There, we said it. No hemming or hawing. No ambiguity. Lesnar may be king of the hill of the UFC heavyweight division but he is far from being king of Mixed Martial Arts – and by that we are talking the Randy Coutures or Fedor Emelianenkos of the world. Why? Well because he still needs to prove that he is more than a ground-and-pound hog who beyond collegiate wrestling relies too much on his size, weight and strength to smother his opponents and then pummel them into a bloody stain. One good Wanderlei-Silva-style-slugfest with knees and kicks thrown in for good measure would do it – with doin’ it having to do with equalizing this slop-sided equation; i.e. winning by sheer preponderance of size.
The question is would Lesnar take on such a challenge with a dirty boxing thug like Shane Carwin at UFC 116? We doubt it, but we are throwing it out there. For since his MMA debut in 2007 – Brock has never met any fighter remotely approaching his weight, size and strength up until about now with Shane Carwin – a 6’2″ cyborg who walks around at 275lbs to 280lbs and cuts weight to fight at 265lbs. Lesnar walks around at about 300lbs and gravitates back towards that weight after the 265lbs weigh-in for a fight. So off the top you have a 20lb walk-around weight differential coupled with a visible size differential which analysts have attributed to a mass distribution anomaly. Carwin is a solid chunk of a man to Lesnar’s Chicken Little lower body topped off by an Incredible Hulk upper body. An analysis of how Lesnar has manhandled almost all of his opponents to date shows that he has incredible upper body strength. So by this calculus, Lesnar has the upper body strength/size edge which would give him an advantage over Carwin. So if Lesnar decides to take the fight to the mat he will, by this calculus, have an advantage over Carwin.
However if he decides to stand and go to-to-toe with the engineer he stands a pretty good chance of having his head knocked off – in addition to the possibility of him doing the same to Carwin. (BTW Carwin’s fists which command size 5x gloves, are bigger than Lesnar’s which require 4x gloves.) Our suspicion is that Lesnar does not handle being hit in the face very well, and this would be the invariable ticket to ensuring that the fight gets finished off on the floor. The upshot to standing toe-to-toe with Carwin is that Lesnar could actually win primarily on his feet, in which case he would earn the real respect of MMA fans who, up to this point, have been very skeptical of Lesnar’s skills and the match-ups he has received to date. (There is still a live debate going on about matching Lesnar who has to cut weight from 300+ to fight men like Couture who came in at 220lbs at UFC 91 or Mir who came in at 255lbs for UFC 81.) If he gets knocked out, he still gets inducted into the brotherhood of hail Mary sluggers like Rampage, Wanderlei et al.
Our prediction is that Brock Lesnar will probably not take any chances as he has way too much to lose in this fight. He may try to stand with Carwin for the first few 3o seconds or so (Carwin’s best chance for scoring a possible upset) but as soon as Lesnar tastes stitched leather, he will clinch and bring the engineer down for a bit of octagonal lovemaking.
The down-side of Lesnar deciding to grind this fight out and win by decision or the ol’ ground and pound is that the he will end up treating fans to a near snoozer of a fight. See what happened in the case of Paul Daley vs Jeff Koscheck and Rashad Evans vs Rampage Jackson. It will be exactly the same scenario unless Lesnar accentuates his ground and pound with a spectacular Henderson vs Bisping- like knockdown.
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