Brock Lesnar Is Elevating Mixed Martial Arts

Lowell JacksonCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2010

I made the comment sometime last week that if the Lesnar/Carwin fight to unify the UFC Heavyweight Championship ended in a submission — any submission — then that jiu-jitsu whiz would be my new favorite fighter. 


Does anybody want to buy some Red Devil Fight Club stuff, cheap?  Fedor is dead to me.  I’m on Team Brock now.


I was never a Brock Lesnar fan, before last night, because he was so ridiculously overhyped and he won his (very few) fights like a grizzly bear mauling a raccoon for stealing his honey.  A big guy beating up a little guy doesn’t appeal to me.  That’s the reason I want to see Anderson Silva stay at light heavyweight and Georges St. Pierre move up to middleweight.


I didn’t have high expectations for last night’s main event because I was even less impressed with Shane Carwin than I was Brock Lesnar.


I thought the fight was going to end quickly with a brutal knockout, due more to a lack of defensive boxing skills than an abundance of offensive boxing skills, or it was going to be five rounds pressed up against the cage with two guys trading knees to the thigh.


I was almost right.  Carwin nearly ended last night’s fight the same way he has ended his other 12 fights.  He almost stopped Lesnar with a barrage of strikes in the first round.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the judges scored the first round 10-8 for Carwin.  I thought Carwin was going to finish the fight early in the second round.


That’s when I started to genuinely become a Brock Lesnar fan.  Round 2 started with Lesnar bleeding and Carwin breathing with his mouth open.  Lesnar was cool, calm, and collected even though this was the first time he’s run into someone as big and strong as he is and it was the first time he’d fought in about a year.  Carwin, on the other hand, was totally spent — after one round of a five round fight.


Lesnar was poised as he systematically took Carwin to the mat.  I thought I was in for 20 minutes of large sweaty men rolling around on the ground trying not to lose, especially when they landed in the middle of the cage.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Lesnar used his jiu-jitsu skill to advance his position from Carwin’s guard to full mount.  He was patient as he sunk in an arm triangle choke and ended the fight.


This had as much to do with Carwin being spent as Lesnar’s no gi skills.  He’s not Marcelo Garcia yet, but he has the club in his bag.  An arm triangle can’t be “powered”.  If the angles aren’t right it won’t work, no matter how hard someone squeezes.


I’ve been very critical of Brock Lesnar’s MMA career, but last night he got me back into MMA’s heavyweight division.  If the biggest, strongest, most athletic guy in the sport is willing to focus on technique and learn new things then the rest of the fighters will have to get better or get crushed, and that’s nothing but good for mixed martial arts.