Brock Lesnar had his fair share of doubters entering UFC 200.. Let’s be honest, very few gave him a chance to defeat the ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt.
Mark Hunt’s highlight package had both the casual and hardcore MMA fans convinced that he’d take Lesnar’s face-off in the octagon. They ignored the fact that Hunt entered with a 12-10-1 professional record and hadn’t faced a grappler the caliber of Brock since Fedor.
Ignoring the hype, Lesnar wasted no time dictating the direction of the fight. He landed several takedowns in the first round and had just gained full-mount positioning as the round came to an end. As Brock would later say, “Mark Hunt knocked the rust off.”
— #UFC200 (@ufc) July 10, 2016
The second round, which many scored for Hunt, was still a major proving point for Lesnar. Hunt was able to sprawl out of three Lesnar takedown attempts and force Brock to fight on his feet. Lesnar showed the ability to block Hunt’s short jabs and absorb a few over-hand rights. The same punches many expected Hunt to land for a monster knockout.
In the third round Lesnar took control and within the first minute Brock had Hunt on the canvas. The killer instinct was back and Hunt was its casualty.
After trying for several minutes to finish Hunt with ground-and-pound the bell sounded and Lesnar knew he’d achieved his goal. The formalities of the hand raise and post-fight interview were just a cherry on top. Lesnar was not only back in the octagon, he was now a Top 10 heavyweight.
The question now looms, will being Top-10 in the world be enough?
During his post-fight press conference, which was held 20 minutes before everyone else’s, Lesnar was asked if he’d have to ask Vince McMahon permission to compete in the UFC again, his response was vintage Brock.
“Lets get one thing clear, Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants to do,” said Lesnar. “I believe that my future is laid out for the next month. I’m doing SummerSlam against Randy Orton and once the dust settles there I don’t know what I’m going to do. I had one helluva time tonight and I enjoyed myself.”
Brock finally conquered looming spectre that had followed him for six years. He now knows that when healthy he can achieve anything he sets his sights on.
“I’m a 39-year-old man and I’m pretty proud of myself,” said Lesnar. “I’m older, when I decided to make this comeback it was a hard decision. I’m glad I did it. If you don’t stick your neck out, you’re not going to accomplish anything.”
When asked if he would be open to returning for another UFC fight Brock kept his response short & sweet.
“Never say never.”
The next time fans will see Lesnar competing it’ll be in the squared circle but something about the look in his eyes, mostly the one not swollen shut at the post-fight presser, says that there’s a new fire building inside the Beast Incarnate. One that can only be satisfied by gold.
Flip the Page to See Highlights From Lesnar’s Press Conference…