Brock Lesnar is in Las Vegas this week for UFC 200, and he’s looking surprisingly relaxed for a guy who’s about to step back into the Octagon for the first time since 2011. Especially considering he faces Mark Hunt, one of the hardest hitters in the heavyweight division. But the big man has made a career of defying expectations, so you’ll excuse him if he’s arrived with the quiet confidence of a man who won the heavyweight championship the last time he joined the UFC.
“It was now or never. If you’re gonna do it, do it before it slips away,” he told the UFC’s Megan Olivi in a recent interview. “It’s been five years and it’s been a long time, I feel great, I feel like a kid again. I feel really good. I’m excited about this and training camp has gone so well, everything is just great. Everything is lining up.”
As for his opponent, Brock isn’t underestimating him, but he’s not putting him up on a pedestal either.
“We all know Mark Hunt is a heavy hitter, but he’s beatable too. It’s not like the guy hasn’t been knocked out or hasn’t been beat. I’m sure he’s going to be looking for the big knock out, and I’ll be watching for it, and trying to defend against it. I’m not scared of getting hit by Mark Hunt. I’ve got confidence in my striking abilities too, so we’ll see. I don’t know where the fight is going to end up, but I’ve went over this fight a million times in my head and my hand is raised every time.”
Regarding the shortened camp, Lesnar credits the workouts and exercise routines he maintains year round in WWE for helping make the transition to the UFC easier. As for the martial arts portion of things, he may have a few tricks up his sleeve.
“It’s not like I’ve been sitting on the couch for five years,” he said. “Not to say it wasn’t hard. But if I had been sitting on the couch for five years, it would have been next to impossible.”
“In this camp, our slogan was keep it simple, keep it fun and that’s what we did. We trained out in the woods and we had a really good time. I had a great group of guys and we just kept it fun. But we did battle and there were days where it wasn’t so fun … but we pretended it was. My life is pretty simple, I’m not a bells and whistles guy.”
That keep it simple ethos is what brought Brock to Saskatchewan, Canada, where he hopes to teach his kids the value of a hard day’s work on the farm. Lesnar’s family is something he’s left largely out of the picture when dealing with WWE, so it’s interesting to see him opening up here and sharing personal stories from his private life.
We’ll see how this back to basics approach helps Lesnar in his battle with Mark Hunt this Saturday July 9 at UFC 200.