MMAValor Store

Love him or Hate him: A Look back at Brock Lesnar

| January 3, 2012 | Reply

Known as “the baddest man on the planet” to some and a joke wrestler coming to make a fool of himself inside of a cage to others, the legacy Brock Lesnar will be remembered with will be personal to each individual. Many have mixed emotions about the former WWE superstar and former UFC champion, some stating it was hype and a money scheme while others were in his corner to watch him break free of the stigma he wanted to rid himself of. Now with his retirement announced following consecutive and brutal finishes, the NCAA champion should be remembered not how he came to MMA but how he left it and what he did while in its presence.

Debuting in June 2007 under the Dynamite!! USA promotion, Lesnar finished Min-Soo Kim at 1:09 in the first round after his opponent submitted to strikes. MMA fans had their first vision of Lesnar in four-ounce gloves and the rumors slowly began forming into a reality.

The win in his first bout earned him a contract within the biggest promotion available, the UFC and saw him fighting a legitimate opponent in February of 2008, where he was featured in the main event against Frank Mir. Dropping Mir with punches and swarming in for the kill, he was deducted points with no warning for one shot to the back of the head. Getting time to recover, Mir was able to secure a kneebar, forcing Lesnar to submit.

The loss not only motivated Lesnar into training more dedicated and becoming well-rounded in MMA but also ignited a heated and honest rivalry with Frank Mir. Nothing that was fabricated like a pro wrestling storyline, instead two men with a genuine displeasure for each other. Before their feud was settled, a match with PRIDE veteran Heath Herring was scheduled for August 2008. The bout saw improved striking from Lesnar (dropping Herring with the first shot) and his dominant collegiate wrestling to help him earn a unanimous decision win and more critics thinking he was a serious contender in MMA.

Nov 15, 2008 – UFC 91; Brock Lesnar was in the main event once again, fighting for the UFC heavyweight belt after three professional MMA fights and an overall record of (2-1). Disputed by fans and critics as a money stunt, Dana White said that Lesnar was in the right position to fight defending champion Randy Couture and it would generate profit. Regardless if it was business or fair, PPV’s sold and all who watched saw the hall of famer (Couture) succumb to a TKO loss by multiple hammerfists of Brock Lesnar. The former WWE “phenom” had a realistic belt of gold around his waist that was earned by his training and dedication and not a script.

Going on to successfully defend his belt against Frank Mir in dominant and bloody fashion, ending the bout in the second round to strikes and then Shane Carwin by arm triangle submission, it appeared that Lesnar was unstoppable. In between those title defenses, he was diagnosed with diverticulitis which required surgical repair. The disease would retire most men but it wasn’t enough to stop the North Dakota native from retaining his belt in the meantime.

In his second bout back from surgery, Lesnar faced the biggest threat of his career in Velasquez, someone just as explosive with the wrestling pedigree yet with better hands than Lesnar. Being finished midway through the opening round and knocked out, his title reign was over and the mysticism he had was now gone. Now came the haters and detractors who “knew it all along” and the world waited for him to make his way back to the ring.

tuf13 300x98 Love him or Hate him: A Look back at Brock LesnarUltimate Fighter season thirteen was his next venture, coaching fighters on their own path to the UFC fans saw a side of Lesnar that showcased he was passionate about the sport, fighters and learning everyday himself. After the season filmed he was forced to back out of a fight against fellow coach, Junior Dos Santos due to another flare up of his illness. Once again many thought that it was again the end of the road for him.

After another surgery Lesnar returned at UFC 141 to face the Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem in a number one contenders match, many thought that Brock would be able to out wrestle the K-I striker. The bout however went nowhere near Brock’s favor and shots to his midsection set up for another TKO loss and ultimately retired him from the sport.

Stating in post fight interviews that he was a “sick man…and knew that if I were to lose tonight I would walk away,” the end of an era for some, spectacle for others has left the building.

The facts which stand in his career are impressive: he fought and defeated champions in his UFC career (Frank Mir, Randy Couture and Shane Carwin* – interim champion) and lost to former champions as well. Never facing an easy task, he was always in shape and ready to fight, wherever the match went. Looking at him now and anticipating his involvement in the UFC post fighting, it is interesting if he will have some type of analytical commentary in his duties or if he walks away altogether to lace up his boots again for Vince McMahon.

In the end, when the question is asked “can you see me now?” we all purchased PPV and had numerous discussions praising or criticizing the former champion and he generated numbers and fans for the sport while he was in the limelight.

 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

Tags: Alistair Overeem, Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Heavyweight, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, Randy Couture, Shane Carwin, UFC, UFC 141, WWE

Category: Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Opinion, UFC

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Refresh Image