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July 6, 2008

Q&A with Brock Lesnar

With UFC 86 in the rearview mirror it’s time to look ahead to some of the summer’s other big fights. One of those will be a battle between UFC heavyweights Heath Herring and mixed martial arts newcomer and former professional wrestler Brock Lesnar Aug. 9 at UFC 87 in Minneapolis, Minn. Lesnar, who lives in Minneapolis-St. Paul, will be entering the Octagon for the second time in his career, following a first-round submission loss to former heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 81. Lesnar's UFC 87 matchup with Herring was arranged after his original opponent, Mark Coleman, pulled out of the fight with a knee injury. Lesnar recently took the time to talk to me by phone about his career and his preparation for UFC 87.

MMA Stomping Grounds: Why did you decide to get into mixed martial arts? 

Brock Lesnar: Oh man, um ... originally it was the decision to be a part of the NFL because contractually I couldn’t fight in MMA, so I just knew I was done being a pro wrestler for the time being, at least for the company I was working for. (Editor's note: Lesnar played for the Minnesota Vikings for a little over a month during the 2004 preseason, before being released by the team).

MMA Stomping Grounds: How was the transition to MMA?

Lesnar: I’ve enjoyed it. I’m able to train at home and be at home every night. It brings me back to the competitive side of who I am. It’s something I wish I would’ve done a long time ago, but hindsight is 20/20.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What was your biggest concern with joining the UFC?

Lesnar: I didn’t really have any concerns. My biggest concern was, financially, making sure that I wanted to do it.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What was it like making your debut in the UFC on the main stage against a fighter like Mir?

Lesnar: Well, it was an honor. I’m glad the company thinks highly enough of me to put me in a co-main event and it was an exciting first fight for me. It was only 90 seconds long [and] an outcome that I would like to reverse, but I enjoyed it. It takes awhile for people to find exactly who they are, and I think this is definitely me, for sure. We’re all put on this earth for some odd reason and some job title and I think this is what I should be doing.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What do you like the most about mixed martial arts?

Lesnar: This is who I am and it’s a chance for me to live out, competitively, who I am and I enjoy the sport. It’s a growing sport and it's become very big -- and it’s going to get bigger -- and I’m just glad to be a part of it. Life is all about timing, too. I’m glad the timing has worked out for me to be a part of this.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What part of the UFC’s growth excites you the most?

Lesnar: We just signed a merchandising deal with a company to make action figures of myself and other fighters, and [the UFC] is growing in different areas. It’s becoming a legitimate contender to pro wrestling, hockey, basketball, football ... it’s becoming one of those sports. Before long I imagine there will be trading cards and all kinds of merchandise that give fighters another avenue to make money, instead of just fighting.

MMA Stomping Grounds: How would you respond to fans of the sport and fighters lower on the totem pole who believe you got a big push because of your popularity in wrestling?

Lesnar: Tough [expletive deleted], buddy. Get in line. That’s just the way it is. This is a business and it’s a sport, it’s entertainment and it’s all three of those words wrapped into one. [UFC president] Dana White and [co-owners] the Fertitta brothers didn’t buy this company to say, ‘Hey let’s see if we can run this thing into the ground and not make a dime.’ They bought it to make millions and make it what it is, and that’s what they are doing. I’m just trying to have fun and get a little piece of the pie. I really enjoy it. I’m proud and honored to be a part of it. And it’s not like I didn’t pay any dues either. I wrestled amateur when I was 5 years old and put more miles in airplanes and working out. I’m 31 this year and I’ve paid dues. If [other fighters] want to be mad I think they should focus on how they can become a big contributor. They are mad because they aren’t making any money.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What was your reaction when Coleman had to pull out of UFC 87?

Lesnar:  After looking at Mark, I respect Mark a lot but it worked out for the better. Mark, I believe, is over the hill and had been out of the league and regardless of the injured knee, I don’t think it would’ve made a difference.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What did you think when they proposed Herring instead?

Lesnar: Heath is a younger guy, he definitely has a lot of experience and he’s a tough SOB. He’s a brawler and brings to the plate a whole variety of things that we’re looking at as a fighter. He’s well rounded with hands, feet and it’s a challenge for me, and I accepted the challenge when Mark pulled out. I’m looking at this fight where I’ve got a lot to gain and he has a lot to lose.
My back is against the wall in this fight too, because I said from the beginning I wanted to fight credible opponents and that’s what Dana is handing me in Frank Mir and Heath Herring.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What do you think about another newcomer to mixed martial arts, Kimbo Slice?

Lesnar: I don’t have a comment on that. It’s not worth commenting on it.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What’s been the toughest part of your transition to mixed martial arts?

Lesnar: Well there’s one thing I’ve got that you can’t take away and that’s a huge wrestling background. Another thing too is I’ve been able to keep my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open, and my trainers will tell you that. I’m trying to learn and absorb as much of the fight game as I can to be a well-rounded fighter and prepared for anything. I’m just another one of the guys who has his sights on becoming the UFC heavyweight champion.

MMA Stomping Grounds: After seeing the success Cheick Kongo had in taking Herring to the ground, do you think your wrestling will give you an advantage? 

Lesnar: I would imagine it would, I hope so. For me, I’ve got to be well prepared on my feet too. I might run into somebody I won’t be able to take down so I’ll have to stand and bang as well. Wrestling has taken kind of to the backburner as I try to brush up with my jiu-jitsu, hands and feet to become well rounded so I will see no surprises when I get into the Octagon.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about you?

Lesnar: I don’t know. I don’t really care.

MMA Stomping Grounds: What’s one thing about you that most people might not know that you think they should?

Lesnar: That I love my family very much.

MMA Stomping Grounds: Are you looking forward to fighting in Minnesota?

Lesnar:  Oh, absolutely. Any time I don’t have to get on an airplane and to be in front of my hometown [fans] is great. The state of Minnesota has been great to me and now people that want to come and see this and witness a UFC event don’t have to get on a plane and spend a lot of money. It’s right in the backyard and it’s a good thing for the city and for the state.

***

Check out Ring Posts, The Sun's pro wrestling blog.

Photo courtesy of Zuffa, LLC.

Posted by Mark Chalifoux at 11:13 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Q&As
        

Comments

Why doesnt he want to Comment on Kimbo?

because he's a bum bodyguard for a porn producer who is a black eye for MMA.

exactly. different type of athlete ^^

After Kimbo's televised fight, it became obvious that he is all hype and not even a mid-tier fighter.

what the heck are you talking about badmouthin.. bum bodyguard for a porn producer who is a black eye ?
where you people get this crap from ?

He totally hit the nail on the head about Kimbo Slice, people who compare Lesnar to Slice are delsional.

I was impressed with some of Brock's answers. It's good to see him keeping his head down and his response to the Slice question was the best I've heard.

The way he said it, it wasn't even like he was toting the company line or like he was trying to say the right thing. He legitimately does not care about Slice and the craziness surrounding him.

IT'S TRUE KIMBO SLICE USE TO DO SECURITY FOR A PORNO COMPANY LOOK IT UP AND FOUND OUT FOR YOURSELF

ALL I KNOW IS, IVE BEEN WAITING FOR LESNAR TO FIGHT FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE FOREVER. HERRING LOOKS LIKE A WORTHY FOE BUT I THINK LESNAR IS GONNA WALK RIGHT THROUGH HIM. THEN AGAIN , I THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA WALK THROUGH FRANK MIR AND HE MADE BROCK TAP OUT LIKE A LIL BIATCH

if he can bang, which i bet he can, or if he tries to submit after throughing his hammer fists etc i think Lesnar has this one. WAR HERRING AND LESNAR BOTH!

Yes i will be watching this fight (cant wait} i would not underestimate herring...Lesnar needs to win , and he is the one under the most pressure..

This reporter got stonewalled on 3 questions that the reporter thought would make for a successful interview.
Brock stiffed the Kimbo question; when asked about misconceptions he curtly said he did not care and the worst was when the reporter asked if there was something we should know that we do not and Brock said "I love my family very much."
This interview went nowhere.
I guarantee this reporter was excited but after the fact has got to be disappointed as all Brock did was toe the company line and then spit out 3 word answers and go no further.
I feel bad for this reporter.
I have had this happen to myself.
It sucks to have fighters refuse to say anything more than what they have already said 100 times before.

Another MMA writer-

I think the interview went well. He had some interesting things to say on his paying dues, transition to MMA, money and other things.

You have to go into any interview expecting there are some questions he wont answer. As long as he reveals something new or something interesting, it does the job.

I also liked the Kimbo Slice question because he really sounded like he just didn't care. It wasn't like a "I can't say anything or Dana will kill me" as other UFC guys I've talked to have destroyed Kimbo. So that did reveal something.

Still, it does suck when fighters clam up. Lesnar was better than some but I've had better and worse.

Lesner is a unskilled one dimentional fighter. He was pushed by money grubbin Dana White. What other fighter enters the octagon loses first fight wins second fight against Herring who he dominated but Herring isnt even a top five heavyweight. How did he deserve a title shot that early other fighters start out like 3-0 in heavyweight division and dont get a title shot for a long time. Dana saw a way to take belt from Couture, because he knew Lesner would win solely off size and strength. People fac face it Lesner is a great wrestler with tremendous size, UFC needs a Super Heavyweight division for the Kongo's, Lesners, Lashleys, etc. One question to all the Lesner fans, have yaw seen any improvement in Lesners skills since he entered MMA????????? Against Mir in fight one he got in a bad position and got his leg caught up, but before that he was overpowering Mir and pounding just like he does in all his fights. He doesnt have skills of Fedor, Couture, or Nogieurra, his size and strength mixed with his only talent WRESTLING is winning him fights!!!!!!!! He is Dana's knew moneymaker so he will be pushed safely, until his contract is bout to be up and he grows some balls the size of himself.

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About the blogger
Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.

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