They say timing is everything, and that is certainly true for Brock Lesnar. Four fights in, and Lesnar is an unequivocal success in UFC. The downside of his success is that he is too good at the wrong time in UFC.
I can’t think of another time in UFC history where every champion was the most dominant fighter in his division. Unlike Lesnar, all of those champions have potential big money fights on the table. The same can’t be said about Lesnar in the current UFC heavyweight division.
The heavyweight division in UFC has been the most cyclical of all in MMA. There have been times in UFC history where the division is stacked with elite fighters. There have been times where nobody in the division could draw a buy. Looking at the division today, there is nothing really to get excited about in Brock Lesnar’s future.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would probably be second behind Mir in fighters capable of beating Lesnar. Nogueira was dominated by Mir at UFC 92. Personally, I think Nogueira is on the downside of his MMA career. A win over Randy Couture would likely set up a Lesnar match at some point.
Nogueira does likely pose the biggest challenge to Lesnar. As a well-rounded striker and grappler, Lesnar would definitely have to be cautious going into this fight. Mir did dominate Nogueira in the boxing game, but who knows. Nogueira does have the skills to land a lucky shot and turn the lights for Brock Lesnar.
I don’t think there would be a bigger Rocky story in MMA than a Couture win over Lesnar. People forget that Couture did give Lesnar some fits in the first round of their previous fight. Unfortunately age caught up with Randy and he didn’t have the reflexes to answer Lesnar’s speed throughout the fight.
Couture would likely be closing in on 47 if a rematch was to happen. If Dana White won’t Chuck Liddell fight, he can’t even fathom making this match. However, it would be hard to deny Couture if he was to beat Nogueira and possibly Mir in a #1 Contender’s Match. This would likely be an easy match for Lesnar and a sad night for Couture fans.
Mirko Cro-Cop is a very interesting name in this equation. Cro-Cop has signed a three-fight deal with UFC, reportedly for big money. After what Dana White said about him, UFC had to be desperate for heavyweights to acquiesce to Cro-Cop’s demands. I would also guess that UFC is paying Cro-Cop big money with a Lesnar match in mind.
Cro-Cop was brought into UFC originally to be the big money fight with then champion Randy Couture. He has been a huge disappointment since coming over. Cro-Cop would need a really devastating win to convince anyone he is ready for Lesnar. Should Cro-Cop get that win, the match with Lesnar is a given.
Be prepared to hear the biggest load of crap in UFC history in hyping this fight if it should happen. UFC will rightfully bring out the old PRIDE FC tapes and show Cro-Cop from his killer days. Unfortunately those days are long behind him. He is definitely capable of giving Lesnar fits with his kicks. However, he will be easy pickings for Lesnar on the ground.
Shane Carwin is undefeated in MMA and a name you don’t hear about too often in the mainstream media. Carwin physically matches up better with Lesnar than anyone else in the division. At 6’3 and 265lbs, he is the only challenger that Lesnar won’t be able to bully on the ground in a potential match.
Dana White dropped Carwin’s name in the pre-UFC 100 Press Conference. A win over Cain Velasquez at UFC 104 will earn him a title shot. Carwin has been brutal since entering UFC at UFC 84. None of his three fights have gone over 92 seconds and they have all ended with brutal punches.
Carwin has already begun hyping the potential match. Carwin blasted Lesnar on his website after UFC 100. “The flipping off of the fans that just lined your pocket with millions of dollars is just LAME. He may be a Champion but he has a long ways to go before he earns the respect of a Champion. The fans are why we do this Brock, this sport is not about fat paychecks and drama it is about hard work and sacrifice for a shot to do what you did last night. ”
Carwin would test Lesnar like no other fighter currently in UFC. This won’t be the juicy fight that a Couture/Mir/Nogueira-Lesnar fight would be. However, Carwin would be Lesnar’s most difficult opponent. He is a great standup fighter and was dominant NCAA Division II wrestler in college. I don’t know if Carwin would win, but he’d be a great bet as an underdog if the fight were to happen.
Bobby Lashley is an appealing name for pro wrestling fans. Since the Lesnar-Kurt Angle MMA match is likely out, this is the next best thing. Lashley’s performances in MMA have been mixed. However, Lashley was very convincing in his toughest test yet against Bob Sapp.
Lashley in UFC is going to happen at some point. Lashley is in a good financial position and doesn’t need to rush anything. It is possible that Lashley would fight Lesnar on his first fight in UFC. As good as Lashley looked in dominating the bigger Bob Sapp, he was gassed midway in the first round. Lashley needs to improve his conditioning before anyone takes him seriously against Brock Lesnar.
Fedor Emelianenko could change Brock Lesnar’s timing overnight. Until proven otherwise, Emelianenko is the best heavyweight fighter in the world period. This would be the ultimate Dream Match for MMA fans at this stage of the game. Yet we have been begging for Fedor in UFC for years now.
This is the ultimate heavyweight match right now in UFC’s future. Whether Brock Lesnar is upset or not by someone else and goes 0-3 in his next few fights, this is the fight everyone wants to see. Lesnar would make himself a definite UFC Hall of Fame fighter with a win over Emelianenko. However, until someone beats 30-1 Emelianenko, I’ll take the Last Emperor any day of the week.
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