Can Brock Lesnar Evolve? Breaking Down What The Former Champion Must Do
Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has made a lot of progress in just seven fights in his MMA career.
Earlier this year, Brock Lesnar (5-2) lost his heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez back at UFC 121 and showed that he has a lot more skills to work on.
It's been said that Lesnar can match his powerful athleticism with technique, there would be next to no one stopping him in the heavyweight division.
Lesnar has already gone on a tear in the heavyweight division without the best technique, so imagining him as a complete fighter is almost terrifying.
Can Lesnar evolve as a fighter?
These are the steps I believe he must take to get there.
Warm Up Before The Fight
It was painfully obvious to me that Brock Lesnar did not warm up before facing Velasquez.
You can see Lesnar trying to fight at a furious pace with nervous energy and gassed.
If Lesnar can warm up before his fights, he won't tire out so early in the fight.
Improve His Striking Defense
The best defense isn't exactly to run away and let yourself get punched.
Lesnar in his fight against Shane Carwin ran to the fence and let himself get bombed on.
If he can work on side-to-side movement, head movement and tighten his guard he won't have to take as many punches on the feet.
Improve His Offensive Muay Thai
For those of you that haven't seen Lesnar throw a kick, let me tell you, it is not a thing of beauty.
He's incredibly stiff here, and he isn't torquing his hips all that much.
In fairness to Lesnar, with his frame and wrestling background kickboxing isn't to easy to learn.
However, Lesnar needs to improve his kicks and improve them dramatically.
If Lesnar focuses on his Muay Thai, and with his explosive, athletic ability, heavyweights may start ducking fights with Lesnar.
Work On Keeping His Balance
I don't honestly know what Lesnar was even going for here, I don't think Lesnar knows either.
Of course it's easy for me to sit here and say this, I'm not getting my butt kicked by Cain Velasquez, but Lesnar needs to work on maintaining his balance after he misses a takedown.
MMA 101: Never breakdance after missing a takedown.
Fight More Patiently
Brock Lesnar tends to come charging out every fight he's in.
Sometimes it works great for Lesnar and other times it doesn't.
I'm not saying Lesnar has to work at a slow speed, but he's going full force without setting things up.
If he continues to charge forward like he does, he will gas himself out earlier in the fight or run right into a punch or a knee and will be out cold.
Keep His Conditioning Up To Par
Brock Lesnar doesn't really have an issue with conditioning, because I believe he fought on nerves with his fight against Cain Velasquez.
When you fight with nervous energy, you tend to gas out, especially at the pace him and Velasquez were fighting at.
Lesnar tired out Shane Carwin and went the distance with Heath Herring, so I don't think he has a problem there, but he's got to keep doing the right things and improve upon it like every athlete does.
Dramatically Improve His Guard
Of course this is an easy thing for me to pick on with Brock.
If you look at his fight with Shane Carwin, he didn't seem to figure out that he should pull guard.
In MMA we're far past the point of not having a good guard, these days if you end up on your back at all, you've already lost according to most judges.
Brock has to develop an exceptional guard, because he will end up on his back at some point again and if he can't sweep, retain guard, or go for submissions, he may lose more fights.
Work On Remaining Calm During The Fight
Remaining calm while you're getting hit is by far one of the hardest things to learn in MMA, it's either you do or don't.
Lesnar running around when Shane Carwin hit him, and spinning around after missing a takedown, are clear signs that Lesnar is letting his nerves get the better of him.
I believe Lesnar needs to put himself in horrible positions training and take punches from powerful strikers to anticipate the rough parts before fight time.
If Lesnar can stay focused, and remain calm, he's going to get back into the title picture.
Head To Different Camps For Different Looks
I believe that Lesnar is to young in his MMA career not to be traveling to different camps and getting different looks.
I mean the more MMA you know, the better and it certainly couldn't hurt Lesnar to get different looks from different trainers in the sport.
Bring In More High Quality Training Partners
No disrespect to Lesnar's camp, but he needs to bring in more high level MMA fighters with strong backgrounds in submissions, and striking.
Right now most of his training partners are high calibre wrestlers, but they don't offer him many other looks.
The more high quality training partners Brock brings in, the more he will improve as a fighter.