The polarizing figure that is Brock Lesnar currently holds a death grip on the world of mixed martial arts.
His persona, though sometimes disliked by fans, attracts people from all walks of life and keeps them glued to the television, if not purchasing tickets to a UFC card he’s billed on.
Making his UFC debut in early 2008, Lesnar captivated the audience in a loss to Frank Mir, and garnered the attention of many around the world who found it curious to see a former WWE wrestler in a cage with fighters who have been professionally trained more so than he had been up to that point.
Just two fights later, the behemoth defeated an icon in the sport when Lesnar beat “The Natural” Randy Couture ; a fight that earned him the UFC heavyweight championship.
Though many thought Brock was given the opportunity of a lifetime too early, he did beat Couture in convincing fashion. This, combined with a few other attributes, strengthen the possibility that Lesnar will remain champion for a some time to come.
The first, and most obvious, attribute that Lesnar has over all other fighters in the sport is his enormous frame.
At 6’3” and 265 lbs., the heavyweight champion has a colossal size advantage that would make Solomon Grundy and The Incredible Hulk jealous.
What is even more staggering is the fact Lesnar has to cut a tremendous amount of weight to make the 265 lbs. limit, only to gain a bit of that back in the 24 hours between the weigh-in and the fight.
This makes it difficult for opponents to move Lesnar to a position where they can capitalize on his weaknesses, if any.
The man walks around close to 290 lbs. when he is on the ranch back in Minnesota, and it’s not as though he’s a fatty. No, Brock Lesnar is a mountain of muscle that very few, if any, can compare to in stature.
If you can get passed the fact that Lesnar is the size of small country, what can amaze you is the champ’s incredible speed.
For being as big and heavy as he is, his athleticism is a borderline Ripley’s phenomenon, especially the way he is able to implement his shots for takedowns.
From one end of the octagon to the other, Lesnar moves at the speed of a light heavyweight which, combined with his size, makes him a tough match-up for anyone trying to keep the fight on the feet.
Frank Mir was the first to witness the 0-60 acceleration of Lesnar with the takedown he got in their first meeting back at UFC 81: Seek and Destroy.
The title of that card couldn’t have been more on point because Lesnar shot in like a missile to put Mir on his back. Had it not been for his inexperience with handling jiu-jitsu fighters, Lesnar might have walked away from that fight with a TKO win.
You don’t see athletes the size of Lesnar move the way he does, so this makes a tough scrap for anyone from 206-265 lbs.
Need a semi-truck moved out of your way? Brock Lesnar is your guy.
Earlier when I was mentioning his weight cut, I talked about how fat doesn‘t play a huge role and the process. The muscle fibers surrounding his internal organs and bone structure are close to being the only things separating them from Lesnar’s skin.
Animal-like strength that rivals most alpha-male gorillas gives Lesnar a clear advantage over a majority of the heavyweight division.
At UFC 100, Frank Mir became the perfect example of how Lesnar’s utter strength can control a fight from horn to horn by utilizing a school yard headlock and controlling Mir’s arm.
Simply holding onto Mir and neutralizing any attempt by him to move opened up the opportunity for Lesnar to beat his XXXXL MMA glove into the face of his opponent.
Unfortunately for Mir, there was little he can do beyond calling for backup because it was going to take more than one man to have Lesnar release his grip on the former champion.
Brock’s Wrestling Skill
Brock’s Wrestling Skill
While judging Brock Lesnar for his days as a “heel” or “bad guy” in the WWE, many forget that Lesnar is a former NCAA wrestling national champion at the University of Minnesota.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it takes more than size and strength to be a collegiate wrestler.
Believe it or not, Lesnar follows the same pedigree, with the only difference being his stint in the WWE.
The ability to control where a fight goes is key in the octagon, and Lesnar’s background as a collegiate wrestler supplies him with the tools he needs to dictate the pace of a fight better than most fighters in the division.
Both Heath Herring and Mir were physically imposed by Lesnar’s wrestling and unable to push the pace of their fights with him not only because of his size, but because of his ability to utilize leverage, and his focused agility.
Not many get into a clinch with Randy Couture and have it be a seesaw battle, but Lesnar did a pretty good job of making it that way.
Last, and most certainly not least, Lesnar has become a face for the sport to build it’s mainstream platform on.
In the short time he has competed in mixed martial arts, Lesnar became an icon that gained the attention of fans and media in both negative and positive lights. This type of attention is probably the best for the UFC and MMA all together.
ESPN’s Sportscenter set aside an entire segment for Brock Lesnar to discuss his return from diverticulosis, a condition that sidelined him for several months. This was one of the biggest days in mixed martial arts’ rise to universal acceptance.
For a few minutes on a January morning, the sporting world focused all of it’s attention on MMA by making Brock Lesnar it’s topic of discussion.
The media circus that follows Lesnar grows by the month leading into his fights, and UFC brass is well aware of this.
Even if Lesnar is to lose his next title defense, he will never be too far away from an opportunity to earn it back due to his incredible appeal to everyone who watches him. It would be financially irresponsible for Dana White and the UFC to keep Lesnar out of a main event relevant to title contention.
Brock’s marketability potential is through the roof and too big a cash cow to pass him up.
In Conclusion, Lesnar’s attributes put him at or in front of the title race and will keep him there until he is physically unfit to do so. For these reasons, Brock’s title reign will either last as long as time permits or he will be a multiple time UFC champion.
Like it or not, Brock is here to stay.