Over the past year or so MMA fans, experts and even fighters wondered aloud how UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar could possibly be beaten? Most answers: Punch him in the face, pounce on him and see how he reacts. Well, time to go back to the drawing board.
Lesnar returned at UFC 116 to defend his heavyweight title against interim champion Shane Carwin after an eleven month hiatus due to an intestinal infection that almost literally killed the man. Carwin owns the heaviest hands in the UFC and would issue the biggest challenge yet to Lesnar.
The tale of the tape was basically identical. Both have wrestling backgrounds. Both have hands so large that the UFC has designed special gloves for each fighter. For the first time in his MMA career Lesnar was slated to fight someone as large and almost as quick as he is. The Lesnar “haters” were ready for a knockout, hopefully in short order.
With under a minute to go in the first round, Carwin had managed to check each box of the above “punch, pounce and wait for reaction” plan. Now fight fans would have the chance to see if Brock was indeed bad enough to survive a barrage.
The answer? Yes. By the end of the first round both men were standing and it was Brock who landed a powerful knee before the sound of the horn. The storm was weathered and Carwin was gassed. Never having to fight past the first round in his MMA career, the interim champion had given everything he had in an attempt to finish the fight. Lesnar would eventually take Carwin down and finish the fight via choke in the second round to retain his title. The latest challenge was again met successfully.
Lesnar can’t be muscled around the octagon. He can’t be outwrestled. The only way it looks like he can be submitted is if he makes a rookie mistake (See: Lesnar vs. Mir I), which seems less likely as his career goes longer. And now, we’ve found out he’s got as big a chin as chest. If the fighter with the heaviest hands in MMA can’t take him out, can anyone?
For more on the Lesnar vs. Carwin match-up check out our UFC 116 podcast!!
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