Brock Lesnar is again making headlines this week, and I’ll be honest, I don’t mind it one bit. As of late Conor McGregor has owned MMA headlines with his journey into the boxing world to take on all time great Floyd Mayweather, but I for one am sick of the banter. Lesnar will never again be Heavyweight Champion, but his name brings focus back to Mixed Martial Arts. I truly believe Lesnar will return to the UFC. In the WWE, Brock Lesnar is an actor who puts his body through more abuse than he likely does as a pro fighter. The UFC makes more sense for his health and likely his bank account due to the UFC’s current lack of star power. Additionally, let us not forget Brock Lesnar is an athlete. Regardless of how the MMA society feels about him, Lesnar’s wrestling credentials are undeniable. True athletes will always have the itch to compete, and this is why we will likely see him back in the octagon.
To succeed Brock Lesnar needs to join a camp with a focus on striking. In today’s Heavyweight landscape he cannot survive by continuing as he did in the past. His private gym hidden in the sticks of the Northwest cannot elevate his striking to where it needs to be. Confidence in striking will help combat his tendency to retreat when absorbing a significant blow to the face or body. I for one hope he makes this change, but if he chooses to continue his route of the past, how would he fair against the current top 10 in the UFC?
I believe this would be the matchup the UFC gives Brock Lesnar if he came back to the UFC within the next 6 months. Brock is a matchup nightmare for Struve. Lesnar would be able to take down the skyscraper with ease due to his lanky body type. Struve would have a chance to land a submission from his back but in all reality Brock (steriods or not) is far too strong to be caught by the far weaker opponent. Brock takes this by TKO.
In a very similar matchup to Struve, Lesnar would easily ground and pound the 6’7” Volkov into a center octagon nap. In addition to this, Volkov does not hold near the talent needed on the ground to have a chance at submission. This one ends in a very quick TKO victory for Lesnar.
Derrick Lewis has made a living by throwing vicious bombs that put opponents without elite striking skills to bed quickly. My issue with Lewis is, and has always been, he is not a technically sound striker. I will take elite wrestling skills over a bar room brawler any day of the week and twice on Sundays Saturdays. Again, Lesnar walks out with a fairly easy TKO victory as soon as Lewis starts gasping for air from bottom position.
This is where the waters begin to get a bit cloudy for Lesnar. There are still a lot of question marks with Ngannou but we know two very important things. Ngannou is freakishly strong and hits very, very hard. Added to these facts, Ngannou enters the cage very confident as he has finished all of his UFC opponents. As of right now, I believe Ngannou powers out of a few early and forced takedown attempts and pounds Lesnar back to the WWE. In my opinion this matchup is the worst for Lesnar career wise. Losing by stoppage to someone who is not yet elite would surely hurt Lesnar as a draw and suck the last bit of confidence he has dry.
Dos Santos and Lesnar were supposed to meet long ago after their stint as coaches on TUF Season 13 but a diverticulitis recurrence forced Shane Carwin to take Lesnar’s spot. Shane Carwin took a beating that had him looking like a cartoon character, and at the time Lesnar would have ended up the same way. Time changes everything though. JDS is no longer the fighter he was in 2011. Everything is a slower and a bit less powerful for the once feared striker. He has also seemed mentally checked out in recent fights that have pushed his heart. In 2017 I believe Lesnar weathers the early storm and grinds out a decision victory.
There is no scenario where the current Brock Lesnar defeats Cain Velasquez. They could fight on the moon after Cain comes back from a 5 year injury layoff and Cain still dominates. He is one of the few Heavyweights that can outwrestle Lesnar and his striking is on a different level. Brock will never accept this fight if it is not for a title anyways, so no need to worry about Lesnar needing plastic surgery to fix a second massive gash on his face. Cain by whatever he chooses.
Unfortunately Werdum also falls into the no chance category for Lesnar. Although Brock is a far superior wrestler, he would be a fool to take down Werdum. Fabricio is far from an elite striker, but he has come a long way since JDS hit him with the uppercut from hell. Brock likely gets battered on his feet, forcing a takedown and inevitable triangle choke submission loss.
Alistair Overeem has improved in the octagon since the two PED devouring creatures met at UFC 141. Despite the improvements, I like Lesnar’s chances better today. Overeem is a more intelligent fighter in 2017 with a very different style. His new style finds him more tentative and selective about where he chooses to engage. In a match up with Lesnar, I believe this could allow Brock to secure takedowns and grind out a victory. I also see the potential of a ground and pound TKO given Overeem’s questionable chin. Alternatively, I’d much rather see their ladies fight:
To put it simply, Stipe is a killer and Brock is an easy meal for the UFC’s version of Simba. Miocic is enormous, powerful, durable, and a true warrior. Added to this, Miocic is an artist specializing in brutal knock outs. In all reality this matchup should never be sanctioned when thinking about the possible outcome. Miocic via knock out 3 seconds into round 1.
Brock Lesnar still has potential in the UFC, but there are levels to everything. With the right camp he can make noise but surely will never touch UFC gold again.