In anticipation of his upcoming bout against challenger Shane Carwin at UFC 106, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar shared some personal insight with Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports.
During the interview, which took place at a Subway sandwich shop in Alexandria, Minnesota, Lesnar made his disdain for his next opponent abundantly clear.
“He’s a weekend warrior,” Lesnar mockingly stated referring to Carwin’s full-time engineering job. “Fighting is my full-time job.”
The animosity between the men was born with Lesnar’s now infamous antics following his very one-sided redemption victory over Frank Mir at UFC 100.
During the immediate post fight interview, an adrenaline-crazed Lesnar antagonized the beaten Mir, gave the middle finger to the fans, proudly declared he would celebrate the victory by drinking Coors Light instead of UFC sponsor Bud Light (since that company wouldn’t pay him) and made a crude reference to sleeping with his wife.
Carwin took exception to the tirade and posted several blogs chastising the animated champion. The challenger didn’t appreciate Lesnar’s obscene gestures to the fans, and stated, “The flipping off of the fans that just lined your pockets with millions of dollars is just LAME.”
Carwin also thought Lesnar lacked the class of a true champion, and declared, “He may be a champion but he has a long ways to go before he earns the respect of a champion . . . it doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it matters how you win or lose.”
Despite a fairly instantaneous apology obviously orchestrated by UFC President Dana White, Lesnar has remained defiant stating, “I’ve run into more people who said it was great . . . A lot of guys get up, they hug each other; cookie cutter. I’m not doing that.”
Not one to shy away from a fight, Lesnar had some harsh criticism for the rising heavyweight star he is soon to face. When asked about Carwin’s 11-0 record, the champion responded, “I would be embarrassed to fight some of those guys he beat. His only good fight was Gabriel Gonzaga. Shane’s really 1-0.”
When asked about Carwin’s wrestling pedigree, which includes a NCAA Division II National Title, Lesnar, a Division I champion, was far from impressed. “There is no comparison between Division I and Division II. The reason they have Division II is for guys who can’t make it at Division I,” the UFC champion explained. “That’s fine. They need to have something to feel good about themselves. Those guys have to have something to do with their lives.”
Even when broached with the fact that Carwin is relatively close in size to the hulking Lesnar, he remained undaunted saying, “In college I wrestled against guys who were supposed to be bigger and stronger. They lost.”
Like most ultra competitive professional athletes, Lesnar does not take kindly to losing. He thinks back to his UFC debut at UFC 81 where he was caught in a knee bar and defeated by Frank Mir.
“Losing sucks. He put me in a position I knew how to get out of . . . We did that so many times. So many. I think it was more panic than anything. Looking back I just went into panic mode. I just gave it to him.”
Despite the hubris, Lesnar lives with his wife and infant son on a secluded plot of land in a town of 10,000 residents. He chose this location in order to be close to his grade school daughter from a previous relationship.
“Fighting is not my life,” he explained, “My family is my life. I see her (his daughter) as much as the court allows”.
Lesnar also makes no apologies for his meteoric rise to the pinnacle of mixed martial arts. Despite falling in love with the sport many years ago while still wrestling for the University of Minnesota, Lesnar was not interested in building a career in a fledging industry.
“I wasn’t going to fight in bingo halls, you know,” stated the champ. To the contrary, after an uber successful career in professional wrestling and a failed stint at professional football, Lesnar caught the ear of Dana White and unabashedly asked the UFC head, “Let me fight. Give me one chance.”
White wasn’t sold on the idea initially and responded, “Brock, this is not the place you want to learn how to fight, man.” Suffice it to say, Lesnar got his chance and the rest is history.
Today he looms as one of the most prominent figures in the UFC, but his superstar status has not lead him to rest on his laurels.
“I take this very seriously,” he explained referring to his MMA career and training camp that consists of seven heavyweight training partners as well as jiu-jitsu and other specialists. Lesnar covers all the expenses for his training team.
“This camp costs me a lot of money,” he shared. “[But] I’m fortunate to be able to do it.”
With arguable the biggest challenge of his career before him, Lesnar seems focused and determined to continue his reign. He boasted, “I don’t care what people think about me. This is my time. People can like it or not. I’m the UFC heavyweight champion and I will be until the day I decide I don’t want to be. And that isn’t anytime soon.”
Shane Carwin might have something to say about that.