After being off for more than a year, UFC's Brock Lesnar will return to the Octagon when he takes on arguably the best striker he's faced in Alistair Overeem at UFC 141.
UFC 141 will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on December 30th, 2011 beginning at 7 p.m. PT and 10 p.m. ET.
As fans know, Lesnar is overcoming an illness known as diverticulitis which has prevented him from fighting since UFC 121.
Now, a healthy, or a believed to be healthy Lesnar will look to return to his normal form and become the dominating force he once was.
However, that might not come as easy as Lesnar or his fans expect.
Lesnar will be dealing with a variety of stumbling blocks when he straps his gloves on and enters the Octagon on December 30th.
It's rare that a fighter ever returns to his previous image after being off for such a lengthy amount of time. And, for Lesnar, it will be even more difficult going up against a second-to-none striker like Overeem.
It will be interesting to see how Lesnar responds within the first few minutes of Round 1 as he is usually the fighter to be the aggressor.
However, it may take some time for Lesnar to become comfortable inside the Octagon again.
If Lesnar wants any chance in proving he is in fact capable of becoming the fighter he once was, he'll need to display a game plan not effected by his illness.
Will Brock Lesnar Ever Be the Same?
Fans in attendance will be able to tell immediately whether or not Lesnar is at full health.
While ring rust may play a role when action begins in the main event of the evening at UFC 141, it won't be the only thing.
Over the course of his career, Lesnar has transformed himself into a one-dimensional type of mixed martial artist.
Lesnar certainly doesn't have the striking to compete with the upper-echelon competition in the heavyweight division.
In result, Lesnar's used his powerful double-leg take down and vicious ground-and-pound to override his inability to exchange strikes.
Despite a come-from-behind submission victory over Shane Carwin at UFC 116, Lesnar hasn't been able to produce a victory in any other way.
Therefore, a combination of his opponent's exceptional skills, ring rust and his one-dimensional fighting style will ultimately prevent Lesnar from returning to the fighter he once was.
To make matters worse for Lesnar, a single loss would not only put him out of title contention in the heavyweight division but it could be his entry way for retirement from MMA.