Brock Lesnar: 10 Potential Challengers For Lesnar in UFC
Brock Lesnar has agreed to coach the upcoming installment of "The Ultimate Fighter," and The Examiner has announced Lesnar will be booked in fights for UFC 131, which will take place in June.
Lesnar is somewhat of an enigma, rarely facing the media, and training in the backwoods of Minnesota. He is seemingly the opposite of the average MMA Fighter, who would normally welcome and desire attention in order to better self-promotion.
The former WWE personality has been in rumors lately, which speculate his desire to stay in UFC and whether he has lost an edge in recent losses. Lesnar was dominated by Cain Velasquez in UFC 121 back in October, and since then, has rarely been heard from.
With all the ideas out there pertaining to Lesnar's future, let's take a look at possible fights for the big man, and why they would be good for him and UFC.
10. Cheick Kongo
Kongo's stand-up style of fighting is attractive for a bout against a wrestler. Lesnar vs. Kongo would draw a strong crowd, as the fighters are on somewhat different paths. Kongo is on his way up the ladder, while Lesnar is a famous name despite his enigmatic persona.
The first few minutes could be a lot of standoff, with Lesnar looking for a window to run at Kongo's legs, while Kongo looks for a weakness on the body of Lesnar. Kongo is faster, but Lesnar is stronger.
Solid match-up of strength versus speed and tackle versus jab/kick.
9. Roy Nelson
The former International Fight League Heavyweight Champion has studied Kung Fu before winning Season 10 of "The Ultimate FIghter."
He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the understudy of Renzo Gracie, and his grappling skills and surprising agility for his size makes him an interesting match-up with Lesnar.
Lesnar is known for waiting until he's also pummeled to tire out his opponent before dropping them to the mat. This one would look more like a test for Nelson, to see if his agility is matched by endurance. The knock on Nelson is his shape, which isn't vindictive for his style. Lesnar's record has some negative marks on it, so beating Nelson would at least bring a victory into the discussion.
8. Brendan Schaub
The former NFL and AFL football player competed in "The Ultimate FIghter" and was a personal favorite of Rashad Evans since he trained with Evans at Team Jackson.
Schaub lost to Roy Nelson in his first fight after TUF, and it was a knockout. His next fight was a knockout of Chase Gormley at Vera vs Jones. It seems like this would be a good match because Schaub is still a question mark following fights with other opponents that would be interesting for Lesnar to fight.
Schaub has legitimate size at 6'4" and 239 lb., so a match would Lesnar would be intriguing.
7. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Many are wondering what Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has left in his tank, but the fighters have similar styles, and both have large question marks hanging over their heads.
Nogueira stormed on to the scene following the Japanese Pride Fighting Championships promotion, becoming the first Pride Heavyweight Champion. His background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu makes him agile for the heavyweight division, and many are wondering if he's still got it.
For Lesnar, it would be a test to show if he can beat legends of the sport, or if his switch from the WWE was more about giving up on the rigorous life of traveling.
6. Junior Dos Santos
This fight is not very feasible, given dos Santos has been scheduled for the heavyweight championship, but if Lesnar decides to stick around after the last year of his contract expires, this one could be interesting somewhere down the line.
Junior has dominated many heavyweight opponents, and after Velasquez dominated Lesnar, the former WWE personality could be a test for dos Santos if he loses to Velasquez for the championship as well.
5. Ben Rothwell
Ben Rothwell reminds many viewers of a slightly slimmer Roy Nelson. The two also have somewhat similar styles, preferring to stand up while keeping a close distance.
Rothwell has a kick-boxing background, and a dominating one at that in limited action. He could be another practice for Lesnar, who has been rumored to be attempting methods to round out his fighting style.
Lesnar would try to take Rothwell to the mat if he hasn't learned how to fight standing up. This fight would show viewers if Lesnar is for real on MMA and UFC, or truly thinking of returning to WWE.
4. Choi Hong-Man
This idea seems born more out of hilarity than practicality. However, if the 7'2" Hong-man can fight Jose Canseco, Lesnar isn't a tremendous stretch.
In fact, this fight was scheduled in June, 2007, but Choi had to withdraw, reportedly due to a benign tumor on his pituitary gland, which gives him his tremendous size.
This one would be a match-up of wrestle versus kick and jab to the extreme. The "Techno Goliath" is a sight to behold in the MMA ring, and the attention this bout would receive could help followers get a better idea of Lesnar, and it would certainly bring in many fans that wouldn't normally watch the sport.
3. Frank Mir
Mir is one of the most sought-after opponents in MMA main-stream fighting, and has several bouts lined up. This fight would be long down the road at this point, but many want to see what Lesnar is really made of.
Lesnar could be eager to shed the reputation he currently has for leaving the WWE, only to be sub-par in MMA fighting and UFC.
The current knock on Lesnar is his true toughness, whether he can compete in actual fighting or whether he was better off acting like he was pinning guys for three full seconds.
2. Shane Carwin
It may be too soon for this rematch, but Carwin vs. Lesnar is a battle of two different levels. Carwin is known for knocking out opponents before the match gets into the later rounds, while Lesnar is known for trapping opponents to the mats, gaining submissions for wearing down them down.
What could be Lesnar's downfall is a guy with endurance like Carwin. It wouldn't be easy for Lesnar to keep him on the ground, and if Carwin can last into the latter minutes of a match, he might defeat Lesnar soundly.
For Lesnar, if he cares what the skeptics think, he should jump at this one.
1. Cain Velasquez
This one has to be No. 1, despite not being feasible for some time. Velasquez will be taking on dos Santos, reportedly sometime in April, and Lesnar is reportedly not scheduled to fight until UFC 131 in June.
A rematch between Velasquez and Lesnar could draw in a big summer crowd, and Velasquez would undoubtedly come in as the heavy favorite. What a story line Lesnar could make if he shows up prepared to fight for the title after coming back with convincing victories. This is a big "if" for sure, but on a hot August night, this one could be a headliner.