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Lesnar vs. Coleman: Can We Talk?

At “Pride of a Champion,” newly inducted Hall of Famer Mark Coleman announced that he would be returning to the Octagon to fight Brock Lesnar. The match is slated to go down August 9th in Lesnar’s adopted hometown of Minneapolis; it will be Coleman’s first fight since losing to Fedor Emelianenko in October 2006 at PRIDE 32, and his first UFC appearance since 1999.

This is kind of like the UFC’s version of Kimbo Slice vs. Tank Abbott — the much-hyped new crossover star against the faded veteran. The major difference is that Tank, even in his prime, wasn’t worthy of hand-washing Mark Coleman’s jock. And unfortunately for Brock Lesnar, his strengths are basically canceled out in this matchup. Brock was a dominant amateur wrestler? So was Coleman. Brock’s got scary ground-and-pound? Mark Coleman invented that shit. Lesnar’s only advantages are youth and athleticism. Does that trump Coleman’s 12 years of ring experience, during which he threw down with legends like Dan Severn, Don Frye, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop, and Fedor?

In retrospect, putting Brock Lesnar up against Frank Mir in Lesnar’s first UFC fight was a bad, bad idea, and this could be just as bad, if not worse. Coleman lacks Mir’s submission mastery, but he’ll test Brock’s chin with his heavy hands, and he won’t go to the ground as easily as Mir did.

We’ve given EliteXC a lot of grief for protecting Kimbo Slice with cut-rate competition, but at least they understand how to build up a franchise star — one can at a time. I’m starting to wonder if building Brock Lesnar as an MMA star was even the UFC’s intention to begin with. Was Dana White’s secondary motivation behind signing him (after the huge PPV buys) to prove that pro wrestlers would get stomped by skilled MMA fighters? I’m not saying I would have particularly enjoyed seeing Lesnar face Justin McCully, but what happens after he goes 0-2?

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cujo85- June 24, 2008 at 11:51 pm
even when coleman was in his vein busting prime, he never had to face a larger
carbon copy of himself. he had a problem with stamina 10 years ago. i like
nostalgia as much as the next guy,but i dont see this ending well for coleman.
lesnar by dismemberment in two.
Edge Crusher- May 20, 2008 at 7:36 pm
People keep wondering what is going to happen if Brock goes 0-2. Well not much and that is no just because he brings a big draw but rather he will also put on a good show and fight. Dana has said in the past that he would rather someone fight and lose than not fight and win. He has stuck true to his word. There has been guys I have seen 3-4 times and keep getting fights because they bring it. On the other hand boring guys that lose once or twice are always out on their ass instantaneously!

With that said, anyone in the UFC can fight and has a fighters chance at winning but that is all Coleman has right now. Lesnar will stomp a hole in Coleman and will either beat coleman in the first or will break his will for the rest of the fight with the pace brock sets.
onebadlmtd- March 7, 2008 at 9:45 pm
I like how some feel that Brock and Kimbo are chumps and "fake fighters" but the same people feel that Koscheck and the majority TUF guys are real. Koscheck has evolved his standup and is a legit contender in the welterweight class. Forrest Griffin is fighting for the LHW title in the summer and neither one of those guys have been fighting for 10 years. Bottom line is that both of these guys are monsters and are actually intelligent fighters that will be the future of the HW class. I saw the Mir jockeying for the knee bar for what seemed like hours and Brock missed it...... I am sure that with 6 months of dedicated BJJ training Brock will be very versed in submission defense and be the champion within 2 years. As for Steroids, the guys is down to 285 from 310 in his WWE Days.....I highly doubt hes still juicing especially since they know he trains where sherk does and tested him multiple times. Its called hard work and great Genetics.
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Dave- March 4, 2008 at 6:59 am
Erica, I was thinking the same thing. Lesnar by DQ, or KO if they end up testing Coleman before the fight and replace him with a 3 day notice can.
erica- March 3, 2008 at 7:44 pm
You're kidding about the possibility that coleman will win, right? They test for steroids here in the US.
Scuba Steve- March 3, 2008 at 5:01 am
^ they have 5 MMA fights between the two of them.

Put a guy in his 3rd MMA fight ever against Cro Cop... good call.
Kimbo is lame- March 2, 2008 at 10:29 pm
Because they what brock to have a chance at winning. Brock and Kimbo are a joke. They know if they put these wannabe mma fighters in the cage they will make money. But the reality is if they put these wannabes in a cage with true mma fighters Kimbo and Brock would get their asses beat. Kimbo could have a chance at being a reputable fighter but he still has not fought a true mma fighter, thus all he is, is a tool to make a buck
Thomas- March 2, 2008 at 9:28 pm
Why is the UFC pulling these older fighters out of the wood work, come on Evan Tanner, Coleman? whats up with that? Why not someone like Gonzaga, Cro Cop, Kongo? Someone who can actually prove if Brock is a contender in today's current class.
Josh- March 2, 2008 at 6:26 pm
wow, thanks for the unfounded steroids claim.... he's this big for ten years and you've finally uncovered the truth.... the NCAA + MMA testing couldn't find it but you did.... hooray for you.

By the way, the presidential nomination is big in the news now too... maybe you could include that into your next comment.
Jemaleddin- March 2, 2008 at 6:15 pm
After Brock loses, I want to see him drop to LHW. Sure the cut will mean he's got to stop doing steroids, and yes, he'll be the Bizarro Bary Bonds, but it'll be worth it to see him losing against an even smaller group of opponents.
Popetastic- March 2, 2008 at 5:49 pm
I like this matchup. I am going to root for Coleman like crazy. If Brock does win, then it gives him that coveted legitimacy.

If he loses, I don't necessarily think it's the end of he world. They'll just have to feed him a scrub like McCully for his third fight.
berg- March 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm
after trashing elite xc for bo cantrell and kimbo it seems a bit strange to attack the UFC for not feeding brock easy fights. Mir was tough, but coleman. Coleman is old, slow and lacking in the area that saved frank mir's life, his submission game. The Coleman fight, while still being somewhat competetive is essentially a freebie for Brock
tusker- March 2, 2008 at 5:05 pm
i dunno...seems like the perfect fight for Brock, a much better fit than Mir. Coleman's best chance is the ground-&-pound, which I can't see him pulling off against someone with Lesnar's size and strength.

personally, i would love seeing Coleman win. brock's a chump.
Old, Bald and Irish- March 2, 2008 at 4:51 pm
What indeed does happen if Lesnar goes 0-2 in the UFC?

That's a really good point. It's cool to get the "big attraction" fights with a big pay day for the UFC, but if Brock doesn't start putting some numbers in the win column....that's not gonna look good.

I really get the feeling that the UFC sees something more in Brock than his last 2 fights have demonstrated. Dana must see some huge potential in Lesnar or he wouldn't be putting him up against such big names right off the bat. I mean, could Brock have beaten Mir? If the ref hadn't stopped the fight, Brock had Mir. No doubt about it. Could Brock beat Coleman? Potentially, yes. Will he? I dunno. 12 years of MMA experience counts for a lot!
rheindog- March 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm
coleman always reminded me of a mamas boy version of bruce willis. hes got weird social issues, but hes a good fighter, although i think brock can take this one by athleticism, hopefully coleman will get out to vegas and train with baroni and work subs. This fight will be a bigger draw than mir lesnar in my opinion, colemans still pretty famous, he was in some documentary a while back, maybe that one with kerr, maybe another can't remember.
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