The fight game takes all kinds.
We know that Brian Stann is a rarity. Not many people have something to their back story that makes becoming a cage fighter champion the very least of their credentials. Stann is a decorated war hero that could one day end up living on Pennsylvania Avenue. All of the cage honors he gains will be tinsel to an already full life. He was awarded a Silver Star for valor for his part in Operation Matador in Iraq. The WEC title he once held was just fun aftermath.
As is everything he’ll do.
In England, there’s a fighter with a similar story to Stann’s -- only, Jack Marshman spent his youth in and out of jail, fighting on the streets of South Wales. He changed his fate, though, when he enlisted in the British Armed Forces, where he’s a soon-to-be Lance Corporal in its airborne infantry unit. Marshman is BAMMA’s first British middleweight champion. He battled back from the brink to beat Carl Noon to win the strap at BAMMA 7 (TKO, punches) in September, with his left eye swollen shut for the last two rounds.
And that’s how he fights. Marshman has put together a quick 9-0 record since his first bout in early 2010. The Army boxing champion has finished every guy he’s faced so far, eight by knockout and one by submission. When he defends his 185-pound title against Lee Barnes at BAMMA 8 on Dec. 10, he will have fought five times in 2011.
The crazy part? He does it all on the side, with the approval from the British Army. MMA is playtime for Marshman, something to do when not dropping into hostile territory as part of the 3 Battalion, Parachute Regiment. The contrast in dangers? No contest, he says. Check out the video above of the Welshman talking about the difference between fighting and jumping from airplanes in Afghanistan.