Moments after thoroughly dominating Frank Mir in their rematch at UFC 100 on Saturday, Brock Lesnar was being hailed as an unstoppable force in the UFC’s heavyweight division. With just five MMA fights under his belt, Lesnar is not only the UFC Heavyweight champion but is also vastly improved from where he was during his second and third career fights.
Meaning he’s only going to get better as we go forward in the Brock Lesnar heavyweight champion era. His imposing size — 6’3″ and almost 290 lbs by fight time — to go with his superior strength and power make him an excellent wrestler and controller of the ground game.
Not only that, but his uncanny athleticism for his size has so far made it extremely tough to beat him in the stand up game. With such a long reach it has been incredibly difficult for any of his opponents to get inside and connect with any significant strikes.
Therefore, the viewing public and MMA analysts alike, have been unable to gauge what Lesnar’s chin may be like and what his ability is to fight under the pressure of an onslaught.
Lesnar himself may even not know what his ability is in these circumstances and what kind of shots he can take. He may not ever have to know. So what will it take to beat the behemoth that is Lesnar? Who out there can even give him a challenge?
Ultimately it will have to be somebody near the 265 pound limit if not above it by the time the fight starts (or of similar strength) and with the ability to negate Lesnar’s outstanding wrestling.
Currently in the UFC heavyweight division there are 3 other formidable wrestlers. They are Randy Couture, Cain Velasquez and Shane Carwin. Of those three, only Carwin has the necessary size currently to even think about being able to stay off his back which is absolutely critical in a fight with Lesnar.
Outside of the UFC, one other fighter with these credentials (size and wrestling) is present in the heavyweight division — Bobby Lashley. Also a WWE alum, Lashley possesses everything Lesnar does with a couple important caveats. At 35, Lashley is four years older than Lesnar and even greener in the sport, not to mention 40 or so pounds lighter. In my opinion, these are the two fighters currently with the best chance to dethrone Lesnar of his reign.
Certainly there is still the chance another method could be successful, that being a great BJJ artist with a strong stand-up game. But as Frank Mir learned, without more size and strength that closes the gap between themselves and Lesnar, your great BJJ game is going to be negated. That whittles the list down to only a couple names, those being Gabriel Gonzaga and perhaps Junior Dos Santos.
Dos Santos undoubtedly still has a ways to go as he’s still under 25 and only a purple belt in jiu-jitsu under the Nogueiras.
The short list shows how dominant Lesnar already is. And no, I did not overlook or forget Fedor Emelianenko. At a measly 230 lbs and a mere 6’1″ in height, Emelianenko just does not possess the needed size or strength to stay off his back in a fight against Lesnar. And if you think that’s not a problem for the Last Emperor, just go back and watch what Lesnar did to control a much stronger Frank Mir at UFC 100.
We may not like it, but Lesnar could be here to stay for a long time. That is unless Shane Carwin has something to say about it.