Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago official for UFC 130Posted on February 24, 2011, 10:06 PM by Joey Santosus
After much speculation, the Middleweight bout between Brian Stann and Jorge Santiago is now official for UFC 130 in May.
Earlier reports of the match-up were described as premature by Santiago, who said he had yet to sign with the promotion. However, it now appears the deal in done, as UFC officials have confirmed.
Stann was originally expected to face Wanderlei Silva, but "The Axe Murderer" ultimately turned down the match-up, citing a lingering injury as the cause. Silva also expressed a reluctance to accept the fight because of Stann's status as an American military hero and fan favorite.
Santiago's (23-8) first run with the UFC was cut short after going 1-2, winning his debut before being knocked out in his next two bouts against Chris Leben and Alan Belcher. Since his brief stint with the promotion, the American Top Team product has went 11-1, most of which were fights under the Japanese organization Sengoku. After successfully capturing and defending the Sengoku Middleweight title, Santiago requested and was subsequently granted his release.
Stann (10-3), meanwhile, saw his stock in the UFC Middleweight division sky-rocket when he knocked out Chris Leben in the opening round of their New Year's Day match-up. It was his second victory at 185-pounds since making the cut from Light Heavyweight last year, where he had posted a 2-2 mark.
UFC 130 will take place May 28th from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be headlined by a Lightweight title clash between division Champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Gray Maynard, while the co-main event will feature a Light Heavyweight showdown between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Matt Hamill.