The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

The Next Champ

Maggie Hendricks on who beats Brock.

She comes up with 4 options- Fedor, Shane Carwin, Alistair Overeem, and Bobby Lashley. Let’s take a look at those:

Fedor Emilianenko

This one really cannot and should not be evaluated until it can be made. Brock as a fighter is still in the process of changing rapidly, so if this fight is made in 6 months it’s a very different affair than if it’s made in 2 years. Ultimately it will probably depend on whether Brock can get the takedown without being preemptively murdered in the standup and whether he can both hold Fedor down and do sufficient damage from the top. I’m not sure anyone really knows the answers to those questions, but probably the biggest compliment you can give Brock right now is that they might be yes. Only a fool doesn’t favor Fedor right now, but as time passes….

Shane Carwin

Hendricks lists Carwin for two major virtues, his equal size and his greater experience level. One of these is a bit of a myth: Carwin is 11-0, but those 11 wins came in only about 12 and a half minutes of cage time while Brock went 15 minutes against Heath Herring alone. Brock has also faced the much higher level of competition and performed on the much larger stages and believe it or not, Brock even has more fights in the UFC for the moment. Nevertheless, of the 4 men she lists I would put Carwin behind only Fedor in their chances against Brock simply because of his wrestling background and his punch. He may be able to keep it standing longer than most will, and while he’s standing I honestly believe he’s got the power to knock anyone out. The odds are against it happening and Lesnar probably has an equal chance to KO Carwin from that position, but “an equal chance” from any position is better than what most heavyweights will have against the big man.

Alistair Overeem

If Overeem passes the drug test he may not even be in the right weight class for this one, and if this fight ever came off I can’t possibly see a scenario in which Lesnar doesn’t score the takedown in the first 30 seconds and then turn Overeem into paste shortly thereafter. Just a hideous stylistic matchup for the Dutchman.

Bobby Lashley

Properly promoted in the UFC this is probably a very many buys fight, but from the sporting perspective… Lashley’s totally screwed, isn’t he? He’s basically Brock Jr. in many respects: a big, raw athlete with a wrestling base who’s known as much as anything for his pre-MMA career path. The trouble is that he’s smaller than Lesnar, he’s less athletic than Lesnar, he’s not as good a wrestler as Lesnar, there’s no evidence that he’s as good a striker as Lesnar, he almost certainly doesn’t hit as hard as Lesnar, there’s no evidence his cardio is better than Lesnar’s and some evidence form the Guida fight that it’s worse, he’s actually older than Lesnar by almost exactly one year, and he’s clearly vastly less experienced than Lesnar. When big men in small gloves throw hands anything can happen, but it’s hard to imagine Lashley winning by anything other than an awesome fluke.

At this point Lesnar has to be considered a major favorite over every fighter in the UFC with the exception of Shane Carwin (I’d make him a mild favorite over Carwin), and a dog to only Fedor. Worse still if you’re trying to find someone to beat Lesnar, he fights in a style which plays the percentages very well for him. MMA does produce many more flukey results than boxing, but a very large percentage of those results are a product of punches thrown in very small gloves, Matt Serra-style; this is a sport where anyone can get knocked out in the standup. But because Brock is such an explosive athlete and such a great wrestler- and unlike some wrestlers in this situation like Sean Sherk, he’s committed to his wrestling as his first mode of attack- he reduces the chances for such a flukey result against him by spending such a relatively small amount of time in the stand up position. There’s not a lot of jiu jitsu heavyweights out there dramatically better than Frank Mir, and Mir couldn’t do anything with Lesnar last time out; it’s hard to see Lesnar getting caught again with a submission from the bottom, especially since he’s had more time to train and even as his skills improve he retains a dramatic strength advantage over almost everyone along with strong positional awareness. It’s rarely going out on a limb to say that a champion is likely to retain his title, but with Lesnar I really think the odds are that unless Fedor joins UFC or Carwin beats him, he could run for a long time as champion until his athleticism really begins to erode, unexpected new challenges emerge or someone just gets really, really lucky.


July 14, 2009 - Posted by | MMA | , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: