It's not surprising that people have been critical of Lesnar's performance against Shane Carwin, but Lesnar's detractors just don't get it.
Lesnar put on a career defining performance against Carwin, and did everything necessary to show that he's the best in the world.
The critics are right when they say that there are some serious technical flaws in Brock Lesnar's stand-up game.
Lesnar's head movement is still rudimentary—he's hittable.
His striking is generally still below par.
Worst of all, he backs up after getting hit, which leaves him vulnerable, rather than circling out.
These flaws are obvious even to casual fans, and they've been suggested as reasons why Lesnar shouldn't be considered the best ever.
According to Lesnar's critics, (who appear to be mostly Pride FC diehards, anti-UFC fans, and Fedor Emelianenko nuthuggers) Fedor Emelianenko or Alistair Overeem would have destroyed the Brock Lesnar that fought last week.
While I wouldn't be quick to dismiss Emelianenko or Overeem's chances, I find the assertion that they're so much better than Lesnar a bit ridiculous.
For starters, even though I'd expect either Emelianenko or Overeem to be able to exploit Lesnar on the feet—I find it unlikely that either fighter would be able to keep the fight there for any period of time.
Brett Rogers showed that a bigger and stronger man could bully Emelianenko in the clinch, while Overeem isn't likely to have much success against Lesnar if he is fighting underneath the hulking wrestler.
For all of the weaknesses that Lesnar showed, he showed far more strengths.
Prior to his bout with Carwin, here are the things we knew about Lesnar's actual fighting abilities:
- Power in his hands
- NCAA Division I champion wrestling skills
- The ability to control and neutralize a BJJ black belt like Frank Mir on the ground.
Those skills alone are enough to put him in the top five of the division from a skills perspective.
What we didn't know about Lesnar was what he'd look like if he got hit, and how he'd handle being in a bad situation.
After seeing the way he handled getting beaten down by Shane Carwin, we now know that Lesnar has an anvil of a chin, epic durability, and the kind of will to win that we usually associate with the most mentally tough fighters in the game like Fedor Emelianenko and Rashad Evans.
Those strengths far outweigh his weaknesses.
Head movement, proper circling, and even technical improvements in striking can be taught. Toughness and a strong mentality are something things that a fighter either has or doesn't have—and Lesnar has them in spades.
More than that, his submission win showed that he's still improving his skill set, and has the desire to become as good as he possibly can be.
Today, Lesnar is one of the most dangerous fighters in the world, and in the near future, he's only going to get better.
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