- BROCK LESNAR: "I STRIVE TO BE THE BEST"
Thursday, August 07, 2008 - by Mitch Gobetz - MMAWeekly.com
When it was first announced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that Brock Lesnar would be fighting for them, many people were skeptical of his fighting ability. A former WWE superstar and NCAA wrestling national champion, he is an unbelievable athlete with astounding quickness for his size.
If there is one thing you can’t deny, it’s that Lesnar was not given an easy debut opponent in the Octagon. He was pitted against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. When the fight started, it looked like Lesnar was going to buzz saw right through the former champion. He took Mir down immediately and proceeded to unleash a brutal series of strikes. But in a transition, Mir instinctively tangled up Lesnar’s leg and caught him in a kneebar.
If nothing else, everyone saw that Brock Lesnar is for real, but still a newcomer to the sport. With more experience, however, he could become a legitimate contender in the heavyweight division.
Now he will make his return to the Octagon on Saturday night against “The Texas Crazy Horse” Heath Herring. Lesnar spoke with MMAWeekly Radio about his upcoming bout. “Everything is good. Just wrapping things up this week,” said the Minnesota native. “I had a solid training camp. I couldn't ask for anything more except a victory.”
Taking on top opposition is something that Lesnar is accustomed to and with an experienced veteran like Herring; once again, he will have a tough task ahead.
“I think it's something I had to do in general. I don't know any different. I didn't want any hand-me-outs or anything like that,” said a confident Lesnar. “If I was going to do this, I'm going to do this full blown. I've been an athlete my whole life. He has more fights than I do and more experience, I guess, in the fight game, but this camp I really surrounded myself with many different people. I brought Travis Wiuff into this camp. I brought in Brad Imes. Just different guys to challenge me in different areas. It was a good camp.”
There’s a famous saying that you learn from your mistakes. Lesnar is a student of the game and had realized the biggest mistake he made against Mir. “Just be patient. I have 15 minutes to win this fight. I just got to be smart. I showed a little immaturity on my behalf by making a wrong move. If Brock Lesnar were to fight the Brock Lesnar then, I'd beat him. I just try to learn and grow and evolve my game every game. I'm just eager to learn and evolve and I have to if I want to be a contender in the heavyweight division. I've always had the mindset that I don't know everything. You learn something new every day. That's the honest-to-God truth.”
Heath Herring has fought some of the top fighters in this sport including Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Due to his long-standing career, Lesnar has had an opportunity to review his fights. “I feel very confident going into this fight. We really left no stone unturned. With Heath, we know his game plan. We kind of know what he's all about. We're going to try to control this fight and not get excited about anything really. Pick and choose my openings and come away with a victory.
“Heath has had a long career. I don't know if he's at the end of his career or not. We're prepared for whatever Heath Herring shows up that night. There're many different Heaths and we're prepared for all of them and I believe it.”
Herring isn’t called the Texas Crazy Horse for no reason. He’s an extremely talented, capricious fighter. Lesnar believes that may be the most difficult part of training for him. “The hardest part of training for Heath was is that he's unpredictable,” stated Lesnar. “You don't know what he's going to bring that evening. Our main goal in this fight is just to suffocate him and control him. There's no surprises. For me, I'm full boar. I'm going to stay close to him and avoid his kicks and his solid right hand. I believe on the ground, we're going to control him.”
UFC 87 will take place in Minneapolis, Minn., which is Lesnar’s back yard. Excessive traveling had a major role in his decision to not pursue his professional wrestling career. A fight in his home state is right up his alley. “For me, I don't have to get on a damn airplane. I'm going to sleep in my own bed. I think home field advantage plays a big part. But you know Heath is going to try to come here and take that away from me, but I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen.”
There has been a lot of speculation that this fight is do-or-die for Lesnar. He believes that he needs a win here to keep himself afloat in the UFC. “For me, I've lost my debut fight and like I said, I'm a sore loser. I don't want to lose. It's going to be gangbusters on Aug. 9 to win. Look at anybody. You don't see anybody hanging around in the UFC with a losing record,” said Lesnar.
However, win or lose, he doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon. “This is my job. I'm here. As long as I'm winning and as long as I'll be a contender in the heavyweights, I'll be around for a while.”
The one thing that defines who Brock Lesnar is as a person is his perseverance and his desire to excel at any task. He believes that is why he is the athlete that he is today and why he can set lofty goals for himself. “I strive to be the best at whatever I do. That has never changed. My plan is to one day hold the UFC heavyweight belt. I haven't changed my mind at all.”
Well he definitely has the potential to be the best, still new to the MMA game and his fight against Mir and his attitude post fight shows that he knows he is still a working progress. I hope he wins against Herring as a lose could see him out of the UFC.