If there’s anyone that can speak with authority on Brock Lesnar’s UFC return, it’s heavyweight Frank Mir. Frank and Brock have extensive history — the two fought each other twice in the Octagon, with Mir taking the first fight and Lesnar getting revenge in their second. Their rivalry continues to this day, and if Mir wasn’t under suspension for eating steroid-enhanced kangaroo meat, it might be him stepping in to face Brock at UFC 200 instead of Mark Hunt.
Frank likes the New Zealand fighter’s chances, and thinks the fight is a bad stylistic matchup for Brock. Via MMA Fighting:
“He doesn’t like to be hit,” Mir said of Lesnar. “Not that anybody likes to be hit, but Brock for whatever reason has shown much more of a dramatic response to the negativity of those shots. To the point where he’s not asleep, it isn’t like he got knocked out, he’s not getting dropped, but he just turns his face away from adversity. That’s a bad thing when fighting Mark Hunt, who again I think is one of the hardest punchers in the division.”
Mir isn’t wrong. When Lesnar arrived in the UFC he steamrolled his opponents in fearless fashion. And then Shane Carwin (who knocked out six of his opponents in under two minutes) hit him really, really hard and Lesnar almost wilted under the pressure. Brock managed to win that fight, but his aura of invincibility was gone. Both Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem refused to be bullied and proved the hypothesis that Lesnar “doesn’t like to be hit.”
And of course, there are also the famous stories about Lesnar instructing his sparring partners not to hit him in practice … you know, because he doesn’t like to be hit.
Whether Brock’s diverticulitis was a factor in all this is uncertain — Alistair Overeem buckled Lesnar with a kick right to the gut that folded the WWE superstar. And you can’t underestimate the mental aspect of knowing your body isn’t performing as it should when the cage door closes. Regardless, if he wants to prove that he’s a different fighter now who can take a punch from a top UFC heavyweight, he’ll have the opportunity with Hunt, one of the hardest hitters in the sport.
Frank Mir knows all about that, too … Hunt knocked him out like it was no big deal back in March.