Three and a half months ago, Shane Carwin gave us the blue print for beating Brock Lesnar. Stuff his shots in the first minute, then hit him in the mouth. Carwin looked primed to become the new UFC Heavyweight Champion at UFC 116 as he stuffed Brock's initial takedown attempt, then hit Lesnar with a solid uppercut that sent the Champ staggering against the fence. The remainder of the round was spent with Carwin on top, pummeling Lesnar as the former NCAA Wrestling Champ did just enough to keep the fight from being stopped. Needless to say, Carwin was a little winded from throwing countless punches in an attempt to stop the fight. The challenger didn't have enough energy left to put up a fight in the second round and he was submitted by Lesnar with an arm triangle.
Shane Carwin might not have defeated Lesnar that night, but he showed everyone else how to do it. Brock Lesnar showed an obvious distaste for being hit. The moment Carwin landed his uppercut, Lesnar stumbled and cowered against the fence. The Champ turtled up, covering his head and offering nothing in return as Carwin through punch after punch.
The same thing happened Saturday night at UFC 121. Cain Velasquez stayed very calm as he weathered the early Lesnar storm, which this time included not only takedown attempts, but also a flying knee. Velasquez defended well, and even after Lesnar was able to power through a takedown Velasquez got right back to his feet. Once Lesnar's pace slowed a little Cain was able to start picking him apart with his far superior boxing. Many felt, coming into this fight, that Velasquez's boxing would be too much for Brock to handle, and they were right. Cain was patient, found his range and was able to land some solid shots on Lesnar. The challenger was even able to take Brock down.
The real excitement began when Velasquez caught Lesnar and had him stumbling all the way across the octagon. Lesnar fell, spun back up, then stumbled to the ground again. This is where Cain began to unload. Brock looked incredibly uncomfortable with the shots he was taking and had no defense other than turtling up completely. Once Velasquez saw Lesnar cover up he made a wise decision and slowed his pace a little bit in order to not gas out. He continued to pummel the champ, but Lesnar was able to get back to his feet. Not for long. Cain dropped him again and moved to side control. Lesnar turned away, but could not escape Velasquez's punches and Herb Dean stepped in to wave the fight off.
The first minute of the fight Lesnar looked as fierce as he always has, but Velasquez was able to stuff a few takedown attempts and find his way back to his feet after being taken down. Once Brock's initial onslaught was over, Velasquez did what many expected him to do, he outboxed Brock Lesnar. As we saw against Carwin, Lesnar does not deal well with getting hit. He did not have any counter punches to answer with or a takedown attempt to get out of trouble. Once Cain hit Brock, the Champ just covered up and went into survival mode. This could be a common theme we see in future Brock Lesnar losses. Weather the early storm, then hit him with a shot or two and you take the fight out of Brock Lesnar.
It will be interesting to see where each fighter goes from here. Velasquez will likely find himself in a matchup of young talent with Junior Dos Santos. We should see more of Velasquez's wrestling on display if this matchup comes to fruition. Lesnar, however, is a little more difficult to figure out. Rematches with Frank Mir or Shane Carwin are possibilities, but might be too soon in the minds of the UFC brass. It is hard to imagine the UFC will make Brock Lesnar fall too far down the ladder, due to his immense popularity. Brock will probably get a gimme win, then a matchup with a top 10 UFC Heavyweight for the chance at a title shot. The UFC will want Brock Lesnar in the title picture, but the question is: Have UFC Heavyweights figured out how to beat Brock Lesnar?