Few had the privilege of witnessing the intricacies of Brock Lesnar's extraordinary rise and fall in the UFC like Paul Heyman.
Heyman—a longtime friend and manager of Lesnar—claims the former UFC heavyweight champ would still be holding the belt if not for his chronic health issues.
In a recent interview with Damon Martin of Fox Sports, Heyman put it bluntly in stating his case regarding Lesnar's potential.
"If Brock Lesnar ever fought healthy in the UFC, I don't see any fighter that could have touched him," Heyman said.
Lesnar struggled with chronic bouts of diverticulitis and ultimately retired following his brutal first-round TKO loss against Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 in December 2011.
Heyman said Lesnar has slowly regained his health since the Overeem fight, and nowadays, the former NCAA Division I wrestling champ is staying fit by working on his farm and competing in the WWE.
He feels great. He's healthy. His body is not spending so much energy fighting off diverticulitis. He's healthy for the first time in years and I think his potential is limitless. He's a once-in-a-lifetime athlete. This is Jim Thorpe, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, this is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete.
Heyman, the creator of the now defunct Extreme Wrestling Championship, also offered his thoughts on UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, who violently took the belt from Lesnar with a first-round TKO at UFC 121 in October 2010.
I think with all due respect to the rest of the division, I think Cain Velasquez is by far the most dominant heavyweight in UFC today. As a champion, I think he's a noteworthy champion because I think he's going to clean out the entire division. That being said, Cain Velasquez stepped in the cage with Junior dos Santos when Cain wasn't at 100 percent and he got knocked out in under 90 seconds. If that's not a demonstration of what happens when you enter the Octagon at less than 100 percent, I don't know what is. Brock Lesnar entered the Octagon against these people, Shane Carwin, even against Randy Couture, against Frank Mir, against Alistair Overeem, against Cain Velasquez at far less than 100 percent. Anything you saw him do, he did as an unhealthy man competing at the very top level on the face of the planet. Imagine what he could have done if he was 100-percent healthy.
Lesnar made his pro MMA debut with a first-round submission (punches) over Min-Soo Kim at K-1 Hero's Dynamite!! USA in June 2007. Roughly 17 months later and in just his fourth pro bout, Lesnar won the UFC heavyweight title by TKO'ing former two-division champ Randy Couture in the second round at UFC 91 in November 2008.
Lesnar will square off with John Cena for the WWE heavyweight title at SummerSlam, which will air on pay-per-view and the WWE Network on Sunday.