With the idea of Brock Lesnar being unbeatable looking like closer to a reality with each performance in The Octagon, I have compiled a list of the top 10 guys who I think can upstage Lesnar. Keep in mind, actual rationality of fights comes into play here as well as theoretical thinking.
10. Brett Rogers - He has a very minimal wrestling background and is relatively untested, but he has the size, strength, and KO power to make it possible. If Rogers was able to keep the fight on the ground, he could certainly out-box Lesnar, but that seems unlikely at this stage in his career.
9. Junior Dos Santos - You absolutely have to have a wrestling background to compete with Lesnar, and Dos Santos has pretty much the same exact reasoning as Brett Rogers. Dos Santos has untested BJJ and is a solid boxer, so he could give Lesnar some things he hasn't really seen before. He gets the edge over Rogers as he has fought a little better competition at this point in his career, as well as the fact that he trains with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Anderson Silva.
8. Alistair Overeem - He is quick, but if a fight starts going the wrong way, I don't think he could keep his cool long enough to fight a smart fight, as shown during his time in PRIDE. He's the black jersey team from "White Men Can't Jump." He's very talented, but not the most mature & temperamental fighter out there. Overeem hasn't fought anyone of note since 2007, but he has the size and skill to give Brock a lot of trouble, either on the ground or on the feet.
7. Bobby Lashley - Laugh if you must, but Lashley has the size and at least some knowledge of Brock's wrestling, whether it was staged or not. Lashley's wrestling is arguably as good as Lesnar's, and he has won two of his professional MMA fights by submission, so he does have some good tools in his arsenal already. This is a fight that would be of two MMA young'ns, but size and knowledge of Lesnar give Lashley this spot.
6. Cain Velasquez - I absolutely love this guy, but he doesn't yet have the experience other fighters on the list have. Cain has recently gotten some work in on his striking, as his fight against Cheick Kongo made him realize he needed to improve there, but he has won five of his six professional fights via TKO (strikes). He's a superior wrestler who needs just a few more fights to convince me that he could be higher on this list.
5. Fedor Emelianenko - He's still a complete unknown at this point in time who has fought no one of note in at least two years. This is more of a ranking based on that, but Fedor has shown he can compete with much bigger guys with his experience in submissions, and his experience would give him an overall edge on that alone. I would love to see Fedor fight a quality opponent, but the dream match-up of Fedor vs. Lesnar may never come to be. It's a shame, as it would be a fight for the ages.
4. Shane Carwin - Much like Velasquez, I love this guy, but he is a little too untested at this point to be ranked higher. Carwin is a little more well versed in several MMA techniques, as he has won his professional fights with almost an equal split of submissions and TKO (strikes). He definitely has the size and wrestling background to give Lesnar plenty of trouble both on the feet and on the ground, and this match-up may come to fruition sooner than expected.
3. Antonio Minotauro Nogueira - He's tough as hell but may be getting up there in age, as he showed in the Mir fight. Nogueira has shown that he gets better as the fight goes on, and if he could withstand the ground and pound of Lesnar long enough to tire him out, then Nogueira could sneak in for a victory much like he did against Tim Sylvia. Also, Nogueira has the experience and BJJ to catch Lesnar in any number of ways. This fight could actually take place in early 2010 as well.
2. Randy Couture - Randy was holding his own in the first fight before he got caught, and has the wrestling, experience, and knowledge to give himself a legitimate shot here. He will be 46 or 47 when a potential re-match may occur, but Randy has stated that he made game-planning mistakes in their first fight, and is very confident he would win if given another chance. I tend to agree.
1. Frank Mir - A third fight to this young rivalry is inevitable, and I think Mir has the best chance if given the opportunity. Some may say he caught Lesnar in the first fight, but I think superior skill and technique won that fight. I think Mir is a much smarter fighter and better gameplanner, and a third fight between the two would give the elder statesman (in the sport) the edge here.
Either way, anything can happen in MMA, and that is why we are even discussing Lesnar's standing in the sport the way we are.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!