(Next big thing, or MMA’s Ryan Leaf?)
With a blockbuster UFC 87 lineup as our fodder, it’s time again for Cage Potato’s editors to argue like an old married couple that only got hitched because of an unexpected pregnancy. We don’t love each other and yet we don’t know enough to expect better from our lives, so here we are. In this edition we debate topics such as what’s to become of Brock Lesnar on Saturday night and beyond, who will be the number one lightweight contender when the dust finally settles, will Rampage Jackson be back in the UFC any time soon, and more. Let’s grimly get it on.
Will Brock Lesnar revive his MMA career with this fight, or will he officially be a bust once UFC 87 is in the books?
Fowlkes: Clearly the UFC isn’t interested in giving Brock Lesnar a lay-up to help jumpstart his MMA career, and you have to respect that. Heath Herring is tough and experienced and, had a couple things gone differently for him, he could easily be the top heavyweight contender right now instead of Frank Mir, who won all of two straight fights to achieve that distinction.
Lesnar is a physical specimen who is athletically gifted, this we know. But what else do we know about him? He hates airplanes and gays, prizes staying home, and is vulnerable to submissions. Basically, we don’t know what he’s really capable of as an MMA fighter. Strength won’t be enough against Herring (who will have spent the last couple months drilling his wrestling if he has any sense at all) and strength is about all we can count on from Lesnar at this point.
Herring is too crafty a veteran to get overwhelmed by pure power. He’s going to pick Lesnar apart on the feet and submit him late in the second or early in the third, and when he does you should turn up your TV so you can actually hear the air going out of Lesnar’s hype balloon. The UFC will give him a young up-and-comer next, just to see what he has left, but this is the point where he goes from a top prospect to another guy fighting for contract survival.
Goldstein: Yeah, Herring’s probably been drilling his wrestling. You know who else has been drilling his wrestling? Brock Lesnar. I wouldn’t be surprised if either fighter pulled a win out of this match, but there’s one thing that’s guaranteed: At some point, Herring will be taken down and put on his back. Seriously.