Brock is the king of UFC Heavyweights

By Tom Donelson
Updated: November 17, 2008

IOWA CITY — Rarely does a fighter with just four fights get a shot at a title, especially against a living legend. Yet, Brock Lesner found himself fighting Randy Couture.

At 6-feet-3 and 275 pounds, he dwarfed the 45-year old Couture, who stood 6-feet-2 but weighed just 220 pounds. When both men walked in the octagon, Lesner looked even more massive when contrasted with Couture.

Couture was a five-time UFC champion and a member of the UFC Hall of Fame and he was coming back after a 15-month hiatus and contract squabble. In September, Couture accepted the fight and began training for the fight with fighters from the Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas.

Going into the fight, he felt that his experience would be the deciding factor.

In an pre-fight interview, he noted, “I see the same big, strong, athletic guy that you guys see, but I see a lot of inexperience. He’s basically still a wrestler, first and foremost.”

“He’s added a few skills from mixed martial arts to go with that wrestling base, but he still lacks a lot of the things that he needs to be a real well rounded fighter and I think those things that I can exploit.”

Couture had seen his share of big guys with wrestling background but there is more to the Mixed Martial Arts than just wrestling. Many of the better MMA stars are not just good with hands or feet but the ability to subdue an opponent on the ground means more than wrestling skills but additional holds that pressure fighters to submit.

Before being a WWE star, Lesner was a championship wrestler but what he had going for him was youth and athletic ability. The recent Elite XC had their version of Lesner in Kimbo Slice, but Slice did not have Lesner’s wrestling skills and his inexperience got exposed in his last fight.

The question coming into this fight; would Lesner strength be just enough or would Couture experience expose the Lesner lack of experience?

Couture entered the ring to the chats of “Randy, Randy” and the bell rang with Couture nailing Lesner with a quick right and Lesner trying to counter with knees to Couture’s body.

Couture fended off Lesner attempt at a takedown and Lesner attempted to wear him down but as the bell ended the round with both fighters kneeing each other.

Going into the second round, Couture felt that get Lesner deeper into the fight would be to his advantage.Both fighters moved around and threw blows at one enough but Couture forced Lesner back into the Octagon.

There was time that Lesner looked more tired than Couture and more leery of getting on the ground with the smaller man

In the blink of eye, Lesner’s right hand sent Couture down and immediately, he jumped immediately on the old veteran. Lesner did not try to submit or wrestle Couture but instead, he unleashed several right hands on the grounded Couture.

After a series of punches and Couture trapped underneath the larger Lesner; the referee stopped the fight. Lesner defeated Couture and now UFC has a new star in the giant Lesner.

He did not use his strength to move Couture but instead, he used his fist as the younger Lesner was just a little quicker with the one punch that decided the matter.

Youth was served in this fight and after the bout, Couture did not use his age or layoff as excuses.

“Those were some big hamhock coming at me,” quipped Couture after the fight, “He’s a big guy and he caught me with a big shot.

Coming into the fight, UFC created a buzz with this bout and even ESPN treated this as they would a championship boxing match. With the demise of Elite XC, the UFC is cementing its place as the premier Mixed Martial Arts and as Mixed Martial Arts matures, the UFC will be in position to ensure that its champions are the champions.

With boxing marred by various boxing sanctioning bodies and confusion of who is or who is not champion, the UFC is becoming the place where champions are crowned.