Last weekend, there was a momentous shift in the MMA (mixed martial arts) world. Collegiate wrestling champion and WWE star Brock Lesnar beat legendary UFC Hall of Fame champion fighter Randy Couture in the 2nd round of what was scheduled to be a 5 rounder to take the UFC Heavyweight title at UFC 91. Oh, and did I mention that it was only Lesnar’s 4th professional MMA bout?
That’s not an indictment on the sport of MMA, but rather it speaks to the awesome natural talent and raw power that Lesnar possesses. If he keeps working at rounding out his game, he may stay champion for quite some time.
Let’s deal with the 800 pound gorilla that’s sitting in the room. Lesnar to this point has been best known as a professional wrestler. MMA is a far cry from pro wrestling. Keep in mind that Brock Lesnar was the NCAA collegiate champion in his weight division in 2000, after being runner up in 1999. The fact that he took the big payday offered up by pro wrestling was due to factors of the day where collegiate wrestling studs worked hard to reach the top of their game only to run out of competitive options. They could continue wrestling greco roman and freestyle tourneys, shoot for the Olympics every four years, and coach wrestling. All the while sleeping on someone’s couch.
Or they could “wrestle” professionally and get paid.
But today is a new day, and I believe we will see other pro wrestlers try their hand at this gladiator sport (Kurt Angle is rumored to want in). This phase will be brief and then drop off. And you won’t see another pro wrestler accomplish what Lesnar will. Not even close.
In the future you will see legitimate wrestling competitors cross train in mma and transition to the sport to satisfy their lust for competition and testing themselves after college, as well as for the ever increasing paydays. You will also find youth training in mma at younger ages which is already occuring.
Brock Lesnar is an albino hulk of a man that had to have special gloves made by the UFC to cover his huge mitts. Regardless of his past, he has achieved much very quickly through hard work. Now we will see what he does with the mantle that has been passed to him.
In the hugest twist of irony possible, the internet is buzzing with WWE fanatics who are upset with Brock’s recent accomplishment, referring to it as not an accomplishment that is………………………..real.