Brock Lesnar's Destruction by Cain Velasquez at UFC 121: Three Take-Home Lessons
1. Don't bet against the Sun Devils.
It's not as if there was ever any doubt about the caliber of wrestlers Arizona State produces, and the list of Sun Devils joining the ranks of MMA continues to grow.
Light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader, former ASU assistant wrestling coach Aaron Simpson (a standout wrestler in his own right) and slick submission artist C.B. Dollaway are perhaps the most popular, with four-time All-American Eric Larkin posing a very real threat to Bellator's lightweight division.
UFC Hall of Fame inductee Dan Severn was a two-time Pac-10 champ and two-time All-American. Dan Henderson wrestled for ASU in the '92-'93 season before placing in the Olympic games in 1992 and 1996.
Pre-fight previews questioning the wrestling prowess of two-time All-American and two-time Pac-10 champ Cain Velasquez made me scratch my head.
2. Technique trumps size.
Brock Lesnar may weigh 270 or 275 pounds and wear size 4X MMA gloves, and his size and power certainly pose a threat to anyone who would have to face him. But this isn't the first time we've seen Lesnar in trouble due to superior technique.
Both Randy Couture and Shane Carwin were able to stuff most of Lesnar's takedown attempts. Carwin may have gassed himself out throwing punches, but he certainly exposed the holes in Lesnar's stand-up game.
Let's not forget about Frank Mir's submission victory either—although he was utterly decimated in the rematch—he certainly capitalized on that opening.
3. There is no substitute for a good training camp.
Zak Woods explained this brilliantly on Watch Kalib Run: "...there's a world of difference between hosting a camp catered exclusively to you (Lesnar) and having the in-and-out daily camaraderie of a high-level gym (like Velasquez's AKA) offering constant emotional and physical support. Lesnar has insulated himself from the sport and most of the world in his Minnesota compound. Being a misanthrope may seem like a good base for a career that involves harming people, but not when it also requires team energy and direction."
Having world-class coaches all to yourself would be amazing, but there's a lot to be said about working with world-class coaches alongside top-tier fighters such as Jon Fitch, Cung Le, Mike Swick and Josh Koscheck.
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