"Any time that I have actually met Wanderlei, which is very few, he's just been an amazing guy. He's been a champion. So I certainly didn't take it as an insult (that he turned the fight down) or anything of the sort. I just took it as it wasn't the right time or the place, and I knew I was kind of even rolling the dice to get that fight anyways. At the end of the day, I got a better fight. I love Wanderlei, he's the guy that I said since the WEC that would be my dream fight just because I always loved watching him fight, but let's face it, Jorge Santiago is ranked in the top 10 for the last two years. This is a better fight for me."
-- Wanderlei Silva? Yeah, sure, but Jorge Santiago is the fight that will get you closer to the title. That's what Brian Stann told MMAFighting.com in regards to his ever evolving fight booking process. After knocking out the iron-chinned Chris Leben at UFC 125, the super-soldier spent a great deal of time campaigning for a bout against the legendary "Axe Murderer," thinking he finally had the clout to ask for his dream fight. What he didn't count on was Silva electing not to accept the fight, apparently because the Brazilian didn't want to throw hands with an American hero on Memorial Day weekend. This was okay with Stann as soon as he learned his replacement opponent would be Santiago, a Sengoku middleweight champion coming off the "Fight of the Year" for 2010. "All American" has won four of his last five and feels he's one or two fights away from a title shot in the Anderson Silva cleaned out middleweight division. Do you agree? And is Santiago actually a better fight than Wanderlei?