UFC And The Baddest Man On The Planet

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been a hugely successful entity in not just fight sport but sport in general. The company is the largest MMA organisation on the planet and has taken the once sneered at low brow sport of “cage fighting” out of the dark disparages of subculture and has turned it into a pop culture phenomenon taking in big bucks on television, pay per view and even the silver screen with recent films such as ‘Warrior’.

UFC allows a type of variety to fight sport that cannot really be achieved with boxing. Fighters come from all different backgrounds and each one is able to use a hybrid of styles to end a fight in many different ways. But even the toughest men of the heavyweight division must be looking over their shoulders right now. That’s because this December marks the return after a one year absence of former champion Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar, a former NCAA division one wrestler and WWE champion, is probably the most talked about man in the history of mixed martial arts. He came to UFC after reaching fame as a professional wrestler causing many to doubt if he had what it took to compete in the sport. He shut them up pretty quickly and won the UFC heavyweight championship just three fights into his career. His style combines his mat wrestling background with his striking power to overwhelm opponents. Basically he gets people into a helpless position and repeatedly punches them in the face. Not pretty but certainly deserving of his moniker “The Baddest Man On The Planet”.

As a long time wrestling fan I was offended by critics who said that Lesnar, “a fake wrestler”, couldn’t possibly make it in UFC but I knew that he would do exceptionally well for himself. This is because Brock was and still is the most athletic specimen to ever step foot in a wrestling ring. The man has the strength to, with ease, lift up men who are 500 lbs and throw them around like a rag doll (example). At the same time he has the agility to pull off near indescribable top rope feats such as this. Brock Lesnar is a freak.

His athleticism isn’t the only thing that would determine his success in UFC. In a sport where many fighters possess the same “well I’m going to train really hard and eat healthily and hopefully beat him” interview attitude, Brock brings a type of arrogance that nobody else has in UFC. After his first successful championship defense Lesnar proceeded to flip off the crowd and verbally attack the shows biggest sponsor. Some people loved it and others thought it was disrespectful but everybody had an opinion. This love/hate feel around Lesnar works perfectly to his advantage because as a fan whether you want to see him beat people up or get beaten up you’re still paying to see Brock Lesnar.

Despite losing the heavyweight championship to top contender –  and current champion – Cain Velasquez, a cage side altercation with WWE superstar The Undertaker had both fans of UFC and professional wrestling in a buzz about a possible return to wrestling for Lesnar. Even in losing the biggest prize in mixed martial arts the focus was still on Brock. Everybody was talking more about his post fight episode than his loss, a true sign of his stardom.

That was just shy of one year ago. Sadly Lesnar’s career has been burdened by a condition known as Diverticulitis. This has forced him into two major surgeries and has meant that the former champ has been out of action since October 2010. A sad day for sports fans but probably a sigh of relief for his contemporaries.

They can’t stay relaxed for much longer though. Lesnar returns on December 30th to face former Strikeforce (a once rival MMA promotion to UFC) champion Alistair Overeem in what will prove to be a great clash of athletic ability and fighting skill. The winner of which will receive a heavyweight championship match.

A great clash but with Lesnar already sinking  his teeth into an opportunity to “Get my belt back” I know who my money is on. How can you hold down “The Baddest Man On The Planet”? How can you contain a fighter who’s spent one year on the shelf thinking about how to break back in and raise havoc? The champion should be on notice. There’s a near 300 lbs man monster looking to rip him limb from limb. Brock Lesnar is back.

3 Responses

  1. I don’t know about how Brock has been training, but it has shown that if you can get passed his initial charge and don’t fight his way then you have a chance (although it is just that, a chance; as shown by the Carwin fight). I am pretty excited about Brocks return, and him fighting Overeem is a perfect match up.

    Also looking forward to watching GSP beat up Condit in just over a weeks time

  2. I have watched a few previous fights that Brock has taken part in, and he really did seem to be in a class of his own. I was, however, unaware of his recent personal troubles. It will be interesting to see how he handles the occasion.

    • Well he managed to come back from his first bout of illness and take it to Carwin. If he’s as hungry as he was then I’m sure he’ll be successful. Overeem is just as Sean said a perfect match. Very different type of fighter than Brock is used to considering he’s been paired up with more accomplished wrestlers with past opponents. Overeem’s more into using his kickboxing which is gonna make this very interesting.

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