November 12th, 1993 is a date that will forever be synonymous with mixed martial arts. This is the night that the Ultimate Fighting Championship began. The Gracie family, headed by Helio and represented by Royce created the UFC to show both that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was the dominant martial arts and also to show that technique could overtake size.
Brock Lesnar has officially demolished this theory.
With only five professional fights and about three years of training, Brock Lesnar has successfully destroyed former World Champions, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Wizards, Hall of Famers, and the hearts of all hardcore mixed martial arts fans.
Over the past 10 years, Randy Couture has been a staple of the UFC’s Heavyweight Division. He has continuously overcome the odds when people thought he was through. It started with his upset over Vitor Belfort and continued through his beat down’s of Gabriel Gonzaga and Tim Sylvia.
Randy Couture is an example of the Gracie theory of technique over size and with his other opponents this theory proved true. Brock Lesnar however was able to keep Couture from using his phenomenal wrestling and ground striking not because of his excellent technique in avoiding these predicaments but rather because he was much too large and strong for Couture to handle. It took one punch (or lunchbox) to take out Couture and end his run of unbelievable upsets.
Frank Mir has had his up’s and down’s inside the octagon but has always been credited with having a phenomenal Jiu-Jitsu game. His December 2008 fight against Nogueira also showed the world that Mir had developed a strong boxing game and had therefore become a solid all around fighter. Combine this with the fact that Mir had defeated Lesnar in less than two minutes early in 2008 and things did not look good for the Minnesota native. Lesnar again proved that size can defeat technique as he picked apart Mir in the first round and pounded him repeatedly in the second until the referee stopped the fight.
The scary part of this situation is that Lesnar is starting to developed technique to go with his massive frame and for the rest of the heavyweight division, this is very bad news.
Brock represents a new breed of heavyweight. Never before has there been a heavyweight that had to cut weight to reach the 265 lb limit. For the smaller heavyweight fighters, this makes them obsolete. Many of the heavyweight fighters weighing in around 225-235 lb’s are at a substantial disadvantage as they can easily be bullied around and picked apart.
This leaves two options: Make the cut to 205 and be depleted of all your energy, or lock yourself in the cage with a wild animal who weighs much more than yourself.
Brock Lesnar rushes in a new breed of heavyweight that pushes the weight limits and is also very skilled and agile. Lesnar may be the sole reason that Dana and the crew need to finally start discussing a Cruiser-weight (205-225lb) division.