Brock Lesnar and 5 Reasons His Best MMA Days Might Be Behind Him

Andrew Barr@@andrewbarr8Correspondent IJuly 27, 2011

Brock Lesnar and 5 Reasons His Best MMA Days Might Be Behind Him

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    Brock Lesnar has only spent four years in mixed martial arts and he has already accomplished more than most fighters do in their careers.

    He's been facing the best in the world since his second professional fight and has already won the UFC heavyweight championship.

    Indeed, Lesnar's rise to the top of the sport was freakishly quick, but it seems as though he might be falling just as fast.

    Brock is coming off a brutal loss to current UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez that left many fans questioning his future in the sport.

    Since that loss, Lesnar has coached on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Junior Dos Santos. He was supposed to fight Dos Santos after the season was over, but was forced out of the fight due to diverticulitis.

    This is the second time Brock has needed to take a lengthy break between fights due to his diverticulitis.

    The former heavyweight champion is definitely going through a rough patch in his career and it's arguable that his best days with the sport are behind him.

    Here's why...

Very Little Chance of Beating the Current Champion

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    In order to match his previous success, Brock will need to regain the UFC heavyweight championship and that means getting passed Cain Velasquez.

    To be frank, I really don't see Lesnar ever beating Velasquez.

    Brock's biggest tool as a fighter is his wrestling. It's his bread and butter and without it he really doesn't have much going for him.

    When Cain and Brock fought, the wrestling was basically even. Lesnar scored two takedowns to Cain's one, but Velasquez did more damage after getting the takedown.

    I don't envision that Brock would be able to use his wrestling to control Cain if the two fought again, which is pretty much his only chance of victory.

    As long as Velasquez is champion, I don't think Lesnar has any chance of getting the belt back.

The UFC Won't Give Him an Easy Fight

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    The UFC has never worn kid gloves with Brock Lesnar.

    In his first fight in the UFC, Brock was matched up with a former champion in the form of Frank Mir.

    Since then, the promotion has refused to give Lesnar anything but high level opponents, not wanting to waste his marketability by putting him in a smaller fight.

    Constantly facing elite opponents is, and has been, detrimental to Brock's development as a fighter.

    It's going to be very difficult for Lesnar to get back in the swing of things when he makes his return because the UFC will likely throw him to the sharks right away in order to maximize profits.

    Brock could probably really use a couple of mid-level opponents so that he can get his rhythm back and focus on rounding out his skills, but I doubt that will happen for him.

Brock Is Getting Old

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    It really is a shame that Lesnar didn't get into MMA 10 years ago; there's no telling how good he could have been.

    Brock is 34 years old and should currently be exiting his prime, but instead he's still in the relatively early stages of his development as a fighter.

    Most fighters peak around the age of 31-33, as around this age they finally have their game completely put together and are still young enough that their body hasn't started to let them down.

    By the time Lesnar puts everything together and really fills in all the holes in his game, he will probably be pushing 40 and his body likely won't be the same anymore.

    I know Randy Couture peaked in his forties, but that's not how it works for most people.

Lack of Mental Toughness

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    Brock Lesnar really, really does not like getting punched in the face.

    In his past two fights, we have seen that when Brock gets hit with a good shot, he immediately goes into the fetal position.

    A common misconception is that Lesnar has a bad chin. This is not at all the case. Brock has absorbed some big shots from Shane Carwin, punishment that no other fighter has been able to withstand.

    The issue is that Lesnar seems to have a mental block about getting hit in the face that he can't get by.

    If he wants to be successful in the UFC again, Brock will have to get past this mental block. All his opponents will know about it now.

    The formula for beating Brock Lesnar is now very public knowledge, and that's bad news for Brock.

Diverticulitis Does Not Go Away

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    It's a sad thing to see when someone is forced into retirement due to an illness, but that could end up happening to Brock.

    Lesnar has spent near half of his mixed martial arts career sitting on the sidelines due to his battles with diverticulitis.

    As far as I know, diverticulitis is a treatable disease, but not completely curable. It can lay dormant for years and then resurface.

    There are things Brock can do to try and prevent his diverticulitis from becoming an issue again, such as altering his diet, but there is no guarantee that it won't continue to be a problem for him.

    Even if Lesnar manages to keep coming back from these health problems, the time he has to take off as a result of them is extremely detrimental to his development as a mixed martial artist.