On Friday, December 30, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will return from another long, diverticulitis-induced layoff to take on former Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem for a chance at Junior dos Santos and the UFC heavyweight title.
Though many speculate that Lesnar’s time off and health will leave him looking less like the man that beat down Randy Couture to take the heavyweight title in just his fourth professional fight, The Natural himself recently told ESPN UK that he thinks Lesnar will only benefit from having more time to develop his abilities.
“I don’t think his difficulties will affect his ability to fight. If anything, the time off has given him time to develop more tools and add new skills, rather than trial by fire the hard way in the cage,” assessed the UFC Hall of Famer. “I think he’s going to be better having had, for the first time, the time to change and realize his potential.”
Couture believes that Lesnar’s ability to move so well even carrying the massive size that he does is something difficult for anyone to prepare for, even a similarly structured large man like Alistair Overeem.
“Something about being stood in front of a guy who is that size, but can still move as fluidly as he moves is a very unique thing,” said Couture. “You don’t find guys like that, he’s an anomaly. How do you prepare? You can’t find partners to simulate that.
“It depends who has their way with each other in this one. If Brock closes the distance and gets his hands on Overeem, you’re going to see Overeem on the bottom a lot. That’s not a great place to be. If Brock’s timid and allows Overeem to establish his range and throws those big knees, we’ve established that Brock hasn’t made friends with being hit in the face yet. It’s not flipping his trigger and letting him know the fight’s on. Either way, it’s a great fight and an exciting match-up, no doubt.”
Overeem and Lesnar will meet in the main event of UFC 141 later this month at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.