MMA legend Bas Rutten has asked during an interview with Submission Radio what he thought of Brock Lesnar’s retirement from MMA to stay with WWE, and his answer was on the money: Lesnar made the right call because he can’t take a punch, and UFC is (for lack of a more delicate phrase) Face Punch City, b*tch.
“Yes, it’s the right decision … No, he shouldn’t do MMA anymore, because you could tell that he didn’t enjoy to get hit. You know? And I’m not saying that a fighter needs to enjoy getting hit, but at least they shouldn’t be afraid of it. Once you start looking away from punches, that means that something you’re doing wrong here. Either in training you’re not going all the way, or they tell their sparring partners that they cannot hit the head.
It’s something that is not forbidden. You cannot shy away from punches, because that doesn’t work in Mixed Martial Arts. You have to fix that problem. We didn’t see him fix it over the time. If the heart is not in it, man it’s like with me, after I lost my last time I was so angry with myself. I could not believe that I still couldn’t do the ground game. I just started doing it two to three times a day, every day, and then suddenly it started clicking. Click, click, click, you know? You work on your weaknesses. That’s what you do. And you know I didn’t see that with him. He’s a phenomenal athlete, don’t get me wrong, but yeah. No, I think it’s the right decision for him.”
Here’s the full interview. Lesnar talk starts at 32:45.
That’s a wise analysis, and you have to really consider who Brock Lesnar is when wondering why he won’t work on his weaknesses. If you’re Brock Lesnar, how do you even KNOW your weaknesses? You’re giant and quick and have succeeded in basically everything you’ve ever tried to do, and you work out by carrying cut-down trees on your shoulder for fun. How do you process something as simple as, “I don’t know what to do when someone punches me?” How many times did Lesnar get punched for real between puberty and UFC? Who would do that outside of guys who’ve trained their entire lives and get paid to?
I also would’ve accepted it if Rutten’s answer had been, “suplexing John Cena is one of Lesnar’s strengths, and he wouldn’t be able to do that in UFC, so yeah, he made the right decision.”