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Tuesday, 04/10/2012, 01:47 pm

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Brock Lesnar: Believe It Or Not A Success In The World Of MMA


By Josh Long:

“The anomaly has returned to Monday Night Raw,” these were the words used by WWE play-by-play man Michael Cole as the former UFC & WWE champion Brock Lesnar made his return to the WWE after rumors of his return had been circulating throughout the internet. It was later announced by many pro wrestling websites that Lesnar had signed a 1-year deal with the WWE.

As most fans know Lesnar retired from the UFC following a loss to former strikeforce heavyweight champion Allistair Overeem at UFC 141, a fight that was seen as battle of two behemoths as the hype video for the PPV listed both fighter’s height and weight.

During the fight Overeem constantly targeted the midsection of Lesnar, who just seven months earlier had 12-inches of his colon removed after it was revealed seven months earlier that he had once again been struck with diverticulitis, a disease that almost killed the former NCAA Heavyweight Champion in late 2009. Eventually the attacks took their toll, as Overeem would land a kick to the body that dropped Lesnar and allowed him to finish the fight via TKO in the first round.

Many say Lesnar didn’t belong in the UFC but apparently these many didn’t pay very much attention his career. Was it short, yes. Was it successful, yes.

Brock Lesnar fought in just eight career MMA fights, seven of which took place in the UFC, the top mixed-martial arts organization in the world, home to the best fighters in the world.

During his career Lesnar captured the UFC Heavyweight Championship in just his third fight against UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture and defended it on two separate occasions against Frank Mir, who had beaten Lesnar in just his second career fight, and Shane Carwin, who at the time was undefeated.

Following his UFC 121 loss to Velasquez, there were many critics of Lesnar saying that he couldn’t take a punch and that he wasn’t fully committed to Mixed Martial Arts. Lesnar has said that he wasn’t able to train at 100% due to complications from diverticulitis, a disease that kept him out of action for almost a year as well as almost taking his life.

Many athletes, not just fighters play or fight for years without ever winning a championship, but Brock Lesnar did that in just three fights. So why do people constantly criticize Lesnar?

Brock Lesnar was a polarizing figure in the world of sports. He was the WWE’s youngest champion and even attempted to make the Minnesota Vikings, following his very ugly departure from the WWE.

Lesnar’s criticism may not have only been based on his in-fight performance but also from his post-fight performance.

After his win at UFC 100 Lesnar flipped the crowd off while talking trash about UFC sponsor Bud Light and saying he would be drinking a coors light, as well as talking about “getting on top of his wife,” during the post-fight press conference he would apologize for these actions.

Although this drew ciritcism it also made him the UFC’s biggest PPV draw.

Lesnar’s UFC 116 title defense against the then undefeated Shane Carwin was billed as the biggest heavyweight fight of all time and was even voted Best Major Show in the 2010 Wrestling National Observer. Lesnar was the UFC’s must see attraction. Lesnar would survive an early first round barrage of punches by Carwin to win via Arm-Triangle in the second round and earn him submission of the night honors. During the post fight press conference Lesnar was asked to describe the first round to which he quickly replied, “Hurricane Katrina,” drawing a laugh from those in attendance.

For those who think Lesnar didn’t belong among the best heavyweights need to check their facts.

Lesnar’s two title defenses are tied for the most in the UFC with Tim Sylvia and Randy Couture and anytime your name is alongside Randy Couture in the world of MMA, you’ve apparently done something right. Lesnar also held the belt for over 700 days while some of that was during his illness that’s not a bad number.

While Lesnar’s MMA career is over he left a legacy by not only becoming a champion of the sport but by drawing professional wrestling fans into the world Mixed Martial Arts.

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21 Comments to Brock Lesnar: Believe It Or Not A Success In The World Of MMA

  1. 587DTS says:

    Yep. Haters gonna hate though.

    • Mike McMack says:

      Exactly, Brock has nothing but respect from me. The man beat some of the best in the world in his short career and he did so in impressive fashion. To finish guys off the way he did and to come back after getting smashed by Carwin…the man’s legit in the cage. I don’t blame him for putting his family and health before his MMA career. In the WWE he can script what happens in a match to protect his health, good for him.

  2. A.James says:

    It was a wild ride.

  3. Man i miss Lesnar in MMA. I remmeber hated on him at first because i saw some early training and i really knew nothing of MMA or amateur wrestling. I soon became a wrestler myself and joined an MMA gym and only then did i realize how amazing this guy was. he became one of my favs and when he retired i was pretty sad even though i like overeem brock was something special in the sport. I mean he was a champion. A true one. If he had been at his full potential no doubt he wouldd be champ today. Imagine brock getting into mma After winning the NCAA Division I national championship back in 2000. He would have been out there with cro cop, randleman, and fedor but probably would have eventually become the best heavyweight by far once the “UFC Era” Started. Too bad really. he did great for a guy who started so late

  4. Nick says:

    Well he was the biggest Pay Per View draw, and won a title and defended. Pretty successful if you ask me.

  5. Cheese says:

    Would he have been as successful if he had to really work his way to a title shot? Who knows if there would of been someone to KO him if he had to work his way up from the bottom instead of getting to cut to the front

  6. Iron says:

    Doesnt matter if u cut in front or not: he beat a legend to become the champ and defended the title TWICE… Cain did not even defend the title once…

  7. JAckc says:

    He is smart. The UFC uses you up and throws you out when you lose. The WWE uses you up and throws you out when you are no use for them. He has leveraged each to make a nice living. GOOD FOR YOU BROCK!!

  8. Howard says:

    He was a draw due to his being a famous wrestler. The Rock, Tripple H, Goldberg, or any other big name would be a draw as well. Lashley didn’t get a quick title shot, he was eventually exposed, but had he got a shot he might have pulled off something as well. He was not a huge success in my eye, in fact not many heavyweights have. None of them dominate like a Silva, Jones, or GSP. Because when you are that big everyone has a punchers chance. More often than other weights. A guy as big as Lesnar should be able to beat up people. But when the well rounded fighters started coming out, he was no match. Great story, fun to watch, not a hall of famer.

  9. Jason says:

    He didn’t belong in the UFC. He was to the UFC what flava flave was to public enemy, a hype man. Your last line said he was successful in bringing wrestling (professional) fans to the UFC and that’s what he was used for.
    Yes he beat Randy for the title, randy was also out for over a year during contract disputes with Dana. Randy also have up how much weight in that fight? He should have lost the fight against Carwin also. This was evident in Lesnar’s own post fight interview and the press conference that followed, “I want to thank the ref for not stopping the fight”. He did DESTROY Mir in their second fight but even then he showed he didn’t like getting hit. Frank did something stupid and paid for it.
    Brock was a gimmick for the UFC to draw a larger fan base, which was smart on their part. To call him anything more than that in the sport is, in my own opinion, false

  10. Howard says:

    Ray mercer knocked out Tim Sylvia, one of the guys that defended title more than once. I don’t think that makes Mercer a mma great! Randy was at the end of his career and was ko’d by chuck Liddell twice. Your telling me a guy that weighs 205 can knock randy out, Anderson did as well, but Lesnar at 260 couldn’t? He was a wrestler that used his size to smother people. He has no real fighting skills. Carwin was so tired that Uriah Faber could have choked him out after that. Brock was a more successful version of limbo slice. Had a following and people wanted to see the show. But neither are great mma guys.

    • Shawn says:

      We aren’t talking about ‘has been Sylvia’. I doubt thay if Mercer fought the Sylvia back then, it would have been a totally different story. And regardless of whether Couture was on his way out, he was still the champ. Beating Gonzaga when Gonzaga was beating on everyone. Couture on his worse day can still kick your’s and many other’s asses here. With your reasoning, one can say the only reason why Lesnar lost to Overeem was because he wasn’t fully recovered from his disease. People can’t hate and find excuses all they want. But the fact remains, Lesnar has done more in his short MMA career than most in their entire MMA career (some who’ve been at it much longer). And its no fluke why fighters are in the UFC. So if you beat anyone in the UFC, you have legit skills. Especially when the ones you beat are the top guys in the division.

  11. andy says:

    I have respect for what Brock Lesnar was starting to become. Near the end he was starting to show signs of being legitimate in the world of MMA. I don’t however, have any respect for the way he got to where he was. Losing to Frank Mir then beating Heath Herring in no shape or form constitutes a legitimate title shot. He was handed this “impressive career” you’re so wrongfully defended. But, like I said, the man worked hard and showed promise of beat great but diverticulitis deraildd that.

  12. Chris says:

    If it had not been for his health problems, i imagine that brock lesner would have developed into a great fighter. He was shakey at the start, but he continued to get better. There are other fighters that started out not so good, and now the are some of the top fighters in the UFC.

  13. Shawn says:

    I don’t know if bringing the fans of pro wrestling into the world of MMA is a good thing. These are the same uneducated fans who boo, and have little respect for fighters. All they want is blood and KO’s. Doesn’t matter if it’s 3 rounds of awesome fighting going to decision. But as a business point of view, well the more people who watch, the more people who pay. Cha-ching for the UFC. But doesn’t paint a nice picture of ‘MMA fans’.

  14. Dan S, says:

    Well I dont what to say. I enjoyed all of brocks fights in the UFC. I just wont be watching him in the WWE. I see it as a disrespect to real wrestling. Who gets undermined by the WWE.

  15. Doug Diamond says:

    I respect Brock as a person. Our attitudes are very similar but, I still don’t see him as a complete fighter or able/willing to do what it took to stay on top. And as others have said, he was fine as long as he was moving forward but not being able to take a punch is pretty important for any weight class.

    Once the heavyweight division realized he could not take a face punch his career was pretty much over. Opponents stopped worrying about getting taken down and started swarming on him w/punches. And the way he covers up when under attack is hard to watch. For such a strong guy he sure looked pathetic. His record does not tell the whole story either. There are MMA fighters with worse records who have much more of my respect for being able to consistently come back from adversity time and time again to make great fights.

    I do hope his health improves and that he is able to live a long happy life though. He is still going to be a part of MMA history. What really bothered me was the kind of fan Brock brought into the sport. I just don’t see what they see I guess.

    As a student I once fought a huge football player of 280 lbs. I was more than 100 lbs. lighter. I kicked him in the solar plexus and punched him in the face several times until the fight was stopped. He was so stunned that somebody actually hit him that he froze. He just stood there and did nothing while I hit him. To me Brock is that guy, not a real fighter. Just a good self promoter who can talk. AKA a professional wrestler.

  16. robk says:

    Anyone that steps into the cage shows heart and determination. I personally didn’t think much of it when lesnar joined the UFC and when he was given the opportunity to fight couture just as he entered the UFC something was being orchestrated in the back for this too happen so quick. So I don’t hasten him or think he can’t fight because he can the Guy is a machine but UFC is the ultimate spectacle too watch so it’s good that Brock can receive good money from both organisations as the saying goes we are only here for a good time not a long time

  17. Stevie D says:

    I always felt like Brock didn’t really fit in. However, he had no easy fights in the UFC, and showed some potential (yes he showed weaknesses as well).
    Considering what’s happened with Overeem in the past week, how must Brock be feeling? Would he still be in the UFC has Overeem not missed that drugs test before their fight?

  18. Mike Cannon jr. says:

    Ur sir… Are a idiot…. Cock chestner… Sux ass!.. Period… He was handed the belt… In the form of a antique champion…. And defended against another suck ass… Woo hoo… His mma career is as successful as his wrestling one… For the wwe… Fake and contrived..if u are a fan of dick chest…. U are a looser of epic proportions!!! Piss off

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