“The next big thing”, “a freak athlete”, “overrated and overhyped”, “the best heavyweight in MMA”, “the number one fighter in the world”, “an embarrassment to MMA”; the list of things said about the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, is nearly endless.

The most recent thing added to that list is “he is done with MMA”, “he’ll never be champion again”, and many other combinations and variations of the two. You could argue many of the above things, but to say “he is done with MMA” or “never be champion” is more like wishful thinking be Lesnar haters. 

To shot down the haters, let’s list some reasons why Brock Lesnar is not leaving MMA anytime soon:

He is still young in the fight game. Not only does Brock Lesnar have just seven fights, his only losses were to quality opponents in Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez. Both men were more experienced than he was going into the fights and simply capitalized on a mistake he made.

He has an excellent wrestling base. Many of the great fighters have a base in wrestling. One of the greatest of all time, Randy Couture, is a big time wrestler. Number One Lightweight contender Gray Maynard, Number One Welterweight Contender Josh Koscheck, and former Number One Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen all got their start by wrestling throughout their years.

He is no stranger to hard work. Coming from a wrestling background, Lesnar is no stranger to a good work out. One UFC 121 Primetime show, Brock’s coach said “he has an ‘on’ switch and an ‘off’ switch, there is no going halfway with him,” meaning that he goes 100% all the time and doesn’t half-ass his training. His new training partner, Pat “HD” Barry, went a step further in saying that “his 60% is like most guys’ 120%”.

He is ever improving. From his MMA debut to his last fight, Brock has improved with each one. After losing via kneebar to Frank Mir in his UFC debut, Brock worked on his BJJ skills. In the fight with Heath Herring, Brock used his wrestling and BJJ to control Herring and dominate him to a decision. Against Randy Couture, Lesnar used his size to work some dirty boxing against the cage and wear the smaller veteran out until eventually landing a solid punch to drop him and finish the fight. When he fought Mir for the second time, he showed much better control and used his size to hold Mir down and not give him any room to breathe, or look for submissions. His BJJ came into play when he beat Shane Carwin by submission, after surviving a first round beat down. With each fight, a little more was added to his overall skill set, but just not enough to beat Cain Velasquez.

He has heart. Although many will disagree, Lesnar has more heart than a lot of guys. How many people have been in a near-death situation, and bounced back to fight again? Let alone that fight being for the coveted UFC Heavyweight Championship. Not only did Brock stare death in the face, in the form of diverticulitis, but he also got a good look as Shane Carwin blasted him with numerous punches. Not only is Brock the first man to get out of the first round against Carwin, he is the only man to take a punch (or forty) from him and come out victorious. Even after doctors said he may never fight again, he pulled through and not only fought, he fought against a 265 pounder who hits like a Mack Truck.

He is an athlete. With only four fights under his belt Lesnar became the UFC Heavyweight Champion, a feat that many fighters have yet to accomplish with over twenty fights. Lesnar is a man who walks around close to 300 lbs, yet moves with the quickness and agility of a man half his size. A 4.46 seconds 40-yard dash, 10 ft. broad jump, and an 82-inch vertical leap don’t sound like the statistics for a typical heavyweight athlete, but Lesnar is not a typical heavyweight. How many other 300 lbs. men could do a back flip from six feet off the ground, land on his head and walk away with only a concussion?

He doesn’t like to lose. Over the course of four collegiate years, Lesnar racked up an amazing amateur wrestling record of 106-5. After losing in the finals of the 1999 NCAA tournament, he came back the following year and dominated his opponents and finally achieved the elite status of an NCAA D-I Champion. From that point on, he kept moving up until he was finally at the top again, on the pro wrestling level and eventually becoming the WWE Champion and finally the UFC heavyweight champ.

Whether you love him or hate him, you can bet the house that you haven’t seen the last of him. Will he become champion again? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, though, when he does make his return to the Octagon, the supporter and the naysayers will be out in full force watching to see how it all goes down.

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