris Leben, and Chael Sonnen, once his current issues are cleared up.
According to Meltzer, a bout against Belfort is being talked about for UFC 131 after Belfort recently accepted Silva’s challenge.