Was It Time For Brock Lesnar To Retire From MMA?
When Brock Lesnar came to the UFC, he brought the sport a ton of mainstream attention. Many anticipated the 6’3″, 265lbs monster of a man to be little more than a sideshow, thanks to his WWE background and the fact that he only had one MMA fight before UFC president Dana White decided to bring him into the Octagon.
Boy, were we wrong.
Despite losing his first fight in the UFC to former champion Frank Mir at UFC 81, Lesnar demonstrated a unique athletic ability and brute strength that put the entire heavyweight division on notice. All he needed was a little bit of polish. In his next fight, Lesnar fought Heath Herring, crushed his orbital bone with a right hand, and dominated the veteran en route to a unanimous decision victory. Rather than being tossed cream puffs, Lesnar was thrown to the wolves again when he faced future hall-of-famer at UFC 91 for the UFC heavyweight title. Any concerns that Lesnar wasn’t ready for the big time were put to rest when Lesnar scored a resounding 2nd round TKO and became the champion in only his fourth professional fight. So much for not being ready.
Since then, a bout with the intestinal disorder diverticulitis had taken a toll on the champion as Lesnar was forced out of action as he struggled with whether or not his MMA career would continue. A lesser man might have called it quits, but Lesnar made a valiant return and survived a five minute drubbing at the hands of Shane Carwin before coming back and scoring a second round submission victory. It would be the last time Lesnar would see his hand raised in victory.
A first round knockout at the hands of Cain Velasquez and this past Saturday’s beatdown courtesy of Alistair Overeem sent Lesnar into retirement. Perhaps not just because he lost twice in a row, but more than likely because of all he has had to deal with upon returning to the cage. The struggle with diverticulitis, his still relatively green professional record and the fact that he simply doesn’t like to be hit all compounded into Lesnar’s decision to retire.
But let’s be clear, there’s nothing wrong with Lesnar walking away from the sport. He accomplished so much in so little time while defying the odds of both skeptics and his doctors who felt that he shouldn’t compete any longer. No other fighter has done so much for the UFC in eight fights as Lesnar has. He’ll be remembered for his larger than life persona, extraordinary athletic ability, and dedication to the sport.
We won’t be mad if he ever decided to return to the WWE for a one-off either.