UFC 116 is close enough for people to channel Brock Lesnar’s process. If they do it right, the will come to the realization that come fight time, Brock Lesnar will try to make an example of Shane Carwin – not because he hates the man – but because figuratively he represents detractors and haters who, unlike Stuart Smalley, think he is not good enough, smart enough or doggone likable.
The strongest felt impulses of mice and men are put out there to be thwarted – but if Lesnar gets his way come Saturday night, he will put a memorable exclamation mark to the most anticipated fight in UFC since the emergence of American MMA from the backwaters of BJJ and vale tudo – and strut around the octagon like he has just pawned the UFC – which may not be that far away from the truth.
The people who think the moments before UFC 111 with Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin were electric, have a piddly idea of what UFC 116 is gonna be like come Saturday nigh. Goosebumps are tame. The fan who said that he was so excited he could cut glass with his nipples was closer to the truth. Welcome to the biggest, baddest spectacle UFC has ever put together: part strongman theater, part circus with the edge and menace of the gladiatorial arts in the fans’ coliseum of the mind.
This fight is so huge fans are gonna be watching it on antsy feet: huge not because Shane and Brock are the most brilliant technicians MMA has to offer, but huge because they represent a collision that has not been seen in American MMA at this magnitute: a collision of egos and records that brook little or no losses. (Frank Mir was a fluke the first time.) To the rest of the world, a clash of two corn-fed wunderkinds who dwarf everything by the nouveau advantage of space and place. The Saturday night fight fans will see will be like a dance of monsters whose end will come quickly by minuscule slip-up. As much as Lesnar would like to earn the respect of MMA by demonstrating his stand-up chops with Carwin, he is deathly afraid of:
1. Being hit by a man who can sing him a lullaby and
2. Losing this fight in humiliating fashion. (Forget the post-fight hugs or the raising of the victor’s hand by the lose – the real drama takes place inside the loser’s cranium. In that theater it’s highly unlikely that Brock will ever be a gracious loser – not with the ….. gaggle of haters forever dogging his every move.)
The most probable scenarios is that Lesnar will, upon the first pummeling of his baby face, quickly shave his balls and fall back on the tried and true – the old ground and pound that has brought him victory almost each and every time. Lesnar may look super calm right now, but we ain’t buying it because we know that inside he is coiled up like a steel spring. If he wins, it will be an “oh well” moment. If on the other hand Carwin wins, the UFC will all of a sudden become a more interesting place – the theater of more nuanced possibility.
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