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Brock Lesnar’s Next Fight will be at UFC 121

Brock LesnarBrock Lesnar’s next opponent is no secret. Cain Velasquez is the man (or victim) next in line for the UFC champion.Brock Lesnar’s next fight is now official. Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez will headline UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez on October 23, 2010.

If that sounds soon, it isn’t soon enough for UFC president Dana White. Dana White attempted to headline UFC 119 in September with Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez. The combination of a new child in the Lesnar household and allowing proper time to let his cuts heal made Lesnar unavailable for such a quick turnaround. It appears that Dana White and Brock Lesnar met in the middle with a UFC 121 October 23 fight.

Brock Lesnar UFC 116 Walkout T-shirt – Death Clutch

This is quite a difference for Brock Lesnar who went twelve months between his last two fights. Ironically this is the same exact time line that was planned between Brock Lesnar’s last two fights. Lesnar vs. Carwin was signed originally for UFC 106 in October 2009, coming off Lesnar’s win over Frank Mir last July. UFC 106 was the first of several cancellations for Lesnar who was battling diverticulitis. Lesnar had no problem mentally or physically accepting such a quick turnaround last year (until he got sick), so I see no problem with Lesnar getting back in the octagon so soon.

It is Brock Lesnar’s challenger who may be the  one with layoff issues coming into UFC 121. Velasquez’s last fight was a first round knockout win over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in February. That is an eight month layoff between fights for Cain Velasquez. Velasquez did have a seven month layoff between fights in 2008-2009. The layoff didn’t impact him at all as he beat Denis Stojnic via TKO in the second round and won Knockout of the Night. Of course fighting Denis Stojnic and Brock Lesnar are not exactly one in the same.

The UFC may have a tougher time selling this fight than any of Brock Lesnar’s other fights. Lesnar holds the record for his UFC 100 fight with Frank Mir for the most successful event in UFC history. There is early speculation that UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin could actually finish second to UFC 100 in buyrates. I can’t see the same interest being there in Lesnar vs. Velasquez. The story of a fighter with the knockout power of Shane Carwin, never going past the first round against the seemingly unbeatable Brock Lesnar is a lot easier to sell than the now invincible Brock Lesnar against well, Cain Velasquez.

On paper it doesn’t look like Velasquez has a prayer in this fight. I think the Cheick Kongo fight exposed Velasquez’s weakness against capable strikers on his feet and Brock Lesnar is certainly a capable striker. Cheick Kongo was able to give him problems when they were on their feet. Unfortunately for Kongo, Velasquez is an outstanding wrestler who dominated Kongo on the ground. Velasquez won’t be able to dominate Lesnar on the ground, he certainly won’t be able to stand with him, and he will be greatly out-sized, so how can he beat Lesnar? The only hope in my opinion is that Velasquez has is to draw the fight out for five rounds because Velasquez does have outstanding cardio. Grinding out five rounds with Brock Lesnar is a lot easier said than done.

Then again, these are the kinds of fights where upsets normally happen. Counting out a fighter who is 8-0 with 7 knockouts is a recipe for disaster.

UFC 121 takes place October 23, 2010 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Thanks to MMAJunkie.com for the tip!

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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