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November 16, 2008

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)

Posted by Mark Chalifoux at 12:17 PM | | Comments (5)


Perhaps the Klitchko brothers from boxing?

There's a lack of decent bigs in boxing and MMA...

I can see Minotauro taking Mir, but going forward he's got too much mileage on him from all those Pride years...

I think everyone wants a Fedor / Lesnar tilt...

Why would Big Nog have trouble with Lesnar? For that matter, why would Mir not have a chance in a rematch?

I agree that Nog will beat Mir, but when you're first learning BJJ, there is a massive learing curve. A blue belt is miles ahead of a white belt, a purple is miles ahead of blue, brown ahead of purple, black ahead of brown.

Look at the Stevenson/Florian fight. Both black belts, but Stevenson just got his and Florian whipped him.

A guy like Nogueria is practically DESIGNED to beat Lesnar. He's one of the most complete fighters in MMA world. Maybe only BJ Penn or GSP rival him in the well roundedness of his game. He has an iron jaw, an incredible ground game, great hands, and has already fought the best fighters of the past decade. Lets not forget that since Fedor went on his winning streak, Nog is one of only 5 people that was able to take him to a decision, and he did it TWICE. The list of his wins reads like a who's who of MMA over the past 10 years. Horn, Henderson, Goodridge, Coleman, Herring (3 times), Sapp, Rodriguez, Cro Cop, Werdum, Barnett, and finally Silvia.

Lesnar will find himself sorely challenged if he has to fight Nog. He should be praying that Mir finds a way to win that fight. Of course, even if he DOES somehow win, Mir is dangerous on the ground in his own right. Now, Lesnar might not get caught the same way again, but he could still get caught somehow.

I think people are giving Lesnar a bit too much credit. Yes. He beat Couture, and he won fair and square against an MMA legend. But he's shown that he can be punched with, and if he tries to throw with Nog he'll be in trouble. If he tries to take Nog down, unless he gets side control, he'll be in trouble. If he tries to GnP Nog, he still might be in trouble. I don't think he can clinch with him either.

Lesnar is a good fighter, but I don't know if he makes it through one title defense at this point in his career. Nog was the champ in pride for a reason, and I don't know if Lesnar has the tools to deal with him yet.

Mir and Noguera both has a very good chance of defeating Lesnar. Mir already defeated him before and Nog is simply one of the best heavyweights

The answer to the question of Mir is easy. Brock can simply knock Mir out on the feet, where Mir would be able to hurt Lesnar at all. Further, now that both his sub defense and ground and pound are improving, Mir will have a much much harder time getting a lower body submission against Lesnar. We already know what happens if you try an upper body submission, it gets you nowhere.

None of them are worthy of Fedor. The UFC isn't even worthy of Fedor. That's why he didn't bother with them. He's too busy bringing Dream to the forefront in the rest of the world.

UFC just bought out Pride with the help of the T.V. deal. It hasn't been the best out there since the days of Severn and Shamrock.

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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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