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Brock Lesnar Masters Game of Gamesmanship

Written by Tom Ngo
July 5th, 2010
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UFC Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar

Despite having only six professional mixed martial arts fights under his bling-bling belt, Brock Lesnar’s ability to shoot the inexperience gap has mostly been credited to his unmatched physical stature. However, his submission win over Shane Carwin at UFC 116 is proof that his mind is just as sound as his might.

Although he’s never been one to chase down an interview, Lesnar “accidentally” revealed to Paul Heyman four days prior to showtime that he would be attacking Carwin with a lefty stance in order to bolster his shots.

“We changed my stance and switched from standard – from traditional – to southpaw and it’s really worked out,” Lesnar claimed. “It’s helped in my wrestling, my shooting. We changed a lot of things.”

Most wondered why the controversial wrestler would allow such pertinent information to become available for public consumption – particularly since the source was his longtime friend – but he reiterated his “strategy” during the pre-fight press conference the following day.

Lesnar admitted that he may have “let the cat out of the bag” by relaying the game plan to the co-author of his upcoming book – who conveniently “broke” the story. He then continued to antagonize and sell the ploy by boasting about how his superior Division I wrestling skills shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Carwin’s junior varsity credentials.

Despite claims to the contrary, Carwin was forced to scramble and mentally prepare for a completely different style of attack just days before the biggest fight of his career.

“I’ll guess we’ll find out [at UFC 116],” Lesnar said of who owned the superior ground game.

Although threats of an altered attack dominated the headlines all fight week, Lesnar didn’t start either round in the southpaw stance. He was too busy covering up in the fetal position in the opening stanza for us to know if that was when he was supposed to showcase his new pose.

When presented with an opportunity in the opening ticks of the 2ndRound, Lesnar used a traditional right-handed stance to plant Carwin on his back.

For most fighters, the most annoying pre-bout question is what their game plan is going to be. Nobody discloses that kind of insider info unless it’s blatantly obvious what their strategy is (ala, Chuck Liddell’s stand up), in which case the question usually isn’t asked anyway.

Conspiracy theorists would suggest Lesnar turned the tables on all of us by pulling the ‘ol switcheroo on his original switcheroo.

Well played, nonetheless.

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