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The Rise and Fall of Brock Lesnar: Will These Hiccups Destroy His MMA Career?

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. Lesnar defeated Mir by a second round knockout.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Mark PareCorrespondent IIJune 2, 2011

There is no arguing that Brock Lesnar is one of the most imposing forces to ever fight in the UFC.

He has, however, had to battle just as hard outside the Octagon as he does in it.

Rewind to a couple years ago when he was coming off of his victory over Frank Mir at UFC 100.  Lesnar was set to face new No. 1 contender Shane Carwin at UFC 106.  In late October 2009, Lesnar withdrew from the fight, citing an undisclosed illness.

Lesnar claimed he had never been as sick as he was then, and the fight was rescheduled for early 2010.

It was later revealed that Lesnar was suffering from mononucleosis, and the rescheduled fight was scrapped.  Lesnar was also suffering from a disease known as diverticulitis, an intestinal disease that Lesnar had surgery for in mid-November 2009. 

Lesnar recovered, and in January 2010, he announced on ESPN's SportsCenter that he was ready to return to the Octagon as early as that summer.

Carwin beat Mir for the interim heavyweight title and set up a fight with Lesnar that took place at UFC 116 in July 2010.

Lesnar beat Carwin via an arm-triangle choke in the second round and unified the belts.

This win showed that Lesnar could come back from almost anything and that he was still as dominant as he claimed to be.

He was, however, promptly defeated in his next title defense by Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 last October.

The news only became worse for Lesnar. 

After coaching against Junior Dos Santos on the 13th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Lesnar had to pull out from the No. 1 contenders' bout he had set up with Dos Santos for UFC 131 because of another bout with diverticulitis.

Lesnar had another surgery on May 27 and could return in 2012.

For a dominant champion, he has had his fair share of illness and setbacks, so the question I pose is this:

How long can Lesnar keep it up? 

The surgeries, the battles and comebacks, fighting what seems to be once a year (he has had four fights since November 2008, in a world where a UFC champion should fight at least three times a year) ... could Lesnar be at the end, or will he comeback stronger than ever? 

I would love to say he won't suffer and have another long layoff, but that's up to Lesnar and how his body reacts.

I would like to finish this article by citing a quote from an interview Lesnar did with Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole in October.  He talked about keeping private life separate from his professional life, but the quote that really spoke to me was at the end.

"I came from nothing, and, at any moment, you can go back to having nothing." said Lesnar.

Only time will tell what Lesnar's future holds.

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