Despite his WWE popularity, Lesnar wasn’t just an actor/wrestler. He was once an NCAA heavyweight champion amateur wrestler (in 2000). Believe it or not, he did not always wear those grotesque butt-huggers, he was actually a legitimate amateur wrestler! After taking a brief hiatus from the WWE,Lesnar tried out for the Minnesota Vikings and narrowly missed making the team.
Brock Lesnar was tremendously multi-talented. He was a superb wrestler, great actor (WWE), good football player and a solid fighter. He was also an amazing physical specimen and a hard worker, which made all of his accomplishments possible. The UFC and MMA as a whole have to thank Lesnar for a huge chunk of its popularity. He carried his immense WWE following with him, exposing them to MMA converted many of them into huge fans of the art. His crossover appeal was pivotal to the growth of the sport. Although Lesnar only had eight MMA fights, he was a true trailblazer and made a prodigious impact that will never be duplicated. All of his fights were memorable, but here are his Top 5:
5 Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
Lesnar was coming off of a win versus Couture and his rematch win over Mir. His fame was growing and he looked to be improving every fight. Lesnar next faced Carwin on July 3, 2010 at UFC 116. And he showed a new wrinkle in his game this time submitting Carwin in the second round with an arm triangle choke showing some true skills and making him look unstoppable
4 Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir I
Lesnar’s first UFC fight and second professional MMA fight took place on February 2, 2008 at UFC 81 against a former Heavyweight Champion. Most observers expected Lesnar to dominate Mir based of off his sheer mass and when the fight started, those assumptions looked spot on. Lesnar came out and beat down Mir right away. But the UFC requires more than brute strength and Lesnar found out the hard way. While he was pounding Mir on the ground,Lesnar got a little too happy and Mir slipped in a kneebar that subsequently ended the fight 1:30 into the first round, which was a minor setback for Brock.
3 Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture
After failing miserably to gain the respect of MMA fans in his first fight against Frank Mir, many were under the impression that Lesnar was nothing but a sideshow and a joke. In order to gain approval and regain the admiration of his fans,Lesnar took on UFC legend Randy Couture on November 15, 2008 at UFC 91. Couture came out of retirement to take on Lesnar and he was obviously in great shape. He put on a great fight but succumbed to Lesnar’s physicality and lost by second round TKO in what was the biggest win of Lesnar’s career up to that point.
2 Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir II
Lesnar lost to Mir by submission in his first UFC fight. After that fight many believed that he was nothing but a marketing tool for the UFC. But then the rematch was set on July 11, 2009, UFC 100 and Lesnar was given a chance to regain his credibility — and that he did. He stopped Mir in the second round in what was the biggest and most satisfying win of his career. He seemed destined for superstardom in the UFC and based on his size and aggressiveness, it did not look like anybody would beat him any time soon. That notion was proven wrong soon after.
1 Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez
This is unquestionably the best fight of Lesnar’s career. Unfortunately for him, it did not end in his favor, but the fight was so good that not many care about that. It took place on October 23, 2010 at UFC 121 and didn’t make it out of the first round. It was a dramatic round that seemed much longer than that. Lesnar literally rushed out like a bat out of hell right when the bell rang. He came with brutal knees and heavy uppercuts. It was immediately evident that he was the bigger, stronger man. Cain defended himself and let his hands go but Lesnar clearly dominated the beginning of the first round with brute strength. Suddenly near the halfway, point Lesnar was visibly fatigued and it seemed that he exerted all of his energy in the early-going. Then at the 2:55 mark Velasquez landed a six-punch combination followed by a crippling right knee that shook up Lesnar’s equilibrium and sent him stumbling to the mat. Velasquez then used a well-schooled ground and pound game to end the match at the 4:12 mark of the first round. It was simply one of the greatest rounds in UFC history.
Brock Lesnar is a legend in WWE and in MMA. With his arrival the sport grew dramatically and he proved that he was a real champion in spite of his countless critics. His reign was short-lived but memorable. The UFC landscape was shaken with his arrival and departure. Controversy followed Brock Lesnar everywhere but one thing is for sure — his influence on the UFCs popularity took the sport to a level that it would have taken years to reach without him. And these are his Top 5 fights. Wouldn’t you agree?