Thursday, July 7, 2016

Breaking Down Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt at UFC 200

Brock Lesnar is coming back to the octagon for UFC 200. This is interesting on a variety of levels. First off, it's Brock Lesnar, the biggest draw the UFC has ever had coming back to fight again. He hasn't fought since 2011, and he hasn't had a win in over six years. But it's not like he's just been sitting around, he's been in the WWE, even becoming champion and only losing his title, because a guy was able to add himself to a match that had already been going on for 15 minutes; I don't believe this is legal in the UFC. But even though he was in the WWE, he only worked a part-time schedule, so he still had time to move to Saskatchewan, because Brock Lesnar is so anti-social, that he thought Northern Minnesota was too crowded. He will be representing Canada in his return to the UFC, a country that he accused of trying to kill him because of their shitty health care. Brock Lesnar is a truly fascinating individual.

But maybe the most fascinating thing is the opponent for Brock Lesnar, Mark Hunt. Mark Hunt's record, much like Brock Lesnar's actually, is unimpressive. 12-10 just doesn't jump off the page at anyone, but that greatly underestimates how good Hunt has become as a mixed martial artist. He started as a Kickboxer, but transitioned into Pride MMA bouts, because that's what Pride did back then. He's literally never had an easy opponent, as he has only faced guys in Pride, Dream, K-1, and the UFC. He's also gotten a lot better as the years have gone on, and is actually 7-3-1 in his last 11 fights in the UFC with all three of his losses coming to UFC Heavyweight Champions.

But the most important thing about Mark Hunt is that first part, he's a kickboxer, and he's about as pure of a kickboxer that you're going to see in today's mixed martial arts. With Brock Lesnar, you have a grappler, and most importantly, a wrestler. This is as close to UFC 1 as we are going to get, it's one guy who wants to stand up and strike versus a guy who wants to take it to the ground and pound him out or submit him. It's beautiful in its simplicity.

So the question becomes, does Brock Lesnar have a chance after such a long layoff? I believe he does. I mean Hunt has only lost to champions, and Lesnar is a former UFC champion. More importantly, there aren't many good wrestlers in the heavyweight division. During this great run Hunt has had, he hasn't faced anyone that would be considered even an average wrestler. Hell, I'm not sure if he's faced anyone with average wrestling in his entire career. Even if Lesnar's wrestling is rusty, it's still going to be good by heavyweight standards.

Could Hunt knock Lesnar's head off? Of course, but thinking that it's a foregone conclusion is foolish. Never forget what a legitimate physical freak Brock Lesnar is. If there's anybody that can come back from this sort of layoff, it's Lesnar. That's why I am predicting a triumphant return for Lesnar. I don't think Mark Hunt has the defensive wrestling to deal with Lesnar. Although I don't think Lesnar can quite pull off a Suplex City performance, I do think he can at least him to Takedown Town and finish him in the first round.

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