Brock Lesnar: Is He More Champion or Punching Bag?
Those two words speak volumes.
But after Lesnar’s first-round defeat to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, one question remains: Is Lesnar more champion or punching bag?
Today, we will be taking a look at 10 ways he meets both criteria—leaving it up to you to decide the ultimate answer.
So, from UFC heavyweight champion to a recent punching bag defeat, let’s begin today’s Lesnar piece...
Lesnar the Champion No. 10: 2000 NCAA Heavyweight Wrestling Champion
In 2000, Brock Lesnar got his first real taste of a championship when he won the NCAA Heavyweight Wrestling title as a senior at the University of Minnesota.
In addition, over his four years of college (two at Minnesota), Lesnar compiled an overall wrestling record of 106-5.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 10: 1999 NCAA Wrestling Loss to Stephen Neal
Just one year prior to taking home the NCAA Wrestling Championship, Brock Lesnar took home second-place in 1999 after losing in the finals to Stephen Neal (a future New England Patriots offensive lineman).
However, Lesnar and his Minnesota wrestling teammates were able to bounce back and win the title in 2000.
Lesnar the Champion No. 9: WWE 2002 King of the Ring
In June 2002, Brock Lesnar won the WWE King of the Ring tournament by defeating Rob Van Dam in the final round, according to Wikipedia.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 9: NFL Dreams Dashed, Late Cut by Vikings
After leaving the WWE in 2004, Brock Lesnar took a brief hiatus from wrestling to focus on an attempt at making the NFL.
Lesnar spent the 2004 preseason with the Minnesota Vikings, but was a late cut and he declined an invitation to play in NFL Europe because he wanted to be closer to his family, according to Wikipedia.
Lesnar the Champion No. 8: WWE 2003 Royal Rumble Winner
In January 2003, Brock Lesnar won the Royal Rumble event—becoming a three-time WWE Champion—by defeating The Big Show before eliminating The Undertaker for the title, according to Wikipedia.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 8: Feuding with Bill Goldberg, Leaving WWE
According to Wikipedia, feuding with wrestler Bill Goldberg in 2004—along with ongoing drama—lead to Brock Lesnar’s eventual departure from the WWE.
Lesnar the Champion No. 7: 2005 IWGP Heavyweight Title
After leaving the WWE and failing to make the NFL, Brock Lesnar made a triumphant return to wrestling by winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in late 2005.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 7: 2007 IWGP Championship Loss to Kurt Angle
From the IWGP belt being stripped to aiming to defend his title, Brock Lesnar lost to Kurt Angle in the 2007 IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
Lesnar the Champion No. 6: 2009 Sherdog Awards ‘Beatdown of the Year’ Honors
Another proud championship moment for Brock Lesnar occurred in 2009 when Sherdog Awards honored him with “Beatdown of the Year” honors.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 6: Possible Move from UFC Back to WWE?
With 2010 quickly coming to a close and 2011 looming around the corner, many fighting and wrestling writers have begged the question: will Brock Lesnar make a move from UFC back to the WWE?
I certainly hope not.
Lesnar the Champion No. 5: MMA Debut, Dynamite!!! USA Title
Brock Lesnar’s MMA debut was sweet, as the wrestler-turned-fighter earned a win by submission (punches) over Min-Soo Kim on June 2, 2007 at Dynamite!!! USA.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 5: 2002 WWE Title Loss to The Big Show
Although many tried to talk him out of defending his WWE title against The Big Show, Brock Lesnar refused to listen—resulting in the wrestler’s first pinfall loss in WWE, according to Wikipedia.
Lesnar the Champion No. 4: UFC 87: Seek and Destroy Title
On August 9, 2008, Brock Lesnar won his first UFC fight by defeating Heath Herring by unanimous decision at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 4: 2003 WWE Back-to-Back Losses to Kurt Angle
After a scripted feud between the two and a botched move leading to a Brock Lesnar concussion, he and Kurt Angle became bitter enemies.
Shortly thereafter, Lesnar suffered back-to-back losses to Angle at Vengeance and SummerSlam, according to Wikipedia.
Lesnar the Champion No. 3: UFC 91: TKO Defeat of Randy Couture
Brock Lesnar won the UFC Heavyweight Championship on November 15, 2008, with a TKO (strikes) victory over Randy Couture.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 3: WWE, Undertaker Moment at UFC 121
Was it scripted or was it real?
Regardless, the latest talk concerning the WWE and The Undertaker confronting Brock Lesnar after his recent defeat to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 is absolutely ridiculous.
Lesnar already suffered a tough defeat, but to throw the whole WWE mess back in his face was and is an absolute “punching bag” moment in his career.
Lesnar the Champion No. 2: UFC 100: TKO Defeat of Frank Mir
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
On July 11, 2009, Brock Lesnar faced one of the biggest challenges of his career.
And he walked away a winner.
Lesnar defeated Frank Mir with a TKO (punches) to defend his UFC Heavyweight Championship and become the Undisputed Champion.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 2: UFC 81: Breaking Point, Loss to Frank Mir
Brock Lesnar swallowed a tough defeat at UFC 81: Breaking Point, losing to Frank Mir via submission (kneebar) in his UFC debut on February 2, 2008.
Lesnar the Champion No. 1: UFC 116: Defeat of Shane Carwin, Heavyweight Title
The biggest and brightest moments of Brock Lesnar’s young MMA career came at UFC 116 on July 3, 2010—with Lesnar defending his title and remaining the Undisputed Champion after a victory by submission (Arm Triangle Choke) over Shane Carwin.
Lesnar the Punching Bag No. 1: UFC 121 Defeat against Cain Velasquez (TKO)
Brock Lesnar’s toughest moment yet in his MMA career came this past Saturday night at UFC 121.
On that night, Lesnar was completely destroyed by underdog Cain Velasquez—with Lesnar being defeated with a TKO in the very first round.
Can and will Lesnar bounce back?
Only time will tell.
But for now, Velasquez is on top of the world and is the new UFC Heavyweight Champion…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org