Sunday, November 16, 2008

The King is Dead...

Last night, Randy "the Natural" Couture returned to the Octagon to defend his heavyweight belt versus the up-and-coming rock slab of human named Brock Lesnar. With similar skill sets (wrestling background, speed, tenacity) the advantage was to Lesnar from the onset, as he is fast and powerful, requiring custom 4XL gloves to cover the hams he calls "fists." Good blows were traded back and forth, but Lesnar could not be overcome and Randy fell at 3:07 in the second round, with Lesnar the winner by TKO. The king is dead. Brock Lesnar is undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. What now, then? Has a reign of terror begun?

Yes and no. Frank Mir and Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira are set to fight on December 27 at UFC 92 and the winner of that fight will most certainly be next in line for a title shot. While both are jiu-jitsu specialists (remember the footbar Frank caught Brock in, way back in February?), I don't think that Brock is quite as one-dimensional as some make him out to be. I really do think he has staying power, especially if he's as serious about hard work as he told Joe Rogan post fight last night. Discounting the wild card that is Randy Couture (Will he stay in the Octagon at age 45?) and pending Fedor Emelianenko's willingness to fight for a real belt (Affliction = lame), I foresee only two serious threats to the new top dog. Both Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo have size and skill.

Gonzaga was especially impressive in his dismantling of Josh Hendricks last night. One thing that interests me about the Brazilian-born black-belt is that he does not talk through an interpreter any more but answers questions in English. Granted, his English is slow and somewhat broken but I think that his willingness to do his own interviews speaks to both his heart (fighter heart, not spiritual heart) and his overall commitment to his game. You may remember Gabe from his title shot against Randy 15 months ago (Randy's last outing in the ring until last night). Gonzaga got his butt kicked to pieces, although he did manage to break Randy's arm with a kick himself, but the fighter I saw last night has come a long way since that humiliation. Might he be the one to end Brock's reign? Time will tell, but in case he does, remember you heard it here first.

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At 4:42 PM , Blogger Patrick and Ashley Fitzgibbon said...

Last night was easy to call but I think most of us were clinging to a "superman" like Randy, that he could fly in the air and donkey kong Brock! Brock had several ways he could win, randy only one.

I think "Big Nog" is elusive enough on his feet to force Brock into a take down, which would be his demise. I can think of a couple of Heavy Weights that are more skilled, Brock has a lot of growing to do. I predict he will lose his title defense.

Missed you last night.


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