I should start by saying I think Brock Lesnar works hard enough to excel in the UFC. The concern I have is how fast he jumped into the top of the heavyweight division. He is very large, athletic, and has heavy hands which is a bonus for him. However he has very little experience in MMA.
As a wrestler there is no debate as to his credentials, but wrestling is only one part of MMA and size can be an asset but is not going to win fights without other key ingredients. I have been watching him since he began his career in the UFC and there are many reasons why I feel he may have been screwed out of a solid career.
I don't think I have to stress to anyone or point out the fact that promoters have and will book fights to yield the best payoff. Lesnar starts out with his first notable which was Lesnar vs. Mir. This fight points out what I suspected, that Lesnar is powerful and explosive. But then we saw he lacked experience and didn't know how to escape or deal with the ankle lock. Almost all of the top ten fighters in any division have put themselves in bad positions to figure out these escapes. Granted mir is a great submission player.
Then we see the destruction of Herring. C'mon now this fight is taylor made for a big heavy handed guy. Herring must have thought he would be exchanging and looking to exploit a weakness somewhere but in doing so, well... surprise. He never fully recovered and was beaten up by a guy who man handled him yes, but mostly laid on top and had no idea how to create an opportunity to finish, or even look.
And finally the title fight. Most would call Randy Courture an old man but I feel to do so is foolish. Just ask Gonzaga or Silvia. No credit where it is due Lesnar beat Courture. Here is how I saw that fight. Courture was staying in against a much larger man and making him work hard hoping to get to deep waters (Courture is not a large heavyweight). You know the normal Courture plan. And for the most part Lesnar found himself in a fight. But here's the thing, Courture knew what to expect and prepared for it and it showed. The experience gap showed in key spots where a less prepared and experienced fighter would have been overcome.
Courture was caught with a big punch to the side of the head and that's it. So now Lesnar is the champ and well deserved, as he beat the man to be the man. But what now? My guess is that had that punch not landed and the fight had gone longer we would have seen Courture take out Lesnar like a lion riding around on a zebras back. I would be generous to say if they fought 100 times Courture would win 70 of them at least. Why? Because Mr. Lesnar isn't ready to hold this belt and this belt could be his worst enemy.
First off you now have him trying to hold off fighters who have less holes in their game and have been working all aspects of MMA for years. You can hire the best trainers but the experience you have to earn and it takes time. Second these other guys will be looking for his weaknesses and believe me this is their business and they will find them. And last is the fact that the UFC is a fickle company and only loves you if you sell tickets period. So a couple of bad outings and your done. I hope this does not happen because Lesnar has the potential to be a super dominant force.
He needs to work with ground guys not so much to learn how to submit people, instead he needs to learn how to defend against it and some good strikers to get his striking up to a suitable level.
Even though that's what got him the belt he is no Anderson Silva or GSP on his feet. I fear it may be too little too late and we will see the Lesnar era come to an end as swiftly as it began. Keep in mind its easier to take the title than to keep it and guys like Courture and Fedor are geared to do just that because they have enough experience and tools to adapt to opponents and take them in a fight where they think they stand the best chance.
Lesnar knows how to smash and lay on people and although I like him I feel we as fans and he as a fighter may have been cheated out of seeing a long reigning powerhouse in the division because Zuffa saw a quick buck and failed to do the responsible thing which was to say work your way up and become what you have the potential to be which is a great fighter with a bright future.
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