|Posted by AndrewVidal on October 27, 2010 at 8:17 PM|
by The Mouth of MMA Contributor, Andrew Vidal
Brock Lesnar has all the physical gifts to be a long-time MMA champion.
You've heard it before from numerous media outlets and always with good reasoning. Brock has excellent wrestling credentials enhanced by size, strength, and speed that cannot be matched by anyone in the division. Capping this off is an excellent, tireless work ethic. Due to these traits, it’s easy to see why many picked Lesnar to be the next great heavyweight.
So why did he lose against Cain Velasquez?
The simplest answer is inexperience. Lesnar has shown this problem in past fights, his loss against Frank Mir and his most recent win against Shane Carwin being key examples. At a point in his fight against Carwin, Brock seemed to turn and run from the big Colorado-native. It was a poor attempt to escape the offensive onslaught of Carwin, a fighter known for his power.This is the type of inexperience shown by the unfamiliarity of being on the receiving end of punishing blows. This weakness is a bulls-eye that his opponents will be aiming for whenever he steps into the cage.
Fear not, Lesnar fans, it's a problem Brock can remedy. A panic reaction to hard punches is a product of not only inexperience in the cage, but inexperience in the gym as well. Several months of hard-sparring can get the former champ accustomed to taking hard shots and learning the correct ways to deal with them.
Lesnar has shown the ability to work on his weaknesses. His second fight with Frank Mir showed this. Lesnar showed a more refined and patient attack, focusing on keeping out of bad positions and inflicting damage. No longer did Lesnar attack without regard, leaving himself open for submission attempts and counters. He systematically took Mir apart, impressing fans and critics alike. It was the type of performance that convinced fans that his reign was going to be a long one.
With his recent medical suspension, there is no better time to work on his problems. If his next fight is a loss, Lesnar's record will drop to a 5-3. He can't expect Dana White to keep him long if questions of his legitimacy arise. Lesnar was brought in beacuse White saw the potential in drawing power. Fans don’t want to see a former WWE star getting pounded on by superior fighters, they want to see him do the pounding.
My recommendation? Take Brock out of the comforts of his own private MMA gym and send him to a facility with world-class MMA fighters. Jackson's, ATT, or Xtreme Couture would all do nicely. If he does not want that he should at least spend quality time in a boxing gym. These are all places where he’ll learn the definition of hard striking.
With an excellent, well-rounded fighter like Velasquez holding the belt, the whole division has plenty of work to do. With the UFC’s past skepticism of rematches in which the first result was one sided, this is even more important for Lesnar.
Brock fights in a division with no lack of hard strikers. Unless he works on his weaknesses, they’re going to cause what could of been a long, promising career to become a short and disappointing one.