Is Brock Lesnar’s UFC Career Overrated?

Published 12/09/2020, 12:14 AM EST
LAS VEGAS – JULY 03: Brock Lesnar reacts after his second round submission victory against Shane Carwin to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship Unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 3, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


There are very few wrestlers who have excelled in more than one field, let alone three different sports. However, Brock Lesnar is unlike normal human beings. The Beast Incarnate made a transition from wrestling to football and then to the violent world of mixed martial arts.

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Lesnar left WWE for the NFL in 2004. His football career was short lived after an unfortunate motorcycle accident left him with too many injuries. He was released by the Minnesota Vikings, after which he made a short return to wrestling, but in Japan.

Brock Lesnar began training for an MMA career in 2006; debuts in 2008

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During his run in NJPW, Lesnar expressed the desire to learn MMA and join an MMA league organised by K-1. Lesnar started to train at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy under Greg Nelson and Marty Morgan. Brock defeated former Olympic Judo silver medalist Min Soo Kim in 1:09, via submission.

Lesnar made his UFC debut in 2008, where he lost his debut match to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir. He won his next match against Heath Herring, after which he was scheduled to face Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

Winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship

Couture was a beast, but Lesnar hammered him with a second round technical knockout win and won the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Lesnar defended the title against his debut opponent Frank Mir at UFC 100, where he secured another second round TKO victory.

Brock was seemingly on top of the MMA world, but misfortune struck him at the wrong time. His health started deteriorating severely in the run up to his match against Shane Carwin at UFC 106. The match would be postponed even further after it became clear that Lesnar was suffering from diverticulitis.

Lesnar returned to face Shane Carwin for the unified UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 116. The rusty Lesnar entered the match as the underdog but managed to submit the undefeated Carwin in the second round. After the huge win against Carwin, Lesnar was scheduled to face another future UFC legend Cain Velasquez.

Losing the UFC Title to Cain Velasquez

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Velazquez and Lesnar’s fight was the most hyped fight of the decade, and the result ended up shocking the entire MMA world. Velasquez destroyed Lesnar with punches in the first round, winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship via TKO. Brock would have one last match in the UFC before departing for WWE. He faced Alistair Overeem in another losing effort.

Brock Lesnar retired from UFC in 2017; done with MMA

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Brock made a surprising return to the UFC in 2016. He fought Mark Hunt, winning via a unanimous decision, which was reversed after Lesnar tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Brock announced his retirement from MMA in 2017, but a dream match between him and Daniel Cormier and even Jon Jones was heavily teased.

The Beast did prove to be a beast in the squared circle. However, the octagon became hallowed ground whenever Brock stepped into it. At five wins and three losses, he does have a decent record. Despite the doping scandal and the embarrassing loss to Velasquez, Lesnar did beat three of UFC’s most revered fighters- Shane Carwin, Frank Mir and Randy Couture. Overrated? Nope, Lesnar’s UFC career deserves all the acclaim that it receives from combat sports fans.

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Nathan Fulgado

1227 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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