In Brock Lesnar’s seventh MMA bout, he lost his second. He lost to an undefeated Cain Velasquez that put on an amazing performance. I’m of the opinion that the stoppage was quick – if rolling away from an opponent to avoid punches while simultaneously blocking with one arm and attempting to create distance to the other, I don’t know what is. I thought Cain was given an early stoppage against Rothwell, too – the man was being brutalized but literally stood up to his feet as Maz came in to waive Cain off – but that’s not what I’m choosing to focus on here. Brock is now 5-2, and Cain Velasquez is the #1 heavyweight in the world.
I’m watching the Chicago-Washington game right now, and Jay Cutler is being Jay Cutler. He’s talented, young and has a cannon for an arm, but he makes stupid decisions all the time and has been throwing picks left and right. It’s been like that for the extent of his NFL career, and yet fans haven’t said that he’s done or he’ll never learn or he’ll never get better. Why? Because it’s an insanely asinine and stupid thing to do.
Fighters evolve. Given physical tools and the desire to improve, athletes have shown the capacity to learn new skills, address previous weaknesses and excel anew. Randy Couture was buried after his second loss to Chuck Liddell, only to come back and recapture the heavyweight belt (and even defend it as an underdog to Gonzaga). Brock Lesnar has definitively shown that he has both the attributes necessary to compete in the highest levels of MMA and the desire necessary to utilize them – remember that this is a man that isn’t fighting to feed his kids or pay alimony. Lesnar has all the money in the world if he wants to hang up his gloves and not get punched in the face anymore. He does this because he enjoys it. He’ll continue to do this because he enjoys it.
This was the first camp Brock had trained with a boxing coach. Read that again. He came right at Cain as soon as the fight began, at no point exhibiting the kind of response to punches (and, more importantly, the prospect of being punched) that he showed against Carwin. He landed some punches, stayed in the pocket until wobbled, scored a takedown and recovered from a takedown. Cain Velasquez is a fucking monster and he beat Brock Lesnar last night. That is the extent of what we know. Everything else – Brock’s heart, Junior’s chances – is speculation. I think speculating that Brock Lesnar is a pussy is much more reflective of those leveling the charge than it is of Brock Lesnar.
One loss does not a career define. Brock is now 5-2, with wins over two UFC HW champions (three if you could Carwin’s interim belt) and losses to two UFC HW champions. Bury his future at heavyweight at your own peril.
Update: Since it’s pretty much me against the world (read: Internet MMA blog commenters) on this one, a little show that I’m not depressed from Gordo.