It's Lesnar's time
With a second-round TKO of an MMA legend, Brock Lesnar became the UFC heavyweight champion of the world. And, he may have that belt for a long time.
Couture looked efficient in the first round and pushed the pace on Lesnar several times. It looked like it could be another classic upset in Couture's file until Lesnar went on a tear in the second round. When you get down to it, what we saw was a more disciplined Brock Lesnar, one that didn't exhibit any weaknesses and one that showed he has a solid chin.
He took some shots from Couture but was too big, too strong and too fast for the champ. Make no mistake, Couture did not lose this fight; Lesnar won it. Couture wasn't too old or too slow. I still think he could beat every other heavyweight in the UFC. Lesnar simply outclassed him last night.
And with that, the UFC is in trouble. They have a marketable superstar, a legit heavyweight champion, with very few challengers. The only marketable fight he has left is with the winner of the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir fight (which will be Nogueira).
After talking with a few friends around the MMA scene, they all think Nogueira would be in for a very long night against Lesnar. I think Nogueira has a better shot than that, but I would still have to pick Lesnar. After Nogueira, who is left to challenge Lesnar?
A rematch with Frank Mir (he wouldn't stand a chance in a rematch)? A match against Gabriel Gonzaga, an overrated fighter with good jiu-jitsu? Nope. A shock from an up-and-comer like Shane Carwin or Cain Velasquez? Both too young.
The UFC's heavyweight division is not very deep and Dana White's top priority (as far as bringing in new fighters, at least) should be fixing that. They have a very marketable star with a huge fan base with very few challengers. I'm looking forward to his match against Nogueira and a possible rematch with Couture (not likely), but other than those two matches, there's not much else.
(Photo courtesy of Zuffa, LLC)