Following his last two performances — a come from behind win over Shane Carwin and a brutal, title-relinquishing TKO loss to Cain Velasquez — many people have written off Brock Lesnar as a legitimate contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
The seven-fight veteran has not appeared in the cage since his loss to Velasquez, but he’s apparently been busy in the gym working to disprove those that might consider him a flash in the pan. According to an interview that Xtreme Couture-trained welterweight Jay Hieron gave to Fighter Mag recently, Lesnar spent some time training at the renowned Las Vegas-based gym while he was serving as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter and the seasoned vets that call the gym home had a hard time keeping up with the colossal former champ.
“The guy is just a whole different animal,” said Hieron. “It was his first time back to training since the Cain fight and he was just under 300-pounds. It was something different and we never had a beast quite like that at our gym.”
Hieron explained that most of the work Lesnar did was grappling oriented and that the speed he displayed during the sessions was uncanny.
“It mostly consisted of BJJ and wrestling,” Hieron said of training with Lesnar. “A lot of rolling. He also helped some of us in the wrestling department. He did some sparring with Randy. You do not realize how strong he is and how fast he is unless you are there training or fighting him. I fight at 170 and I’ll be the first to tell you that he was much faster than I was. It’s shocking actually – the way he was just throwing guys around.”
Lesnar has cultivated a training relationship with Randy Couture, the man whom he defeated to earn the heavyweight strap, since their 2008 meeting. “The Natural” did his best to put Lesnar through the ringer when he visited his gym, but, according to Hieron,it Lesnar who was mowing through his training partners, not the other way around.
“Couture had him go through rounds of rolling. One person would step in, roll with Brock for 2 minutes then step out and someone else would go in,” said Hieron. “Forrest Griffin was there, Vitor [Belfort] was there, I was there, [Ray] Sefo was there. We had a bunch of guys. He was incredibly strong, we would just go in there and get submitted a couple times and get out. He caught Forrest in the same straight armbar three times in the two minutes they were rolling. The only one he didn’t tap out was Vinny [Magalhaes] but it was more of the same. I don’t think anyone was able to get top position without him giving it up. It was a fun experience.”
Lesnar is next scheduled to appear in action this June at UFC 131 against his opposing TUF coach Junior dos Santos. If Hieron’s account of Lesnar’s training session at Xtreme Couture is any indication, “Cigano” may have a harder time with Lesnar than people think.