Once upon a time, Brock Lesnar was being hyped as "The Next Big Thing" in the world of mixed martial arts. After losing his Octagon debut against against Frank Mir, he had some quality victories against Randy Couture, Shane Carwin, and Frank Mir in their rematch.
Then Brock met his match when he squared off against Cain Velasquez. Brock showed a lack of discipline and, most importantly, his inability to defend against punches.
Brock showed his inability to move his head and displayed his answer to the beating Velasquez was putting on him—put his arms in front of his face and pray to whoever or whatever he worships.
Sure, it worked against Shane Carwin. But Carwin ran out of gas fairly quickly and everyone could see his punches getting weaker and weaker with each one he threw. Then in the second round, he was able to defeat Carwin with an arm triangle of all things.
Coming up in just a couple of months, Lesnar will be facing arguably the best striker in the heavyweight division when he squares off against Junior dos Santos. When you look at this match up, it is difficult to see this fight going down any differently than his match against Velasquez.
Dos Santos has shown time and time again that he can trade and get the best of any heavyweight in the UFC. But the x-factor in this match will be Brock's ability to get this fight to the ground.
Will Brock Lesnar become the UFC heavyweight champion again?
No opponent to date in the UFC has been able to test Dos Santos' ability on the ground. Training with the Nogueria brothers and middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, I believe that Dos Santos is more than capable on holding is own on the ground.
But will Lesnar be able to get the fight to the ground? I believe the answer to this question is no.
Dos Santos' superior striking will keep Lesnar at bay. Then expect to see Dos Santos do exactly what Velasquez did to Lesnar—put Lesnar on his back and ground and pound his way to victory.
Should Lesnar loses to Dos Santos, he will be looking at a long path back to the top of the heavyweight division. People have questioned if Lesnar is 100 percent dedicated to mixed martial arts. So will Lesnar have the motivation—and most importantly, the ability—to work his way back to the top and once again become a contender?
Once again, I believe the answer will be no. After suffering two consecutive losses, I believe that Lesnar will start to second guess his future in the sport.
While I believe Lesnar has the ability to take out lower-tier fighters, it will be difficult to see him being able to compete with the best fighters the division has to offer. Will Brock be content with being a mid-tier fighter?
Again, I believe the answer to this question will be no.
But to play devil's advocate, Brock may surprise me and rise back to the top of the division. He may own Dos Santos, get another crack at Velasquez, go in to that fight with a better game plan, and win back the heavyweight strap.
Although I don't see that happening, I will be the first to admit I was wrong, and eat crow until I am morbidly obese should it happen.
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