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Fact or Crap: Is Lesnar Really Going to Try to Fight Carwin as a Southpaw?

(VidProps: MMA Weekly)

Brock Lesnar could have a lot of things working against him when he climbs into the cage tonight for UFC 116 – a long layoff, possible lingering effects of a career-threatening disease, his most dangerous challenger to date and the concentrated hatred of all the good and decent people of the world, just to name a few. With so much already on his plate, it was a little weird earlier this week when Lesnar disclosed that he used some of the extra time off he had while recovering from that hole God put in his stomach lining to switch from an orthodox striking stance to southpaw for his fight with Shane Carwin.

Maybe it’s the smirk on Lesnar’s face during the opening seconds of the above video, but it’s hard not to wonder: Is Brock just fucking with us? Does he really intend to try to fight Carwin as a lefty tonight? Or is this just some gamesmanship on the part of the former WWE wrestler?

As Lesnar mentioned this week – and as Carwin astutely points out in the vid – it’s not totally unheard of for wrestlers to prefer the southpaw stance. It puts their dominant leg forward, essentially resetting them into the wrestling stance they used in college and helps them fire off their takedown attempts. So, in light of the notion that Lesnar won’t want to mess around much with Carwin’s striking attack, perhaps going left-handed makes perfect sense.

On the other hand, I can’t shake the nagging feeling that “switching stances” is something fighters generally do right before they get knocked the fuck out.  For a guy like Lesnar, who is still essentially a novice in the punching and kicking department, it seems like a big risk to take headed into the biggest fight of his life against a knockout artist like Carwin. Especially considering that Carwin’s one advantage in this fight – besides sheer experience – might be his stand-up game. Is switching to southpaw going to make Lesnar’s shot so much better that it’s worth taking any added danger on the feet?
The other concern is that moving to a left-handed stance might rob Lesnar of the one punch we’ve seen him use effectively thus far in his MMA career: The straight right.

He made Heath Herring do somersaults with that laser right hand in the early stages of their fight at UFC 87 and dropped new best bud Randy Couture with it before finishing him with spastic hammerfists in the second round of their bout at UFC 91. If that right hand is suddenly out front and essentially turns into a jab, will it still be as devastating?

Lesnar said he brought noted striking coach Peter Welch into his private Minnesota-based training camp to help him make the switch. That sounds like a lot of trouble to go through unless he really is planning on going lefty tonight.  I guess you have to give a guy like Welch the benefit of the doubt. Still, if the strategy was in some way to mess with Carwin and trainer Trevor Wittman – either by bluffing or actually switching to southpaw – it doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect. Carwin sounded as cool and collected as ever when asked about the change at this week’s press conference.

“Everybody can switch stances in mixed martial arts,” Carwin says above. “I train with guys that do that all the time. The wrestlers predominantly like to come out southpaw because that’s how they used to wrestle, so it would not be a surprise (for Lesnar to do it).”

Not a surprise and maybe not that smart, either.

Cagepotato Comments

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budsellers- July 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm
word BCC! i should not have used the term "championship caliber"; which is why i had already edited that post while you were writing your post.

however, as hammerhead pointed out carwin still has less than a few minutes of cage times logged vs any credible opponents and both were/are on the down side of their careers.

like i said, i want carwin to win. i really dislike lesnar.
tallkitchenbags- July 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm
fuck lesnar. that stupid redneck needs to get shut up. i hope carwin lays a serious hurt on the guy.
fatbellyfrank- July 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm
@Harry Nips LOL my freind, I want Carwin to win cause I like his attitude better, and as I said somewhere on a previous post( shouldn't post drunk so often)

Lesnar=Beats people up
Carwin = Knocks people out
Oversimplified I know, but that'll do me to drop a tenspot on Shano
jgrant- July 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm
I hope Brock beats Carwin to hell. I'd really love it if he just opened up with a headkick and destroyed Carwin.
Ballkick- July 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm
BigCountrysChol... Says:
Sat, 07/03/2010 - 11:53
I am so pumped for this. Last time a heavyweight fight got me this excited I ended up getting tickets, and then getting screwed by Josh Barnett's love of the horse spunk.

Fuck dude I shot Coke zero outta my nose when I read that.....Priceless!
HammerheaD- July 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Since I already saw the list of Brocks "high calibur" opponents, wheres the list of Carwins? Excluding Mir and Gonzaga: Carlton Jones, Casey Jackson, Jay McCown, Justice Smith, Chris Guillen, Rick Slaton, Rex Richards, Sherman Pendergarst, Christian Wellisch, and Neil Wain. Im all for a good fight and let the best man win but im not gonna pretend Carwins been slaughtering championship hopefuls. Lesnar TKO rd2
howardsternspenis- July 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm
oh man i so hope brock the cock gets beat into a mass of bloody tissue. i would die happy if i got to see that stupid mother fuckers face smashed into a million pieces. i have never hated an individual i have never met more in my life. sadam < lesnar, bin laden < lesnar, bush < lesnar, courney love < lesnar.....and so on and so forth. point being that i hate that mother fucker....
Clyde- July 3, 2010 at 11:44 am
I think he will fight lefty because it makes his biggest advantage bigger. It makes sense to train to box southpaw if you do plan on fighting a wrestling based strategy, that way he doesn't telegraph that he's about to shoot by switching stances, while still being able to exchange to a good level.

You have to consider that Brock is new enough to the striking game that it's not as though he's got a lot of habits to break in terms of his stance while sparring.

I'm also amazed that if you lined up all of Carwin's opponents to this point as a continuous match, he still wouldn't have reached a decision yet. Not even close to a 5 rounder.

Here's hoping you don't need to go past 15 minutes total this time through.
BigCountrysCholesterol- July 3, 2010 at 10:53 am
Budsellers, those are interesting points. But I am feisty today. The 'championship caliber' opponents in Brock's win column are as follows: A Korean can, Heath Herring (who has lost every single big fight he was ever in), Frank Mir (a guy Carwin utterly destroyed in 3 minutes), and Couture. As far as I see it, Brock's victory over Couture is the only "extra" Championship caliber fight Brock has on Shane. And I believe Carwin's 1 round drubbing of Gonzaga - while not quite as significant - still stacks up nicely against that. Gonzo is a big mean dude who whooped Brock's main training partner. I think Lesnar and Shane are as even as they could be. And you just cant hold a guy's lack of ring time against him if he has been in a dozen fights, all of which he ended prematurely by way of uberviolence on his part. I am so pumped for this. Last time a heavyweight fight got me this excited I ended up getting tickets, and then getting screwed by Josh Barnett's love of the horse spunk.
budsellers- July 3, 2010 at 10:40 am
i am down with carwin and against the fool who badmouths opponents and sponsors, but the claim that lesnar has less experience is not actually true from all perspectives...

in terms of actual cage fighting time as well as time spent fighting vs credible opponents, lesnar has approx 3 times as much time logged in actual cage fights and most of that time was vs a champion.

source: at the end of the weigh in show, joe rogan read their stats and average fight lengths. doing some simple math shows that lesnar has approx 39.5 minutes of total fight experience(7:51 per fight) and carwin only has a little more than 13 minutes of total fight experience(1:08 per fight).
imabigfan- July 3, 2010 at 10:34 am
bonus points for tranquilizer dart toting referees. Well played, Harry Nips.
MediumRare- July 3, 2010 at 10:22 am
Brock's strength is obviously his wrestling and if he wins this fight it will be with his wrestling. So if switching to southpaw helps his wrestling game it isn't a bad idea at all.

His best defense to being tagged by Carwin is putting
Carwin on his back. Early and often.

I got Lesnar by GnP TKO 3rd round. Speed and ferocity are the ultimate trump cards in MMA and Lesnar has plenty of both.
dgabriel88- July 3, 2010 at 9:45 am
Brock stood south paw when he faced off to Carwin at the weigh-in too so maybe he will fight like this... Carwin FTW
Almost North- July 3, 2010 at 9:18 am
Just because The Brocken is stop-motion animated doesn't mean he has no brain. Thats just racist and ignorant.
dranokills- July 3, 2010 at 8:55 am
"Locnar" has no gamemanship, he has no brain. he is just full of shit, and tonight I hope he gets his head busted open.
newdeal- July 3, 2010 at 8:44 am
I don't care too much who wins, although i am rooting for lesnar simply as a throwback to my youth when i watched wwf. Regardless if carwin wins that is fine too but i really hope is isn't quick and i really hope that if he rocks lesnar that lesnar recovers and makes a good showing before losing just because he card is so weak without that fight it would be pretty crappy if it was over in a minute
Canadian Chronic- July 3, 2010 at 8:38 am
Hope Carwin smashes his face in
cecils_pupils- July 3, 2010 at 8:35 am
I say it's Crap. He's doing all he can to get in Shane's head... and it just ain't workin'.

Best part:

Shane - "yeah when Brock said the belt was fake it went *poof*"
The Truth- July 3, 2010 at 8:23 am
Im figuring Brocks plan is to take Carwin down and wear him out. He knows Carwin has never fought past the first round, and may get worn out. It could quite possibly be a ugly wrestling match..
Harry Nips- July 3, 2010 at 8:14 am
I feel bad for the poor fuck who has to ref this fight. I know I wouldn't want to be the guy between these two shaved apes. They should just give the ref a tranquilizer gun they use on elephants and let him sit on top of the cage out of harms way.
Caveman Curtis- July 3, 2010 at 8:09 am
That's what you get you "first" bastards.
Caveman Curtis- July 3, 2010 at 8:06 am
He's just getting Shane to think about different things during the fight I think.
But I say Fact, he'll switch back and forth.or maybe he's been working on his right hook.