UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is set to make the third defense of his title, against number one contender Cain Velasquez, this weekend at UFC 121 in Anaheim, California. Lesnar recently spoke with ESPN’s SportsCenter about the bout, Velasquez as an opponent, and why he feels more confident than ever heading into this bout.
“Obviously I’m the heavyweight champ for a reason,” Lesnar said. “I don’t think Cain Velasquez is the guy who’s going to take it away from me.”
Lesnar returned to MMA competition after a year absence due to a bout with the intestinal affliction diverticulitis this past June to take on fellow goliath Shane Carwin in dispute of his title. Carwin took Lesnar to the wood shed early in the first round, hammering the cowering champion with thudding shots. Lesnar survived though, and came back in the second round to submit a fatiguing Carwin; he points to this experience as one that granted him a new belief in himself.
“It was a huge confidence booster knowing that I can take a pretty good shot,” said Lesnar. “Obviously someone like Shane Carwin is heavy handed and landed a lot of good punches on me. But I was able to survive, come back in the second round and secure a submission victory, so it’s been a huge confidence builder for me.”
Though he carries with him into this bout a large measure of personal confidence, Lesnar still acknowledges that his opponent is dangerous and brings a serious skill set to the table.
“He’s a well-rounded fighter, he’s a former Division I athlete, a wrestler and so I think he imposes some uniques strategies in his standup game,” Lesnar said. “He stays busy. We’re going to try to just secure him, corner him and take this fight to where we need to take it to win.”
When all is said and done and Lesnar steps in the cage this weekend, the Minnesotan bruiser promises to come in “looking lean and mean, and ready to whip some butt.”