Paul Heyman recently said this recently about Brock Lesnar’s run in the UFC: “Anything you saw him do, he did as an unhealthy man competing at the very top level on the face of the planet. Imagine what he could have done if he was 100-percent healthy.”
Whatever, Heyman. That’s an excuse that he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with. As Lesnar, a part-time pro wrestler, gets ready to fight John Cena at WWE Summerslam on Sunday, it’s worth taking a look at Lesnar rapid rise to stardom.
It’s true that Lesnar battled a terrible case of diverticulitis and eventually had parts of his colon removed. There’s no doubt that the disease halted his UFC career after he defeated Heath Herring. But let’s be realistic about Lesnar. He got beat by Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir, not because of his diverticulitis, but because he was a young, inexperienced fighter, who was rushed into the spotlight prematurely to boost the UFC’s brand and make a lot of money.
Lesnar was not ready for the top stars of the UFC division and he was beat pretty badly because of it.
It’s Heyman’s job to promote Lesnar and he has done a great job over the years. Heyman is to pro wrestling and microphone work what Jon Jones is to MMA; Heyman is the best at what he does.
But we know about Lesnar. For whatever reason he has always been handed opportunities that most other people wouldn’t have.
Lesnar won the UFC Heavyweight Championship in his third professional fight, one of which he tapped out in. That’s simply not fair. He beat Randy Couture, a man who first won the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 2007 — 11 years earlier.
Lesnar won four straight fights, against Herring, Couture, Frank Mir and Shane Carwin, before getting destroyed by Cain Velasquez and then Alistair Overeem.
He never made it out of the first round in the the Velasquez and Overeem fights. Lesnar, of course, retired after the Overeem knockout .
Lesnar’s biggest problem in MMA was that he could not take a punch and knew not how to bounce back if he was able to handle the power. Carwin would have knocked him out too had Carwin not gassed.
Lesnar started MMA at 30 years old. That’s really tough to do. He certainly was never a well-rounded fighter. He punched hard and you were pretty much in trouble if he landed on top of you.
Lesnar’s downfall in MMA was what also was his downfall in professional wrestling. Lesnar expected to be spoon-fed everything and when he wasn’t, he quit. In the WWE, he arrived to major fanfare as a former NCAA Division I wrestling champion and quickly was put into the main event. He defeated The Rock at Summerslam to win the WWE Championship.
Lesnar would eventually lose to The Big Show three months later. By 2004, Lesnar had left the WWE, losing his final match to Bill Goldberg, to pursue a career in the NFL. He was cut in camp by the Minnesota Vikings, before heading to wrestle in Japan.
In 2008, based on the huge name he had made in professional wrestling, UFC President Dana White signed him to a UFC deal. After lasting three years in the UFC, Lesnar returned to the WWE in 2012, where he has been gifted big wins and main event slots by the company. Lesnar, to the horror of wrestling fans the world over, defeated the Undertaker at WrestleMania, breaking his 21-year undefeated streak.
Lesnar’s story is incredible. He’s the only man to win the WWE, UFC and NCAA Division 1 Championships. He beat diverticulitis. He took up MMA at 30 and defeated the legendary Randy Couture. Those are all great accomplishments, but let’s look at for what it is. Lesnar likes it easy. He doesn’t like to travel. He enjoys a simple life. He But when things get tough, Lesnar usually finds something else to do.
He wasn’t dominant in the UFC for very long like Heyman imagines because he never should have been in that position in the first place and when he fought top competition, he lost, and took his ball and went home.