So, there I was, drinking a Creemore Springs Premium Lager (seeing as how Bud Light won’t pay me nothin’) and chowing down on a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in honour of Cain Velasquez’s amazing victory over Brock Lesnar this past weekend at UFC 121, thus becoming the new UFC heavyweight champion.
And that’s when I realized the sad truth behind my initial concerns with regards to Lesnar.
When I was a young boy growing up in the 1980’s landscape of Ontario, Canada, I fell in love with a little sport called “hockey.”
Maybe you’ve heard of it?
Truth be told—I never actually played hockey on anything more than a backyard ice rink with the neighbourhood kids, but I sure loved to watch it on the television, and at the local sports arena.
I especially enjoyed the fighting.
After all, how many other sports out there could boldly claim that they actually condoned and encouraged fist fighting between its athletes?
Not very many.
In fact, one of the greatest and most influential hockey fights from that era ended up being between two fearless heavyweights named John Kordic (Montreal Canadians) and Jay Miller (Boston Bruins).
I had witnessed many hockey fights up to that point in my youth, but these warriors left a permanent impression on me that still lasts to this day—never give up, and never back down.
Imagine, two very large men standing toe-to-toe, relentlessly trading bare-knuckle punches square into the other man’s face for what seemed like an eternity of punishment.
Punch after punch after punch—these men were both violent and fearless.
It was awesome!
But not all hockey fights ended up that way.
Some men felt so intimidated and over-matched by their adversary, that they actually curled up on the ice in a fetal position—head tucked between their knees, with their arms covered up over their head and face area.
They called this defensive strategy—the “Turtle” and it was (and is) a sacrilege to the great sport of hockey, and to the fighting culture that I grew up with.
There’s nothing to respect about the “Turtle,” because it ultimately demonstrates a man’s true character—his cowardice.
I have always been a Brock Lesnar supporter and I have the articles to prove it (I wouldn’t go so far as the call myself a “fan” though), but I have to admit—that all changed the moment that Lesnar displayed his horrific defensive skills against Shane Carwin at UFC 116.
It was during that fight when I realized that Lesnar just wasn’t the fighter that I had initially given him the credit for being.
I had sincerely hoped that when Lesnar ran away and cringed in fear against the side of the cage against Carwin, that it was a completely isolated incident.
Velasquez then proved otherwise, and I was forced to admit my own state of denial.
It would be difficult for anyone to be successful in combat sports without proper defensive skills, but with Lesnar, the issue appears to be much greater than that.
The problem isn’t just with Lesnar’s inexperience or his inability to counter back at his opponents while he’s being attacked.
The problem lies in his instincts—his reaction to getting hit.
Lesnar simply couldn’t run and hide fast enough, and that, fight fans, is completely unacceptable behaviour from a man claiming to be the “Baddest Man on the Planet.”
Incredibly, the “Viking Warrior” isn’t the unstoppable Dungeons & Dragons fantasy character that we all imagined him to be.
Instead, he’s just an over-sized athlete who doesn’t like to get punched in the face.
[This ain’t the WWE!]
Sorry, but Lesnar doesn’t deserve to be the UFC Champion and looking back on what we now know about him—he likely never did.
I imagine that Lesnar will still have a pretty decent MMA career in front of him, but unfortunately, while he’s resolved to bullying the gatekeepers with his size, speed, and strength—the real fighters will be duking it out Kordic-Miller style in the centre of the cage.
Think—Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos.
Now that’s gonna be an epic fight!
Sorry Brock, but I won’t miss your arrogance, your awkward fighting style, your telegraphed takedown attempts, your “unnaturally” large muscles, your constant need to refer to yourself in the third person, or the media’s ridiculous fascination with you.
Hey Brock! Why don’t you and the media do us all a favour and get a frickin’ room already?!
Personally—I’m all Brock’d out.
These are my opinions. If you don’t like them…I have others. Check them out at www.mrjamesryan.com