The main event for the most hyped mixed martial arts event in history can be broken down by one simple question: How much has UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar improved since his first meeting with interim champ Frank Mir 17 months ago?
The two first tangoed at UFC 81 back in 2008, and although Lesnar had the MMA vet dazed and confused early, he wasn’t able to put him out. Mir eventually recovered after eating some slugs to the grill and caught the inexperienced Lesnar in a sick kneebar in the 1stRound.
Although he barely broke a sweat in that scrap, Mir doesn’t expect it to be that easy this time around.
“I don’t think it will be an easy fight by no means,” Mir stated. “I think he’s going to learn his lessons from the first time. I just still think that I’m the better fighter. I’ve been doing it a lot longer.”
The former WWE employee scoffs at the very notion he hasn’t advanced his game since their first fight, which happened to be his Octagon debut and second pro MMA fight. Not only has he gone 2-0 since that February meeting, but he also captured the crown by taking down UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture in his last bout at UFC 91.
“I’ve improved dramatically,” Lesnar confidently said. “I still lift weights, but that’s not my main focus. I’m a fighter now, and I want to evolve and make myself a well-rounded fighter, so obviously I’m not going to leave any stone unturned, when it comes to submissions, submission defense, striking, knees, leg kicks, and also learning to defend everything.
“It’s not just an offensive sport because you’re going to take some punches and you’re going to give some punches. You’ve got to be able to handle both sides of the spectrum. I’ve brought in a number of highly trained trainers to help me evolve, and I believe we’ve left no stone unturned.”
Lesnar’s thoroughness isn’t being doubted by Mir, however there’s only so much that Lesnar could have learned in just two years of professional fighting.
“I think he’s improved a little bit, but I still think it takes a long time,” Mir matter-of-factly said. “No one picks this up in four or five fights. What fighter have you seen yet that in four fights is unbelievably technical? We can go through any weight class you want.
“If he does it, I’ll be impressed out of my mind.”
So, how much has Lesnar improved? We will soon find out…
Ngo-Stradamus’ EARLY thoughts: Frank Mir (+190) Defeats Brock Lesnar (-250) via 5thRound Submission
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