It seems unfair to make absolute judgements about a fighter, even one who’s 34-years-old, based on seven pro fights. However, that’s pretty much what’s happened in the case of Brock Lesnar, the former pro-wrestler who converted late to MMA and managed to ascend to the sport’s highest peak. Following his performances against Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez, the MMA world seems to have written Lesnar off as being punch-averse, unable to win a fight unless he can plant his opponent on the mat.
Speaking with MMAFighting’s Ben Fowlkes just over a week out from his UFC 141 battle against fellow behemoth Alistair Overeem, Lesnar dismissed those criticisms, pointing to the facts that he came back from a fantastic first round beating at Carwin’s hands to win by submission and was never fully out against Velasquez as evidence that he’s fully able and willing to take punches.
“I think it’s a bunch of bulls**t,” Lesnar said. “The fights that I’ve gotten hit, I’ve stood and banged with Heath Herring, Randy Couture, Frank Mir – I’ve taken a lot of shots. I mean, Shane Carwin. And I’ve yet to be knocked out. I had refs stop a fight for a submission and a TKO, which is a referee stoppage. I’ve never been knocked out cold.”
Rather than agree that there’s any merit to that criticism, Lesnar simply brushes it off as something that comes with the kind of success he’s achieved.
“Any time you’re on top, whatever it is, and I don’t care if it’s the business world or it’s in farming or fighting – and those are all things that I’m in – there’s people out to get you,” he said. “There’s criticism. I don’t know if it’s just that people don’t like to see other people succeed, or just if they want to see them fail.”
Lesnar will prove whether or not his chin can hold up when he takes on striking expert Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC 141, which takes place next Friday, December 30, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.