If you would have told me a year ago during the week of Wrestlemania 31 that Brock Lesnar would step in a UFC Octagon and be victorious I would have called you crazy. At UFC 200, Lesnar returned and took Mark Hunt. A lot of questions were raised about how Lesnar would do and if he could hang with the number eight heavyweight in the UFC. The fight went three rounds and Brock won by unanimous decision. I truly believe that this remarkable comeback has cemented his legacy as being one of the greatest athletes of all time. He’s dominated in Amateur Wrestling, Professional Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts. He did all by working hard and setting goals for himself.
I was first introduced to Lesnar the night after Wrestlemania 18 on March 18th 2002. The internet was still fairly young and you didn’t hear much about who was coming up Ohio Valley Wrestling. Lesnar, Randy Orton and John Cena all made their debuts within 6 months of each other. John Cena and Randy Orton have had great WWE careers but Lesnar has had a great athletic career. Lesnar came in at a time when you had Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, The Rock, Ric Flair, The Undertaker, John Cena, Big Show and many more. Brock accomplished a lot in two years in WWE, They put a lot of pressure on him and pushed him into the point he hated the business. Lesnar finished his first run in WWE by taking on Goldberg at Wrestlemania 20. Needless to say the match was anything but a classic.
Once Lesnar left the WWE, he tried out for the Minnesota Vikings and was looking for an NFL contract. I think if Lesnar would have had more experience playing football he would have made it. Lesnar went on to New Japan and held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship during his time yet. It was during this time he was engaged in a lawsuit with WWE and I truly believed that it soured his feelings on pro wrestling. After Lesnar was done in Japan not a lot of people knew what he would be doing. However those questions would soon be answered.
In June 2007, Lesnar made his debut against Min Soo Kim and defeated him. He looked very impressive on that night and he showed he could fight. He then made his UFC debut in February 2008 taking on Frank Mir. Lesnar lost the fight due to inexperience but he proved his power was very legit and dangerous. In his next fight he took on Heath Herring and absolutely demolished him. I honestly don’t think Herring ever fully came back from that beating. He then won then the UFC Heavyweight Championship in November 2008 defeating the legendary Randy Couture. It had seemed that Lesnar was well on his way to being the greatest UFC Heavyweight of all time after he avenged his lost to Frank Mir at UFC 100 but everything changed.
During the fall of 2009, Lesnar had gotten really sick and had to cancel the fight with Shane Carwin multiple times. No one could figure out why Lesnar had gotten so sick since he looked healthy his entire life. It turned out Lesnar had mononucleosis and diverticulitis, The disease took it’s toll on Lesnar fought Shane Carwin in July 2010 and defeated him to regain his momentum as UFC Heavyweight Champion. After that he lost to Cain Velasquez in October 2010 and then lost to Allistair Overeem in December 2011. After his fight with Overeem he announced his departure from the UFC and stated it was his last fight. I truly believe this disease had messed with him so bad that he felt he had nothing left.
He may have had nothing left in the UFC but he made his return to WWE the night after Wrestlemania 28 taking out John Cena. Since Lesnar returned he has taken on Cena, Triple H, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, CM Punk and Seth Rollins. At Wrestlemania 30, he ended The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at the biggest show of them all. What most people don’t know is that Lesnar did not want to end the streak. He has a lot of respect for The Undertaker and it showed in some of the backstage clips at the following years Wrestlemania. During his second run in the WWE he did become WWE World Heavyweight Champion and had some really great title matches during his time as champion. Lesnar re-signed with WWE in 2015 and has created a big fight feel for when he appears on WWE Television but we learned that Lesnar had one more fight of another kind he wanted to deal with.
On June 4th 2016, it was announced that Brock Lesnar was making his return to the octagon for UFC 200. We learned that WWE granted him this opportunity and that it would be promoted with his match at Summerslam in August. Lesnar returned and was victorious which left a lot of people with a lot of questions as to what his future is in both WWE and the UFC. I think this was a huge success for both companies and it proves that Lesnar is a once in a lifetime athlete. No athlete has been able to do what Lesnar done in his time. He has been a NCAA National Champion, UFC Champion and WWE Champion. Not a lot of people can put that on their resume,
When all is said and done Lesnar will be remembered for his work ethic, his brutal honesty, and his passion for competing. A lot of people don’t like Lesnar because of how he comes across sometimes. The MMA fans that don’t like him have no idea what MMA is really all about. People who think he’s a terrible fighter need to educate himself. He uses his wrestling skills and power to his advantage which is what you should. He’s proven to dominant and legit in only nine MMA fights. The WWE fans that don’t like him because he is a part timer. From a marketing standpoint, if Lesnar wrestled all the time I think they would run out of ideas and it ruin his hype factor. I think the WWE handles what Lesnar does very well. If Lesnar wouldn’t have had the success he did in the UFC then I would have understood people being upset about his schedule. The WWE took a look at his drawing power in the UFC and realized that only using three or four times was the proper way to use him. The Brock Lesnar haters need to wake up and realized they are witnessing a once in a lifetime athlete who probably won’t come around again for a long time.
Love him or hate him, you cannot deny the special athlete that Lesnar is and will continue to be. In 2002, he was given the nickname “The Next Big Thing,” Well 14 years later he is still a pretty big thing. He is an All American, National Champion, Big Ten Conference Champion, WWE Champion, IWGP Champion, and UFC Champion. There is one else alive right now who can claim those accolades. Whether you’re in a UFC Octagon or WWE thing you better be on top of your game because Brock Lesnar will bring it full force, When you are across from Lesnar in the ring and the octagon you better realize one thing. Here comes the pain!
Editors Note: Brock Lesnar was notified on July 14th that he failed an out of competition drug test and on July 19th he was notified that he failed a in competition drug test. No word on what Brock Lesnar has tested for.