A couple of weeks ago, the world of sports and entertainment was shocked to its core with the announcement of Brock Lesnar’s return to the world of MMA, specifically at UFC 200! “The Beast” seems to have signed an unprecedented dual-contract, allowing him to fight in the octagon and then go straight back to driving opponents to Suplex City in a WWE ring.
The move could have opened the floodgates for all sorts of potential crossovers between UFC and WWE, but for now one thing is for certain… Brock Lesnar plans to make his return to the octagon as groundbreaking as possible, and that means imprisoning his opponent on the mat before unleashing a barrage of brutality upon him in the worst way possible! That opponent just so happens to be one of the most dangerous strikers in UFC’s heavyweight division, Mark Hunt… and the Samoan war-machine isn’t going to go down without a fight.
Nevertheless, Brock Lesnar isn’t one to shy away from competition, and better still, isn’t one to sign up for a fight without a game plan. While critics and some of UFC’s finest have weighed in on the fight with the odds being stacked against Lesnar, it’s important to remember that, at one time, Brock Lesnar was considered the most dominant opponent in a UFC octagon, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he brings that brute force with him in this fight against Mark Hunt. Here are ten real reasons why I feel Brock Lesnar will prove that he belongs in any ring he damn well chooses once he destroys Mark Hunt at UFC 200.
10 Brock Lesnar is a Wrestling Machine
Lesnar has many naysayers when it comes to the MMA circuit, but few can argue about his prowess as an all-out wrestler. And no, I don’t mean wrestling as in WWE… although he’s pretty good at that, too. Brock Lesnar is a former NCAA Division I champion and a specialist when it comes to grappling. While Mark Hunt may be a damn good striker, his wrestling match is only subpar, and even worse when compared to a ring general like Brock Lesnar. Add to that the fact that Lesnar showed hints of his submissions arsenal towards the tail end of his previous UFC tenure, and you have a machine that’s all but unstoppable.
If the fight ends up being a slug-fest, Lesnar may have to rethink his strategy, because Hunt’s notoriety as a heavyweight striker is almost legendary. But with Lesnar’s size advantage and tendency to take things to the ground, Mark Hunt could find himself in a tough predicament, especially when he’s trying to outwrestle the superior mat-specialist that is Brock Lesnar.
9 Brock Lesnar Has Faced Tougher Opponents
With all due respect to Mark Hunt, who is a revered striker and one tough sonofab*tch, Brock Lesnar has faced and conquered bigger, badder, and more dangerous opponents in the past. His wins against MMA legends Frank Mir and Randy Couture are what solidified his place on the UFC map as one of the all-time greats. While Lesnar’s last two matches were met with devastating losses, seemingly due to his weakened state thanks to diverticulitis, Lesnar knows in his mind what it takes to topple the so-called deities of the UFC pantheon like Mir and Couture. Like any alpha predator, Lesnar will call upon these tactics in his blockbuster fight against Mark Hunt and, if all goes well, will lay waste to the latter in the center of the octagon.
8 Brock Lesnar is Younger, Faster, Less Wear and Tear
Anyone in any kind of combat sport will openly tell you about how the physicality of the game eventually takes a toll on your body and mind. It’s a tough career choice, and the impact it has on one’s body isn’t something to be taken lightly. In that respect, Brock Lesnar has relatively less wear and tear on his body compared to Mark Hunt. And while Lesnar is technically aging competitor at the young age of 38, Hunt is even older than "The Beast". At 42-years-old and with 24 matches on his resume, Mark Hunt is considerably older and more worn out than the fresher, more well-rested Brock Lesnar. That’s not to say that Brock Lesnar has an unfair advantage, it just so happens that, in combat sports, scenarios like this will arise every now and then.
Lesnar’s wrestling schedule is significantly lighter than anyone currently signed to an active roster, and with more than 5 years since his last match in an Octagon, Brock will be able to bring a recharged sense of purpose and ferociousness to his match against Hunt. Quite frankly, I don’t think Hunt, with all his rage and tenacity, will be able to answer to Lesnar’s drive come UFC 200. Mark Hunt may be “The Super Samoan” and a top-notch fighter, but I think he’s about to learn why they hail Lesnar as one of the most feared adversaries in UFC history.
7 Size and Strength
Mark Hunt’s two primary weapons are his fists, and if he’s able to get Lesnar to let down his guard, Mark Hunt could see himself demolishing the returning former champion. Unfortunately for Hunt, Lesnar’s primary weapon is his entire physical being. There is a reason he is hailed as a “beast”, and that’s simply because Brock Lesnar is a freakishly strong human being. What Hunt may bring in terms of speed and strikes, Lesnar will answer with both sheer brutality and power-driven takedowns. Simply put, Lesnar’s 6’3” stature will factor in when compared to Hunt’s 5’10” frame, and in terms of body mass and sheer aggressiveness alone, Lesnar should be able to debilitate Hunt in no time.
6 Peak Physical Conditioning
Brock Lesnar has plenty of naysayers calling his previous battle with diverticulitis nothing but an excuse he used to explain his losses, but the well-informed will let you know that the man was indeed struggling with the disease for some time.
Ever since Lesnar survived the ordeal, he has taken it upon himself to train, retrain, and become more of a physical specimen than he ever was before. Even at age 38, Brock Lesnar’s physical conditioning is shockingly better than some men a decade younger than he is. All of this makes you wonder… if Brock Lesnar was such a force to be reckoned with even while his body was busy battling a serious infection, what kind of Lesnar will we see in the Octagon now that he’s with a full bar of health? Couple that with Lesnar’s brutal barrage of attacks once an opponent is grounded, and suddenly Mark Hunt’s chances seem slimmer than ever before.
5 It’s All About the Reach
Brock Lesnar may not be the best striker in town, which may come as a shock to some wrestling fans who don’t dabble in other combat sports, but as far as reach is concerned, he has the advantage once again. Mark Hunt has demolished bigger and taller opponents in the past, but if Lesnar is able to put his advantage to good use, he could destroy Mark Hunt’s primary mode of attack within seconds. If we’re going to get nitty gritty about it, Hunt’s best reach is at 74-inches while Lesnar’s is significantly better at 81-inches. It’s true that this may not be the deciding factor in a bout, but Hunt is only as good as his superior strikes... which won’t be of any use if he can’t actually reach his opponent. As long as Lesnar utilizes his reach advantage, the match will be his to lose.
4 Stamina is the Ultimate Weapon
What some people don’t realize is that combat sports aren’t just about assaults and offense. A large portion of the match lies in defense and wearing one’s opponent down until they’re too tired to counter attacks effectively. Remember, while Brock Lesnar hasn’t been in the Octagon for several years now, he wasn’t lying dormant at home without any physical activity. Lesnar kept himself busy with wrestling and, by doing so, tuned and kept his stamina up and ready to burn reserves like clockwork. There will always be those who mock wrestling as a “fake” sport and talk down to fans of the show, but UFC champions themselves have admitted to being shocked at how athletic the men and women in WWE are. Brock Lesnar’s strength and skills may be freakish, but his ability to wear down Mark Hunt may be what ultimately wins him the match.
3 Brock Lesnar Knows Something
Like everything else you see on TV, the shows that UFC puts on are just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the program happens backstage and in pre-production. Obviously, there is a lot of stock riding on Brock Lesnar right now, and that stock will skyrocket if he tells the ultimate comeback story. As someone once said, “It’s best for business.”
Brock Lesnar knows that he can beat Mark Hunt. And Dana White knows that Brock Lesnar can beat Mark Hunt, and the two are banking on Lesnar to be the “comeback kid” once the dust settles at UFC 200. Either Lesnar knows for a fact that he can take Hunt down, or he’s confident enough that he can walk into the octagon and dominate like he did all those times before. Keep in mind that Lesnar was once the biggest draw in UFC history, so it only makes sense for the company to position him in a way that puts him back in that limelight… just so he can draw a few more fights, at the very least.
2 Brock Lesnar is the Underdog
It’s not a situation you see very often, but Brock Lesnar is actually the underdog in this scenario. Due to his departure from UFC several years ago, a lot of people are betting against Lesnar this time around, citing rusty skills and inexperience as possible reasons to his downfall.
But underestimating someone like Brock Lesnar may be the single biggest mistake Mark Hunt can make, especially in a situation like this. Lesnar has nothing to lose and everything to gain. With a solid career in both wrestling and MMA, Lesnar’s illustrious runs in both circuits are well documented. Winning this bout will only escalate Lesnar’s career further, and losing still guarantees him a massive paycheck from both WWE and UFC. Frankly, Lesnar has everything to gain in this scenario, and that sort of edge should not be taken lightly. Mark Hunt has made his views on Lesnar public and they aren’t kind, whereas Lesnar has mostly kept his comments to himself. If Mark Hunt continues to see Lesnar as a chump who came back for a quick payday, he’s about to find out why they also call the former NCAA Division I champion “The Beast Incarnate.”
1 Mark Hunt Doesn’t Know Brock Lesnar
Keep in mind that whatever Mark Hunt knows about Brock Lesnar is based on Lesnar’s career from several years ago, and Hunt has no clue as to how Lesnar has been training so far to prepare for his big return. It wouldn’t make sense for Lesnar to sign up for a fight before having a game plan in mind, and the fact that Mark Hunt has no idea what that game plan could even resemble spells trouble in the worst way for him. Critics have called out Lesnar’s exaggerated reactions to being punched in the face as his biggest weakness, but again, this is a criticism based on a Brock Lesnar from several years ago. As of this moment, we have no idea the kind of Lesnar we’ll be seeing next month at UFC 200.
Brock Lesnar is known to keep mum about his methodologies, but what we do know is that he is an anomaly in every sense of the word. The Beast will train himself to perfection and bring his all to the octagon. There’s always a chance that he may lose, but as a guy who has always viewed Brock as one of the most dangerous pure athletes in the world of combat sports, I won’t be surprised one bit when he walks out of UFC 200 with a massive victory and the weight of UFC superstardom once again placed firmly on his shoulders.