When a phenom bursts on to any sports scene, it usually takes time for them to seize the championship mantle. For Michael Jordan, it took six years before he was an NBA Champion. Sometimes, as is the case with Tiger Woods, it takes just a year to cement his first Grand Slam victory as he did in 1997 with a win at The Masters. That’s why the ascension of Brock Lesnar to UFC infamy is so intriguing.
Brock Lesnar became the UFC Heavyweight Champion in his first year of UFC combat, dismantling the legend of Randy Couture at UFC 91 on November 15th, 2008. Since then, Lesnar has patiently waited for a worthy opponent to step in to the octagon and challenge his title. We thought that guys was Frank Mir. We were wrong.
When Lesnar overwhelmed Frank Mir thanks to a side-headlock on the ground, I couldn’t help but think of getting beaten up by my big brother when I was a kid. Mir laid helpless on the ground as Lesnar hooked his beefy left arm around Mir’s neck and fed his face right hands repeatedly through the first two rounds of the fight. It’s a strategy my brother used incessantly to give me noogies and bloody noses. For Lesnar, it helped cement him as the undisputed Heavyweight Champion on a UFC throne that retains Mir as its only possible contender.
The thing is that Mir’s face took such a pounding on Saturday night, that the UFC fight fans will have to wait a long time until Lesnar-Mir III. Of course, nobody wants to wait because everyone is starting to hate Brock Lesnar’s muscular guts. Lesnar gave the crowd the finger, and egged them on as they jeered and booed the ring during his interview with Joe Rogan. “I love it!”, screamed an emphatic Lesnar who claimed to have beaten Mir over the head with a horseshoe that he yanked from his ass. Even more disgustingly, and disgracefully, Lesnar made it clear that the only person he was going to mount like he did Mir, was his wife.
If you look up the word “classy” in the dictionary, Brock Lesnar’s face will be the last thing you see.
Unfortunately for his detractors, Lesnar isn’t going to get any stiff competition anytime soon. Randy Couture has already lost to him, at remains in his 40’s. Shane Carwin has potential, but likely lacks the experience, and the horsepower to stand in the ring with Lesnar for an extended period. Don’t even get me started on Nogueira, who has a better shot at beating Lesnar than you do of hitting a 15-team parlay.
So who can beat Lesnar? Just one man, and we all know who it is: Fedor Emelianenko.
The Russian born sensation is known as the “best heavyweight fighter in the world”. In some circles, he’s regarded as the best fighter in the world regardless of weight class. The man simply known as “The Last Emperor” is 30-1 SU, with his only loss being due to a sever cut against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. However, that was in 2000. That’s right, Fedor hasn’t been beaten in nearly nine years.
Don’t let the fact that he fights outside of the UFC fool you. Fedor has choked out Tim Sylvia, knocked out Andre Arolovski, submitted Mark Coleman and Matt Lindland and survived a unanimous decision against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
Dana White was horrified and candid about Brock Lesnar’s reaction after the fight at UFC 100. He knows that he has to find a fighter who puts Brock Lesnar in his place. The problem is that at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds (Lesnar tips the scales at 280 pounds in training), White doesn’t have any fighters big enough – or good enough – to beat Lesnar. At the age of 31, Lesnar is in the midst of his prime. It’s only a matter of time before years of WWE wrestling, traveling and training begin to break down the big man’s body. Emelianenko is no spring chicken either, as he turns 33 in September.
That’s why Dana White needs to bring Fedor to the UFC now. He can not afford the hype should Lesnar succumb to injury, or if Fedor loses some random fight overseas, debasing his mystique. There are fans that want to see someone challenge Brock Lesnar just because they love to watch the behemoth man-child brawl. There are others who want to see Lesnar knocked off his rocker just to shut up his face. But everyone in all camps agrees – the only man that can do so is Fedor Emelianenko.
Give the crowd what they want. Give them Fedor-Brock. Give them a champion that respects the sport and those who he fights. But most of all, give them someone who can shut Brock Lesnar up.