Could Brock Lesnar's victory over Alistair Overeem make him one of the greatest Heavyweights ever?Posted on December 29, 2011, 10:17 PM by Trent Reinsmith
Brock Lesnar has had a funny UFC career, not “ha ha” funny, but more scratch your head and wonder funny. He started his MMA career with a win over the then 2-5 Min Soo Kim and apparently that was enough to warrant a UFC contract and a shot against a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir. It’s almost as if the UFC were saying “all right, you think you can just come in here and be an ‘ultimate fighter,’ let’s see what you got.”
Funny thing is Lesnar did have something. Whether it was his strong wrestling background or his strength and size, he showed potential in that Mir fight. Sure he lost, leaving himself exposed for the BJJ black belt to take his leg and earn the submission, but he still showed something.
Lesnar would go on to defeat Heath Herring and quickly earn a shot at Randy Couture’s UFC Heavyweight crown. Lesnar would take that title via second round TKO and then go on to pummel Frank Mir in their rematch at UFC 100. By this time Lesnar was also establishing himself as pay per view gold for the promotion.
And then came Shane Carwin and a huge chink in the armor of Lesnar appeared. Sure the “Baddest Man on the Planet” could take a punch, but when Carwin put the bungalows to him Lesnar showed that he really, really hated getting punched in the face. True, very few people (maybe just Clay Guida?) enjoy getting hit so hard that they lose focus, but that’s part of the game, learn how to hit and be hit back. Lesnar had learned how to hit, but not how to hit back. His saving grace was Carwin’s lack of cardio and his own ability to absorb punches without going out.
When he faced Cain Velasquez it was clear that he still had not become comfortable getting punched and it cost him dearly. When Velasquez tore into him he went cartwheeling across the cage and showed little defense while Velasquez picked his spots and landed crushing blows that opened a huge gash on Lesnar’s face and brought his reign as champion to an end before the first round came to a close.
Lesnar took the loss in stride vowing to come back because that’s what champions do. On Friday he will get his chance to do so.
His opponent is another accomplished striker, who can hurt you with fists, knees and elbows. The advantage Lesnar has is that Alistair Overeem is not an accomplished wrestler like Carwin and Velasquez were. If he can gain the take down and avoid a choke in the process, he has a good chance of coming out of the fight with a win. If Overeem gets the jump and lands strikes before that takedown occurs, well, it could be a short night.
So, we’re back to the question, will a win make him one of the greatest heavyweights ever? The answer to that is no. He’s going to need to grow as a fighter and show more than one dimension. The days of the dominating one trick pony are over. Even with a win, Lesnar will remain a bit of a curiosity, a fighter that is good at one and only one thing. He needs more tools or a dominating reign as champion to have the honor of being considered an all time great bestowed upon him.