Brock Lesnar and the 10 Fighters Who Could Benefit from Trainer Freddie Roach

Michael Evans@@MikeEvansMMACorrespondent IIIMay 19, 2011

Brock Lesnar and the 10 Fighters Who Could Benefit from Trainer Freddie Roach

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    LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Brock Lesnar holds down Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Freddie Roach is known for molding boxing champions.  Recently, he has worked with pound-for-pound kingpin, boxing's equivalent of Anderson Silva, Manny Pacquiao.  Roach was a very good boxer in his days in the prize ring and now he is an even better trainer than he was a fighter.

    This slideshow will explore the men fighting in MMA who could benefit greatly from his technical boxing instruction and training.  Some you will agree with and some you may shake your head at.  I will try and explain why these ten men were chosen for the list.

10. Fabricio Werdum

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    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Mixed martial artist Fabricio Werdum arrives at the third annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2010 at the Palms Casino Resort December 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Werdum has long been a true danger on the ground and that has lead to submission wins over the likes of Alistair Overeem, Mike Kyle and Fedor Emelianenko.  One thing that he has always lacked is true boxing skills to keep his opponents honest on the feet.  He can do enough to secure a takedown, but nothing else.  If he had better standup skills to pair with his awesome ground game, he would be a force.

    Freddie Roach could do a lot of good with Werdum.  Roach could teach his combinations and foot movement that would help him land more punches, get in and out of range and would also allow him to set up takedowns easier.  No one wants to see Werdum get knocked out like he did at UFC 90 at the hands of Junior dos Santos.

9. Jake Shields

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    HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 17:  Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion Jake Shields attends the CBS' Strikeforce MMA Fighters Open Media Workout on March 17, 2010 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
    Valerie Macon/Getty Images

    Anyone who watched Jake Shields knows that he is a monster on the ground. He has the jiu jitsu skills to submit and control anyone in his weight class—anyone except Georges St-Pierre, that is. 

    At UFC 129, Shields was never able to get GSP to the mat and looked sloppy and unsure of his strikes on the feet.  Part of that was a testament to how good the champion is, and part of it is the lack of standup prowess of Shields. Shields landed the punch that hurt the champion's eye, but beyond that his standing strikes were subpar. 

    Freddie Roach could take a guy like Jake Shields and teach him crisp, simple combinations to help him keep his opponents honest.  That would then set up his takedowns much better and make him much more of a dual threat.

8. Jon Fitch

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    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:  Jon Fitch of the USA looks across the octagon at BJ Penn of the USA before the start of their welterweight bout part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
    Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

    Say what you like about Jon Fitch, but the man is a force to be reckoned with at 170 pounds. He displayed that in his latest fight in February against B.J. Penn. In the third round, he battered Penn to the point where many people felt it was a 10-8 round. Even though that fight ended in a draw, Fitch showed he can hang with the best fighters out there.

    Since he joined the UFC, he is 13-1-1.  If you look at that record, two things come to mind. The first is that he is a dominant fighter—Fitch wears opponents down and uses power wrestling to break them.

    The second thing to recognize is the draw and the loss.  Those two bouts were against Georges St-Pierre and B.J. Penn.  Not only are these two fighters a couple of the best, but they both have very good standing strikes.  Fitch clearly could be champion if he improved his hands. If Fitch could have stood his ground more and countered in the first round of his bout with Penn, he may have won that fight.

    Freddie Roach would be of great assistance to Fitch. I really think that would be a great idea for Jon.  He is already an absolute force when trying to secure a takedown and he is relentless in his ground control.  His boxing is just lacking.  Roach could show Fitch things about boxing that he would have not thought of. Just a few new techniques would greatly improve the chances of Jon Fitch winning the welterweight title.

    Could Jon beat GSP? Not now, he could not. But if he improved his striking, it is not out of the realm of possibility. Freddie Roach could be an asset who would help Fitch solve the puzzle that is "Rush" St-Pierre.

7. Urijah Faber

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    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Mixed martial artist Urijah Faber arrives at the third annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2010 at the Palms Casino Resort December 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Urijah Faber is the best known athlete to come to the UFC from the WEC. He was the undisputed featherweight champion for over two years and many title defenses. He is known for being a great wrestler with freakish cardio. If one thing makes him beatable, it is his standup. 

    Dominick Cruz will be looking to utilize his superior standup against Faber.  Current UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo used an overwhelming kickboxing attack to punish Faber and his legs. Cruz could have the same success with his combinations. Freddie Roach could teach Urijah to be more disciplined and precise with his punches.

    If Faber could learn from Roach on how to throw straighter shots, and to double and triple up his already fast striking, Urijah could become an even more dangerous fighter .He may need help with his boxing in order to beat Cruz. Dominick Cruz not only can strike very well on the feet, but he has the abiltiy to stuff Faber's takedowns.  Freddie Roach could give Faber an edge.

6. Phil Davis

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    Phil Davis is the new "it" guy in the UFC light heavyweight, beyond Jon Jones of course. Davis was a great wrestler at Penn State University and now he sits in a unique spot in the UFC. Davis is undefeated and has won all of his bouts inside the Octagon.

    His last bout was his most difficult. Davis took on seasoned veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the main event of Ultimate Fight Night 24. Davis was exposed a bit in that fight.  He was able to win a decision on "Minotauro," but he clearly was not comfortable standing up. 

    Davis is slated to face Rashad Evans in August. Nogueira is tough on the feet, but Rashad is a different animal. Rashad can knock you out with his feet or his hands and has done so to top competition. If Davis does not improve, he could be knocked out. Rashad has good enough wrestling to avoid most takedowns.

    Freddie Roach could add a boxing base to Phil Davis that would help him beat Rashad Evans and could even prepare him for Jon Jones one day in the future.

5. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

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    CONCORD, NC - MAY 30:  Actors Sharlto Copley (R) and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson talk in the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet pit box prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 30, 2010 in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo
    Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

    You may be scratching your head, but Rampage has a tendency to throw haymakers and forget combinations, lately. Even when he did try and throw a good one against Rashad Evans, he was too tired to capitalize.

    Freddie Roach trains Manny Pacquiao. If he was to be Jackson's striking coach, he could teach him to throw more and condition him to be consistent throughout the fight. If Rampage could sharpen his skills just a bit, and get his conditioning up to where five and six combinations can be added to his arsenal, he could be even better than he was in 2007.

4. Demian Maia

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    Maia has some of the best jiu jitsu of any martial artist competing in this sport. However, his boxing is not good. He has only lost two UFC bouts. One was a 20-second knockout loss to Nate Marquardt and the other was a loss to Anderson Silva in which Silva made Maia look silly on the feet.

    Freddie Roach could provide Maia with boxing basics and fundamentals that would enable him to keep his opponents honest. Maia can be the champion but his boxing has to improve.

3. Chris Lytle

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    Lytle has always had mixed success in the Octagon. His standup has always been a more wild style for a guy who actually has some strong punches. Lytle also has the problem of winging wide punches. Chuck Liddell was an awesome puncher but that style of fighting may have gotten him knocked out a few times too.

    Roach could teach Chris to throw punches inside his shoulder blades, right down the pipe and with more accuracy. This could help Lytle end his great career on a high note.

2. Dan Hardy

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    NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 26:  UFC fighter Dan Hardy (pictured) weighs in for his fight against UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre for their Championship Welterweight fight at UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy Weigh-In on March 26, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by J
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Hardy is actually known for his striking, but it appears to me that he could use some help. When he fought Carlos Condit he got wild and was knocked out. In his last fight he got too far extended on his punches and was taken down over and over again.

    Freddie Roach could make Hardy into a more technical boxer. If learned from Roach he could utilize his power punches much better and would once again rise up the UFC ranks.

1. Brock Lesnar

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    It has been clear in his last two UFC bouts that Brock Lesnar could use some help with his striking. He could also use many hours of full throttle sparring to get him used to taking punches. Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez exposed that Lesnar is very human when you can keep him upright.

    Freddie Roach could take Lesnar, a super athlete to begin with, and make him a good boxer. Lesnar could add combination striking to his speed and power. This addition to his tool belt could make him the champion once more. Hopefully Brock can get well soon and return to what he does best.