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UFC 116: Brock Lesnar Is Back, Should Be Better Than Ever

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Brock Lesnar reacts after knocking out Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Darren WongSenior Analyst IJune 23, 2010

Brock Lesnar hasn't had a professional fight in nearly a year, having suffered through a severe case of diverticulitis.

For most fighters, that kind of illness and layoff would lead to questions about ring rust, and whether he's returning at 100%.

In Lesnar's case, that won't be an issue.

In fact, he'll probably be better than ever.

Diverticulitis

While much of Lesnar's illness still hasn't been discussed publicly, Dana White has said Lesnar's doctors believe that the intestinal illness has been one that had been around and getting worse over the past few years.

As White said, Lesnar probably already wasn't fighting at 100 percent last year when he fought Frank Mir, as a result of diverticulitis.

Now that he's had proper care and treatment from the best doctors in the world, chances are likely that he'll actually be in better physical condition.

White claims the doctors said Lesnar had only been functioning at 60 percent.

If the Lesnar who fought Mir was only at 60 percent, imagining the 100 percent version is mind-boggling.

Ring Rust

For most fighters, a return to competition is often difficult, even when the preparation has been adequate, because there is something different between sparring in the gym, and actually fighting in front of thousands of people.

Having been back in training since January, Lesnar has had plenty of time to get back into peak condition.

What people might forget, is that he's also only ever had five professional fights.

His dominant performances over Mir and Randy Couture were such that they provided him with instant legitimacy as a fighter.

Yet it's ridiculous to think that a fighter would have peaked after only five fights.

More important than any possible ring rust is the time Lesnar had to continue training, and actually improve upon his skill set.

Even having been sidelined by illness, Lesnar has had at least eight more months of training since his last fight, including the six months since his recovery.

That amount of time is huge for a fighter who only been in the fight business for three years.

The Carwin Problem

I expect that when Lesnar steps in the Octagon against Shane Carwin, he'll be doing so in better physical condition than before, and his overall skills as a fighter will have improved leaps and bounds.

The problem is that none of that will matter if Carwin catches him on the chin with just a single big punch.

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