It’s a new year, so Combat Press is taking a look back at the best of MMA in 2016. Throughout the next few weeks, Combat Press will announce its award winners in multiple categories, covering everything from the action in the cage to the biggest stories surrounding the sport.
Broadcast Analyst of the Year – Brian Stann
2016 was a big “changing of the guard” type of year among broadcast analysts in MMA. As some of the veteran analysts have started to lose their luster, the new wave of fighter analysts really started to come into their own and provide a fresh perspective. Not everyone who watched the sport necessarily understands the ins-and-outs. In fact, many fighters and even trainers may not understand enough about all aspects of the sport to be able to intelligently cover a live event. Two analysts really stood out last year, and their respective broadcast careers are only getting better.
It’s no secret that Dominick Cruz, love him or hate him, is an honest, intelligent fighter who has carried that mental prowess all the way into his broadcasting career. He is very articulate and well spoken, which was even evident after he lost his UFC bantamweight title to Cody Garbrandt and put on probably the best post-fight speech in the history of fighting. Cruz does not mince words. He tells it like it his, and he tries not to inject his personal opinions into his broadcasts. However, while still training and maintaining his fighting career, he hasn’t put in near as much broadcast work as last year’s winner of this award.
“The All-American ” Brian Stann handily won last year’s Combat Press broadcast analyst award, and rightfully so. He covered 12 events, ran his own podcast with Yves Edwards, and spent a ton of time as an in-studio analyst. 2016 was like 2015 on steroids for Stann. The highly decorated ex-Marine provided even more in-studio analysis, hosted the UFC 200 Greatest Fighters Of All Time, made an appearance on an episode of Dana White: Lookin’ For A Fight, and was featured on a documentary about veterans who have successfully adjusted to civilian life. In addition, he has really started to stand out as one of the best broadcast analysts in the business.
In 2016, Stann cemented himself as more than just a color commentator. Like Cruz, he is intelligent, well spoken, and tries to dial back his opinions as much as possible. As a former combat Marine officer and a longtime member of Team Jackson-Winkeljohn, his fight IQ is incredibly high, and, for the second year in a row, Combat Press has awarded Stann the Broadcast Analyst of the Year award. One can only assume that his stock will rise in 2017.
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