UFC 141 Fight Card: Will Brock Lesnar's Chin Win Him the Fight?
The knock on Brock Lesnar is that he does not like to be hit. And while that may be true, it does not mean he can't take a hit...or two, or three.
Lesnar took all sorts of punishment in his fight with Shane Carwin. He weathered the storm, surviving the first round, and then took advantage of his gassed opponent in the second to win by submission.
In his fight opposite Cain Velasquez, Lesnar again took it on the "chin"—again and again—this time not being able to pull through as the referee had to peal Velasquez of Lesnar, stopping the beat-down.
So, Lesnar can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'—to a large extent, at least. The question will be whether can weather the striking storm that Overeem can rain down on him.
Who you got?
One glaring difference between Overeem and Carwin/Velazquez is that 'Reem does not have the high-level wrestling that allowed Carwin/Velazquez to help dictate the fight with Lesnar...with Velasquez being an overall better wrestler and stand-up fighter than Carwin.
Lesnar was able to take both Carwin and Velazquez down, so one has to assume he will have even better luck taking Overeem down. A key question is whether Lesnar will be able to keep the action on the ground and finish Overeem there.
The fight always starts standing, and that's a big advantage to Overeem, a world K-1 kickboxing champ. He will want to come out aggressive, but not so gung-ho that he leaves himself exposed to Lesnar's forceful shakedown.
'Reem wants to be somewhat measured while looking to bully/intimidate Lesnar, then pick him apart and pounce when the moment is right. Lesnar is no slouch standing up though, and you could argue Lesnar is the harder hitter, albeit less lethal. Lesnar needs to stay patient in the pocket and "stand his ground" while standing, giving himself time and opening to work for the takedown.
The longer the fight goes, it should favor Lesnar...as long he can avoid the early adrenaline dump. Overeem sucks more oxygen into his muscles then anyone—with the exception of perhaps Carwin—so he does not want this fight going past three rounds.
Overeem has been in 47 professional fights, and not one of them has gone into "championship" rounds. And 10 out of his 11 losses have come in either the first or second round.
So, back to Brock's chin. It has to hold up against any early heat seeking missiles Overeem throws its way long enough to get the fight where he wants and grind the muscled up Dutchman out.
Then there are Brock's ribs. Overeem's knees might be the X-factor.
Whatever you do, don't blink—either way this fight is not going the distance.
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