(Lesnar, pre penis tattoo.)
“If Brock Lesnar can back up all the things he’s saying, he might become the biggest star in mixed martial arts.”
Good God, the build-up to Brock Lesnar stepping into the cage this weekend at UFC 81 can only be likened to the feeling of downing three cans of refried beans with a twelve pack of Arrogant Bastard – then not being allowed access to the john. We’ve touched on this and have totally expected it, but when it’s actually here – it’s still a little overwhelming. Everywhere you turn, there is a Lesnar story, update, quote, picture of him scowling or a link to a new video. As if we couldn’t see enough of his penis tattoo…
As expected, the UFC is pushing the Brock drug on their site – they even print it twice on the page in case you have trouble reading it the first time:
UFC All Access: Brock Lesnar hosted by Rachelle Leah
Go behind the scenes to see how the former WWE star Brock Lesnar gets ready for a real battle against Frank Mir in his first fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The show’s premiere is this Thursday (January 31st) at midnight on Spike TV. It will show again on Saturday (February 2nd) at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. MMA Junkie also had a piece about the show. But wait…there’s more Lesnar for you pro-wrestling, NFL-hating fans. Bloody Elbow’s Luke Thomas has a good description of Lesnar’s abilities – or what we kinda’ know about them, at least via this video:
1. His striking is god awful. He has good power (I think), but this video clearly shows his rudimentary footwork and awkward guard position. People don’t realize it, but the stand-up game is incredibly complicated and takes a long time to master. 2+ years isn’t enough, not even for an athlete of Lesnar’s caliber.
2. He does look to pass the guard. This is a good sign for Lesnar. He’s not content to sit in guard. He actively works for better positioning once the fight hits the floor, a tactic that could easily overwhelm Mir if he’s not careful.
3. His wrestling is fantastic. We already knew this, but his reflexes in catching Kim’s kick and immediate knee-tap takedown are impressive.
4. He is aggressive from the outset. Expect Lesnar to close the distance on Mir very quickly and look to put him away with every punch or pass.
Beyond this, it’s hard to say anything else. We don’t know about his gas tank and we don’t know about his submission defense. I’m sure he’s working at break neck speed to bring those up to par, but until we’ve had a chance to evaluate them, they are unknowns. But all that and more could change Saturday.
We second those thoughts. MMA Forum has been on fire with Lesnar-related chatta’. As have many other forums and message boards – or any other redundantly-mentioned area where MMA fans can post their thoughts. And being a pro-wrestling/Dana White hype event, Wrestling Observer had a piece of news today as well:
Both WWE and TNA will be promoting the Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar matches over the next week.
UFC made deals with both companies. At the Royal Rumble tonight, there were signs all over the concourse at Madison Square Garden as well as on the big marquee for the Garden outside on 7th Avenue with video playing of Lesnar.
There will be a second piece airing on TNA Impact on Thursday. The feature will include both Kurt Angle, Lesnar and Mir putting over TNA, as well as hyping the UFC fight. The feature will also push fans to watch All Access: Brock Lesnar, which airs at midnight Thursday night on Spike.
There will be nothing on WWE television, although UFC commercials will be appearing in most markets during both Raw and Smackdown.
It’s like trying to swallow a bottle of horse pills all at once. The Houston Chronicle’s Chron.com had their normal MMA piece Sunday, and it was once again laced with Lesnar.
But when we were ready to read and hear all the Frank Mir press, we were met with the deafening sound of crickets. Any tips of the hat to Mir were mostly to point out that he has his work cut out for him. I’ve been honest from the beginning that I’m not on-board the phallic-tattoo express and I gotta’ feel bad for Mir – that a guy who has a track record of pissing people off and ditching his contracts – is getting the lion’s share of press.
On Saturday, the cage will be the place where all that will come to a head. We’ll be liveblogging it, Bitches, so mark your calendars. (Ed. Note: We know we just unintentionally added to the insane Lesnar press. It’s that whole driving past a car-accident thing, you know?)