Whether you love him or hate him, one thing is for sure: Brock Lesnar is a legend. Even though he’s 39 years old and near the end of his Hall-of-Fame career, he’s still a main attraction, so expect to see a lot more of the outspoken giant. But just how much more we see of him and in what capacity is the real question as the years go by and the injuries take their toll on his aging body.
Brock has had a long list of blockbuster fights during his career, most notably in the WWE, UFC, and even during his time in Japan when he wrestled in the New Japan Pro-Wrestling company (NJPW), “where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his first match,” and the Inoki Genome Federation, following a contract dispute with the NJPW.
Lesnar is mostly known for his hulking 6’3, 286-pound frame along with his outspoken personality which seems to attract fans from all walks of life. He has a massive fan base that has embraced his persona, but he also has thousands, if not millions of detractors as well. Either way, his popularity and infamy have catapulted him to the top, making him one of the most known and recognized wrestlers in the world today.
With so many fights under his belt — no pun intended — there will obviously be some legendary fights that don’t make the cut like his first UFC victory over Heath Herring when Brock landed a shot that sent Heath rolling over backward, followed by a huge roar from the crowd.
With so many memorable fights, let’s now take a look at 8 of Brock’s best victories and 7 of his worst defeats.
15. Best: Brock Lesnar vs Hulk Hogan
A young Brock Lesnar had taken the WWE world by storm and was ready to take the next step in establishing himself as a true superstar in the industry. He had won the right to face The Rock in an epic showdown, but first, he had to prove that he was worthy of competing at that level. Enter Hulk Hogan.
On August 8, 2002, the two squared off in an epic showdown. Hulk displayed all of his legendary moves that we’ve all become accustomed to over the course of his Hall-of-Fame career, but Lesnar was able to endure the punishment and then apply a bear hug to finish off the legend before the rabid crowd, including all the Hulkamaniacs, putting Brock on the map for years to come.
14. Worst: Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir
On February 2nd, 2008, Brock Lesnar made his much anticipated debut at UFC 81. The build up was intense as WWE fans, UFC fans, and many who didn’t follow either were eager to see how the WWE superstar would handle fighting in the octagon. There was endless media coverage, which made it seem like it was a heavyweight championship fight rather than a simple debut by a former WWE champion.
Unfortunately, the crowd and everyone else that watched the fight were left disappointed, not necessarily by the outcome, but because they didn’t get to see Brock’s power and potential. After the opening bell, Mir quickly grabbed Lesnar and got him to the ground where he applied a kneebar to end the fight after just one minute and thirty seconds.
13. Best: Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir II
The rematch between these two took place on July 11, 2009 at UFC 100. Lesnar was out for revenge and needed to prove himself after being submitted easily in their first encounter. Many were already starting to have doubts about Lesnar’s ability in real fighting. Well, those doubters were silenced, big time.
Lesnar came out on a mission and got Mir to the ground where he began pounding on his face. Mir was saved by the bell to end the first round, but his face wasn’t, as he looked like he had just gotten mauled by a grizzly bear.
Round 2 was much of the same as Lesnar ground and pounded Mir until Herb Dean stepped in to end the carnage. Brock then proceeded to flip off the crowd, trash talk Mir while he was still dazed, and give the fans exactly what they came for.
12. Worst: Brock Lesnar vs John Cena
After leaving the WWE to go to Japan, Lesnar was back after an eight-year hiatus. Many were wondering if he would have the same appeal, or whether there would be any ring rust. There were many questions surrounding Brock’s return both in and out of the ring.
The match was an absolute brawl with nonstop back-and-forth action. Lesnar was dominating Cena until the end, and somehow Cena was able to endure all the punishment until he finally caught Brock with an Attitude Adjustment.
11. Best: Brock vs The Rock
The buildup to this heavyweight showdown was beyond electrifying. Videos of each fighter training hard for this epic bout was intense, to say the least. It almost resembled Rocky’s training montage before his fight with Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.
As the crowd chanted “Let’s go, Lesnar,” the two larger-than-life personalities went at it in an absolutely chaotic match. After avoiding everything the Rock had thrown at him, including The People’s Elbow, Brock went on to win the match and become the youngest WWE Champion of all-time.
10. Worst: Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle
Lesnar versus Angle at Summerslam 2003 was set up after the Champion, Kurt Angle, fought against Vince McMahon with Brock as the referee. Brock sided with the WWE President, putting his friendship with Kurt Angle on the backburner.
The two eventually squared off in an action-packed encounter. Angle had Brock in an ankle lock before Brock hit back with his famous F5 move. The crowd was treated to an absolute war before Lesnar was eventually caught in another ankle lock and tapped out, much to the surprise of everyone.
9. Best: Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle II
These two actually went at it several times, with each wrestler claiming victory on two separate occasions. One of these bouts included Brock’s nemesis, The Big Show. Brock was forced to tap after he and The Big Show went at it only for Angle to step in and secure the win. It was a classic 3-man bout that went down as one of the best ever.
Brock would come back to avenge that loss against his former buddy, who he helped him get through his rehab from neck surgery but ended up being on the receiving end of Brock’s F5. In the rematch after that encounter, the two would meet again in what many say was the greatest Ironman match in WWE history.
This hour-long bout went back and forth after Brock took an early lead. In the final minute, Angle managed to get Brock in another ankle lock only for Lesnar to endure the pain instead of tapping out and end up claiming the victory. This was the final bout in a long history between the two legends.
8. Worst: Brock Lesnar vs Alistair Overeem
This was not one of Brock’s better moments as a mixed martial artist. Brock was basically outclassed from the opening bell and had no answers for the former K-1 legend’s nasty knees to the body and striking combinations.
The fight was stopped at 2:26 of the first round by TKO. Brock was curled up and enduring a lot of punishment and showed no signs of being able to continue or protect himself.
After the fight, Brock announced his retirement from the UFC. He would eventually come back almost five years later to face Mark Hunt and get the victory only to have the result changed to a No Contest by the Nevada Athletic Commission based on Brock testing positive for a banned substance.
7. Best: Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin
This was a big deal as Carwin was the interim titleholder and seemed unstoppable at the time. It didn’t look good for the WWE legend as he took a nasty uppercut that dropped him and then proceeded to take some serious punishment on the ground.
Brock survived the ground and pound, which nobody had done previously, and easily could’ve lost if he wasn’t saved by the bell. Perhaps, Carwin was gassed from throwing so many strikes as he was taken down early in the second round and eventually tapped out after Brock slapped a veteran-savvy arm-triangle choke much to the shock of everyone watching.
This was a huge come-from-behind victory for Lesnar and showed that he had grit and could endure taking punishment as well. After the fight, Brock said, “I am blessed by God. I stand before you a humble champion and I’m still the toughest S.O.B. around, baby.”
6. Worst: Brock Lesnar vs Eddie Guerrero
Throughout Brock’s career, he has done a great job of being the hero or the villain, the good guy or the bad guy. In this case, he was the heel (the bad guy). Fans loved Eddie Guerrero and would be delighted to see him go on and claim the WWE title for the first time in his long and legendary career.
The 30-minute showdown was a back-and-forth affair featuring the big guy versus the little guy. Eddie was trying to slow Brock down and take away his clear size advantage by working on his knee.
In the end, they both fought over the belt with Brock landing his trademark F5 before Guerrero countered with a DDT. Eddie then climbed to the top of the ropes and finished Brock off with an amazing pinfall win.
5. Best: Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker
Brock’s first ‘feud’ after becoming the WWE Champion was against The Undertaker, who was, for the first time in his career, labeled the underdog. The two would square off in an extremely bloody Hell in a Cell match.
For almost the duration of the match, The Undertaker was a bloody mess as blood covered his entire face. Brock was in control only to be Chokeslammed before trying The Undertaker’s Last Ride move, but he had it reversed on him. Brock recovered, though, and hit back with an F5 and finished The Undertaker off with a pinfall.
4. Worst: Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez
Brock was again outclassed, this time by UFC Champ, Cain Velasquez. Brock actually secured two early takedowns but was not able to keep the big Mexican American on the ground. Cain was able to get up both times without sustaining any damage.
This obviously worried Lesnar, who realized that he would have to come up with another game plan other than using his wrestling. Cain also had a wrestling background and even prepared for Brock with training partner and current UFC Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Cormier.
Velasquez then went on to tag Brock with shots as the hulking wrestler looked panicked and out of answers on how to compete standing up. Lesnar took several strikes to the face before curling up and losing at 4:12 of the first round by TKO. Brock was simply outclassed.
3. Best: Brock Lesnar vs CM Punk
In what many consider the 2013 Match of the Year, Brock took on CM Punk in another case of big man versus little man, in this crazy 25-minute action-packed showdown. Lesnar was the bad guy that CM needed, but interference from Brock’s manager, Paul Heyman, was just too much for Mr. Punk to handle.
Punk was actually close to winning this No Disqualification battle. They went back and forth with their signature moves. Brock stormed out with his F5, while Punk countered with a DDT. Eventually, Heyman came in with a chair, which Lesnar used to smash into Punk’s back when he was dealing with Heyman. This was enough for Brock to pull off the win, much to the dismay of all the CM Punk supporters.
2. Worst: Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg
These two giants met at WrestleMania XX in a back-and-forth battle that Goldberg managed to pull out and end with his trademark Spear followed by his other trademark move, The Jackhammer. The bout was refereed by Stone Cold Steve Austin and was almost won by Lesnar after his F5 on Goldberg, but he managed to kick-out after Austin’s 2-count.
The two met again recently after Heyman “stated that Goldberg was the one blemish on Lesnar’s WWE career.” Goldberg returned to the WWE after a twelve-year layoff and accepted Lesnar’s challenge. “On November 20 at Survivor Series, Lesnar lost to Goldberg via pinfall in just 1 minute and 26 seconds.” The two went at it again in the 2017 edition of WrestleMania, and Brock successfully avoided losing a third time in a row to Goldberg.
1. Best: Brock Lesnar vs Randy Couture
This was a huge moment in Brock’s career. He became the UFC Heavyweight Champion after only his fourth fight. The only other person that could claim that achievement was his opponent that night, Randy Couture.
The 45-year-old, known as “The Natural,” was coming off a three-year absence due to a contract dispute with the UFC. He was old. He had ring rust. But he was still the Champ. Both had wrestling backgrounds. Randy had more experience, but Brock clearly had more strength.
The two cancelled each other out as they went back and forth battling for position. Finally, after a few jabs, Lesnar caught Randy with an overhand right, dropping him to the canvas and finishing him off with strikes. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped it at 3:07 of the 2nd round, giving Brock the UFC title.