Every fighter has a fighter who is just a bad matchup for them and can make then look hopeless and without skill. Whether it’s a striker with TD defense or a wrestler with BJJ, every fighter has a kryptonite, but some have not faced their deadly stone face to face. Brock for example has looked like Superman, unbeatable as of late. The Baby Faced Assassin is a man with the tools to make Brock look like a amateur.
All steroid talk aside, Josh Barnett is a much respected veteran of the sport who has made an impressive record of 24-5. He has big wins over Randy Couture, Gilbert Yvel, Pedro Rizzo, Jeff Monson, Antonio Noguira, Aleksander E., Mark Hunt, and Dan Severn. His background is submission wrestling and he uses it to its full power. After he beat Randy for the Heavyweight title, he left UFC to go to Japan to do wrestling and soon became the Pancreas champ. He has 15 wins by submission and can deliver some brutal ground n pound, so many usually try to avoid grappling with him.
Brock Lesnar was NCAA div 1 champ ten years ago and since then hasn’t done very much to expand his game. He joined UFC and only then did he start training hardcore like Josh had already been doing long before. Brock Lesnar’s game plan during a fight is similar to Josh's, takedown and pound. If he would fight the Assassin, this game plan would go horribly wrong. Here are the areas that Josh could dominate.
Striking- Josh has very underrated striking and though it is not world class, it is more than enough to survive with the best standing. He works on boxing and tries to perfect his technique. He strives for clean crisp punches with power behind them. He has very good head movement and even better footwork so even hitting him is a chore. Brocks striking is horrendous and one of the worst in the UFC. He leaves his chin open a lot and all he has going for him is the power behind his strikes. Too bad that his punches can be seen from a mile away (Randy is too old to have sharp reflexes). Also usually Josh sets his takedowns nicely with punches while Brock just does a straight plain double leg. If this fight was just standing, Josh would run circles around Brock.
Submissions Offense/Defense- Josh loves to finish fights with submissions and is quite good at them too. He has a large tool shed of different subs he can use and can also survive against BJJ masters, as he has never tapped to a submission. Brock lost his first fight against Frank Mir by knee bar and while I know he has improved his defense, he is still vulnerable to a good submission. Josh would love to be the man to do it.
Size- You may be thinking that Brock is visibly stronger and larger than Josh, but that is not the point I am trying to make. When Brock fights he usually uses his huge size to overpower fighters into positions he likes and fighters like Frank are too small to do anything about it. With Josh though, it would be a whole different story. Josh is actually a quite large heavyweight and does not let fighters bully him around, he does the bullying. He has the size to not allow Brock to plow right through him with strength and can work for subs.
Brain/Experience/Versatility- Josh is one of the smartest fighters in the game and can change a game plan if he needs to. He catches mistakes fast and can improvise at any time. He has the experience to know what works and what doesn’t in a MMA cage and many small tricks add up to a large. Brock just doesn’t yet possess this gift.
Chin/Heart- The chin is a very valuable attribute in MMA and Josh has one of the best. Though it has betrayed him a couple of times, he usually deals well with hard shots. As demonstrated against Aleks he had the chin to take the power shots and came back with great heart to win. He never gives up and will always look for a win, no matter how the situation looks. With Brock, we don’t know much, but I am guessing he doesn’t have the chin and heart of a true warrior like Josh.
With all of these that Josh is better at, it seems that Brock has found his Kryptonite and better pray that he doesn’t see the baby face looking across at him because he would have no where to go.
Thanks for reading comment on whether or not you agree.
P.S- This is of course counting the kryptonite besides Fedor, who is everybody’s kryptonite. :)