#UFC200 – Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt – Preview by @P_GreatWhite_J
I’m gonna go out on a limb here, when it comes to sitting on the fence, I’m not your man – There aren’t many more polarizing figures in MMA today than Brock Lesnar. Largely due to his previous (and current) WWE affiliation and his sudden rise to the top, followed swiftly by a rapid fall from grace.
Love him or hate him, the one thing you cannot deny is that he is blockbuster in terms of ratings. 100 events ago (wow!), Brock headlined UFC 100 as the Heavyweight Champion. Here we are again with Brock having had an extended break and now he is back and in the co-main of UFC 200.
Brock is quite simply a supremely gifted athlete, with an outstanding pedigree in collegiate wrestling. Lesnar won his first MMA bout in K1 Kickboxing’s MMA promotion, Hero’s, before being snapped up by Dana and the Fertita’s. He was immediately thrust to the very top of the totum pole in terms of opponents, going up against Frank Mir and getting his first loss.
Brock was due to face Mark Coleman but Coleman was replaced by Heath Herring. Lesnar got the decision win. Not many athletes will find themselves at 2-1, going into a Heavyweight title fight. Which just proves Brock’s (to use a WWE term) drawing power.
He then dismantled the legend Randy Couture, becoming the Heavyweight Champion. At UFC 100, Brock got a shot at redemption against Frank Mir. He defeated Mir, followed by Shane Carwin.
Unfortunately, Lesnar has become synonymous with his main affliction over the years; Diverticulitis. He has been struck with this debilitating and potentially life threatening illness on multiple occasions, to the point where he had a hole in his colon, releasing faeces, into his abdomen and eventually having 12 inches of colon removed.
This is where the assessment of his MMA career becomes tricky. On the one hand, you have his two biggest and most damaging losses (to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem) coming after the illness. Some people point to this and say he was a beast but lost it due to the illness (and not to mention Overeem’s elevated testosterone at the time of the fight). On the other hand, some people say that Lesnar was never a fighter to begin with; he was thrust into a role he wasn’t prepared for because he puts bums in seats.
Lesnar’s victories were against some legitimate guys in Mir, Carwin and of course Couture. However, the image of that liver kick from Overeem and the anguish as soon as it was registered, looms large. Either way you look at it, wounded beast or the Heavyweight chosen one, you have to respect the ability to fight back from the brink with his Diverticulitis.
Across from him will be “The Super Samoan” Mark Hunt. Is there a better “Zero to Hero” story than Mark Hunt’s?
When the UFC began to assimilate the talent from Pride, Dana White offered Hunt money to disappear. Fortunately for us, Hunt said no and has set about proving White wrong.
Mark has fought a who’s who of Heavyweights, from Frank Mir to Stipe Miocic. He’s beaten a fair amount of them too. Mir, Mirko “Cro Cop”, Ben Rothwell, Chieck Kongo, Stefan Struve, “Big Foot” Silva, Wanderlei Silva (though Hunt outweighed Silva) and Roy Nelson, have all fallen foul of the Samoan.
My Pick… Hunt
This is of course the age old classic of the grappler vs the striker. Whilst Mark has been fighting and beating people on a regular basis, conversely, Brock has been performing on an irregular basis for the WWE. No one really knows exactly how much training Brock has been doing over the years, nor do we know if / how much the Diverticulitis took out of him. I expect Hunt to outstrike the former champion.
Feeling adventurous? Hunt by KO within 2 rounds… “The Super Samoan” is the king of the Walk Off K/O. He boasts a highlight reel and power most can only dream of. With that in mind and the image of Lesnar crumpled in agony having been unable to take Overeem down and being outstruck, I expect another highlight for Hunt’s reel…
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