Brock Lesnar has to learn to deal with getting hit

Photo by Tracy Lee/Yahoo Sports

“Hello, fellow MMA nutbars:

My name is Damon. A pleasure, really.

I am the host of an online sports betting program called BetCenter from BetUS.com. It’s a football show but, even though football betting might pay the bills, you must know that mixed martial arts is my secret mistress that I cannot live without.

In fact, I attempt to integrate as much MMA as possible into my weekly show, I even sat down with Frank Mir last week to get his take on UFC 121, have yourself a gander here: Damon D on Betcenter.

I’m here today to regale you with my musings about last weekends UFC 121 Heavyweight Championship fight, and former champ Brock Lesnar.

So, is Brock REALLY that good?

It’s been a few days since Lesnar got completely lambasted by Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 and, now that I’ve had time to decompress from the sheer joy I got from watching Lesnar get spanked, I have time to reflect on the fight itself.

My opinion of Lesnar has always been as a jaded and bitter MMA fan. I don’t care how good of a wrestler he was in college, or how freakish of an athlete he is, in my tiny mind all it came down to was that this beast came over from “fake” fighting and started knocking out all the real fighters I have been watching for 15 years. And I haaaated it.

But regardless of my bitterness, he kept freaking winning.

There was always one major criticism I had about Brock.. And it almost got erased in the Carwin fight; I had never seen him really take a punch.

Nobody had really HIT him. And until I saw it, I wasn’t willing to really think this guy was legit.

It’s crazy to say, but Brock’s inexperience was his greatest asset in his entire foray into the UFC. Let me explain – sure he can’t take a punch, we know that NOW, but it didn’t matter, because nobody knew it BEFORE. Everybody ASSUMED he could take a few fists to the face. Since they were more concerned with his takedowns and wrastlin’, nobody tried hitting him in the grill…lots.

Until Shane Carwin.

I’m not of the opinion that Lesnar put together an amaaaaazing comeback win versus Carwin. He got effin’ clobbered, and was lucky Shane gassed. He didn’t work to slap on a sub like Silva after weathering a storm. He got beaten like a circus monkey and Carwin got tired. That’s it.

And I think that Brock even knows this about himself. And it explains so much about his strategy now. Remember the Heath Herring super punch of doom? In hindsight, was that more strategy or defense?

To me it looks like a guy that knew he had one shot to get out of a striking battle with a kick boxer and took the plunge. It happened to work.

Randy Couture? Well Randy has never been a great striker. Great dirty boxer, but when he stood outside and didn’t engage Brock –assuming that he couldn’t hurt him – he eventually got caught. He’s a hall of famer but doesn’t have a phenomenal chin.

Brock and his camp had to know this all along. I mean Carwin hits bloody hard, but Cain doesn’t, and I guarantee there were guys in Brock’s camp that had Cain power, so there’s no way they didn’t know that Lesnar’s bell could get rung.

The proof? Look what Lesnar did in the first minute of the fight. He came out like a freaking buzz-saw trying to either KO Cain early or wear him out. Unfortunately for Brock, he’s just not good enough at striking to do damage against a talent like Velasquez.

So in reality, Brock only really had two things that got him to the top of the UFC heavyweight division: amazing wrestling and the fact that nobody knew he hated getting hit.

Where does that leave him now? Well, what do you think the strategy is going to be against Lesnar with the next dozen fighters that face him? You guessed it.

You don’t learn to like getting hit. Especially at this level.With the power that these guys have.

I’m not saying Brock’s career is cooked, but if this guy wants to get back to being legit he’s going to have to figure out a way to weather the onslaught that opponents are going to start bringing him.

And although I can sit here and smugly say I told you so to so many that I have debated with about Lesnar, if he manages to adjust his game to come back to be a different fighter and overcome his biggest obstacle, that my friends would make me the biggest Brock Lesnar fan around.

Tweet me your thoughts at Twitter.com/DamonD and visit me every week at BetCenter at BetUS.com”

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