Thursday, May 17, 2018

In 2013 war hero and then UFC middleweight fighter and former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, at the age of 32.

“I can’t be the best husband and father that I can be by living and training in another city for months while I prepare for a fight,” said Stann. “And the other part of it after playing football for so many years, and being involved in several explosions in Iraq, and now fighting professionally for eight years, I definitely am rolling the dice with my long term health. I have not had any issue with head injuries, I don’t have a number of documented concussions, but these are issues that you don’t know there is something wrong until there is something wrong. I’m bringing my third child into the world this Fall, my third daughter – it is not a good idea for me to roll those dice.”

Stann transitioned ably into color commentary, but late last summer he announced a career change, citing increased opportunities for family time.


“I have been offered an amazing leadership role with a fast-growing real estate firm and will be attending Northwestern (Kellogg) for my executive MBA this fall,” he wrote on his social network.

Now he has signed with the Professional Fighters League. Via press release.


The PFL today announced that former MMA star and veteran Brian Stann will help lead the league’s 2018 Fighter and Competition/Rules Committee, bringing his expertise to the first “true sports format” MMA league. Stann will play a major leadership role on the Fighter and Competition/Rules Committee in its efforts to support fighters by developing procedures and making recommendations with respect to competition format and rules, fighter care, and athlete conduct. Under Stann’s leadership, the Committee will play an important role in the “fighters first” league as it debuts its 2018 regular season live on Thursday, June 7, at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Stann will lead PFL’s efforts to add expert members to the PFL Fighter and Competition/Rules Committee. In addition to his storied MMA career, Stann is also a former U.S. Marine and recipient of The Silver Star Medal for valor in combat. For nine years, Stann was President and CEO of Hire Heroes USA, a nonprofit organization that helps U.S. military veterans. Stann is currently the Chief Operating Officer at FirstKey Homes – a Cerberus Capital Management portfolio company.

“I am excited to be a part of the PFL in its vision to bring a new format and a new platform to professional MMA,” said Stann. “I know first-hand the dedication, discipline, and professionalism it takes to be an MMA athlete, and I am happy to contribute to their ability to compete at the highest level.”

The 2018 PFL season will feature 126 fights on Thursday nights in seven regular-season events, bracket-style “win-or-go-home” playoffs, and a $10 million post-season prize pool—the largest prize pool in the history of MMA. The season will begin with 12 athletes in each of six different weight classes. Eight fighters from each class will earn their way into the playoff rounds, and one fighter in each division will earn the title of champion.

U.S.-based and international fans will be able to watch all PFL regular season, playoff, and championship fights—over 66 hours of live action—for free. In the United States, all of the PFL regular season events will air live on Thursday in primetime exclusively on NBCSN, and stream live on, the NBC Sports app, and Outside the U.S., Facebook will stream up to six hours of free, live coverage for each event. In the U.S., fans can watch the first three hours of coverage of each event on Facebook.