The predominant dynamic that has sculpted most of the narratives heading into this weekend’s UFC 121 title fight between Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez is the champion’s size and strength vs. the challenger’s cardiovascular conditioning and technique. A former opponent to Brock Lesnar, a legend in the sport and one of the game’s best strategists, Randy “The Natural” Couture broke down the match up as he sees it earlier in the week at the EA Sports MMA release. Ben Fowlkes with MMAFighting.com got the scoop.
“Cain’s definitely going to give Brock a go,” Couture said, adding, “It’s an interesting match-up. Both guys have great wrestling backgrounds, and I know from my own experience that my toughest fights were against guys with good wrestling backgrounds. If [Velasquez] can stay away and not end up underneath Brock early, not take any serious damage there, the longer it goes the better it is for Cain. He’s one of those guys at that weight class who has an unlimited gas tank. He’s not going to get tired.”
The X-factor and what Velasquez needs to prepare himself for the most, according to Couture, is Lesnar’s borderline-freakish size and athleticism.
“Brock is a huge athlete. Every time he’s out there we see something else,” Couture said. “In the [Shane] Carwin fight he took a beating and still came back and found a way to win. I think that was important for him.”
However, “The Natural” believes that if Velasquez has prepared himself adequately to deal with Lesnar’s size and strength that the American Kickboxing Academy product could find himself to be the new UFC heavyweight champion at the end of Saturday night.
“Hopefully he got a bunch of big guys to come in so he could practice being in that worst-case scenario, which is having a guy like Brock sitting on you and hitting you in the head and ramming you into the fence,” Couture said. “Those are the things that a guy that size can really do to you. I think if [Velasquez has] prepared himself for that worst-case scenario, and has prepared himself to survive there, he’ll be able to do that in the fight.”
Velasquez and Lesnar will put their respective attributes and skill sets to the test when they do battle this weekend at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California in contention of Lesnar’s heavyweight title.