Brock Lesnar: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of his UFC 116 Victory

Nov 15, 2008 - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - UFC's BROCK LESNAR celebrates his victory over Champion RANDY COUTURE in their title fight Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. Lesnar won the title and the fight in 3:07 of the second round after the referee stopped the fight Photo via Newscom

I wanted to chew on UFC 116 for a few days before I really made any statements about it. The event took place last Saturday and featured the heavyweight collision between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin.

Lesnar won the fight by second round submission after taking a pummeling from Carwin in round one. It was a compelling fight and very entertaining, but I think Lesnar is garnering a little too much praise for his performance. While you have to give credit where credit is due, as he won the fight, Lesnar looked far from polished. Here is a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from his title defense.

The Good: Obviously the good came in the win. He survived a hail storm and still came out in the second round and was aggressive. Lesnar also showed improved skills on the ground, as he scored a takedown and transitioned into mount and then into a head-and-arm choke from side control. These were all things he probably couldn’t do two years ago. I was also impressed with the way Lesnar handled himself after the fight. He seems to have embraced a little humanity since his health scare in November.

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Dana White a big winner in Fedor’s loss

The MMA world was turned upside down Saturday night when Fabricio Werdum submitted Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce’s Fedor vs. Werdum event.

Fedor had not lost since 2000, winning 27-striaght fights in that span. He was considered by many as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world due to his dominance in Pride, Affliction, and now Strikeforce. Yet, there he was being submitted by Werdum, a man who had never really risen to any sort of iconic status in his career and was largely thought to be a lamb for slaughter to Fedor on Saturday.

The upset has an impact in many ways, but there isn’t anyone happier about it, including Werdum, than UFC President Dana White.

White has been the face of MMA from an organizational standpoint for years now and his company, Zuffa Entertainment, has completely held the top spot in the MMA world.

White has signed all the top fighters and put on all the top fights over the last five years, yet he could never ink the highly sought-after Fedor Emelianenko.

Despite numerous attempts and record-setting contract offers, Fedor would never sign with the UFC because the organization would not co-promote his fights with his management company at M-1 Global. Fedor had the ability to hold power in contract talks because of the status he had reached in MMA through his record winning streak.

The failed contract talks spewed a lot of negativity between White and Fedor, but it also made White look bad. Despite all of his criticisms of Fedor, you knew he wanted to sign him and bring him to the UFC to see just where he stood among the heavyweights in that division.

With Fedor down to two fights on his Strikeforce contract heading into Saturday’s bout, the UFC had one last attempt to sign him over the next year. Now, with the loss, that urgency on the UFC’s part is completely gone.

Not only did Fedor lose, not only did he lose in just over one minute, but he lost to a man that the UFC cut because they didn’t feel he was worth his contract.

Werdum has lost in the octagon to Andrei Arlovski and Junior dos Santos, but he just beat Fedor without landing a strike.

Now when contract talks come around, White can look at know that he doesn’t have to sign him to prove anything. If anything, now Fedor has to prove himself against UFC heavyweights like Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, dos Santos, and Cain Velasquez.

Now White can proclaim he has the top fighters in the world in the heavyweight division and in the pound-for-pound category. Trust me, as smug as it might be to make a big deal out of it in the media, White won’t hesitate to do so.

So while Werdum is enjoying his night of success, White is feeling like its Christmas day.

Top 10 Pound for Pound MMA Fighters in the World 4/29/10

It has been some time since I released a top 10 pound-for-pound list, with my last edition coming all the way back in August of last year. There have been some changes and the bottom of the list was tough to determine, but I feel pretty good about this group. I am basing this list over the past few years and using this criteria to make my choices: Quality of wins (i.e. stoppages), Quality of opponents, Amount of damage taken in fights, and Establishment of all-around skills in the cage. Now that the criteria has been addressed, here we go.

1. Anderson Silva – 26-4 – UFC Middleweight Champion: Silva’s last fight was embarrassing for the UFC, but it again displayed how dominant he is. He literally took two rounds off and still won a unanimous decision and in the three rounds he tried, he landed every shot he threw while dodging every shot Demian Maia threw at him. When he gets challenged, Silva quickly runs through his opponents, like Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin. When guys don’t come at him, like Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, the fights are unwatchable. Bottom line, it is hard to see someone beating this guy and I still think he could step up to heavyweight someday and give Brock Lesnar a run for his money.

2. Georges St. Pierre – 20-2 – UFC Welterweight Champion: GSP hasn’t been challenged since facing Josh Koscheck at UFC 74. The champion has cruised through his opponents and the only complaint against him has been his inability to finish recent opponents. Still, stopping B.J. Penn and dominating Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, and Dan Hardy is pretty impressive and a potential fight with Koscheck again or slugger Paul Daley or even Jake Shields keeps things exciting with GSP.

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Saturday MMA Review: 6/20

Here’s a weekly rundown of MMA content from Ben Goldstein of

– Rich Franklin edged out Wanderlei Silva and Cain Velasquez dominated Cheick Kongo at UFC 99 last Saturday. Also, Mirko Cro Cop defeated Mostapha Al Turk via illegal eye-pokes, then told the UFC to kiss his ass.

– We saw some crazy knockouts this week, including Tim Sylvia getting wrecked by a 50-year old boxer, a brilliant flying knee KO at a Bellator show [], and a 9-second head-kick finish followed by a flying referee tackle.

– Brock Lesnar is built like a black man, still not a fan of the gays.

– Team U.K.’s James Wilks cruised to the welterweight finals on Wednesday’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter, ending a season that didn’t really live up to the hype.

– MMA model Penny Mathis’s breasts may not be real, but they’re still fabulous.

– Shaquille O’Neal is seriously considering a switch to MMA after finishing his basketball career, and wants to start off by beating up the giant Korean who smashed Jose Canseco.

– When Cris Cyborg chokes out a reporter, that’s just her polite way of saying she’s finished with the interview.

– Come back tonight [Saturday] at 9 p.m. ET/PT for our liveblog of the Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale show, which will feature Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida, Nate Diaz vs. Joe Stevenson, and the lightweight and welterweight TUF finals. And check out our exclusive interviews with Sanchez, Stevenson, and Chris Lytle.

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