Boxing/MMA

Is Brock Lesnar's UFC Future In Doubt?

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Brock Lesnar has shown a major weakness in his stand-up game during his last two UFC fights. Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez both showed him just how much of a fad he really is in the world of MMA.

His muscular, barrel-chested physique naturally makes it harder for Lesnar to box effectively due to a lack of reach. He barely got out of the first round in the Carwin battle due to holes in his boxing game, and Velasquez made quick boxing work of him in his last fight, giving him a long-term medical suspension

The rumors of Brock Lesnar's UFC demise have been greatly exaggerated, though. He does have only one fight left on his contract, but any article that starts with "[The Author] Says..." is suspect in my eyes. Dave Meltzer can say whatever he wants, but what does Brock Lesnar say? Only a few follow-up articles appeared clarifying that Meltzer never even said Lesnar was done.

When the reporter becomes the story there's a problem. If Brock Lesnar is the story, his medical suspension hasn't been as front and center as it should be. This suspension is serious business and imposed for a reason. It means he probably shouldn't be training too hard until the 180 days are up. That's six months. The fact that he hasn't been training since his loss to Velasquez is not unusual at all but actually expected. Cuts that deep do not heal overnight.

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The bottom line is Brock Lesnar's future in the UFC is not in doubt until he says it is. The WWE might be where he goes back to when he formally retires from the octagon, but he has a lot of MMA fighting left in him. He simply has to work more on his boxing and overall striking. He came out quick with a flying knee in the early going of the Vasquez battle -- and almost landed it. That's the type of stuff that will surprise people if he can learn how to do it more often and more accurately. Doing more hard core boxing and developing a better jab would also help him improve drastically.

Lesnar is still a big name in the sport of MMA, so any going back to the WWE will be viewed by many fans as cowardly if he is going back to stay. It's hard to believe Brock would want to go out knowing his move could be perceived that way. The only viable option for him to completely save face (no pun intended) would be to convince Dana White to allow him to take a hiatus after his next fight before he signs his next contract. He would go back for a farewell match of sorts with the WWE and then sign right back up with the UFC for a long term deal with added leverage and popularity across the mainstream media and the sports world. 

The initial rumors regarding Brock Lesnar taking on The Undertaker were based on one interview by an MMA reporter named Ariel Helwani. The conversation is vague. "You want to do it" became the ominous question that could only mean: "Do you want to face me at Wrestlemania?" The media and blogosphere made this story an overnight sensation. Yet the context of The Undertaker's response when pressed as to what the "do it" actually was does not support him trying to set up an old-fashioned cage match in a wrestling ring.

The Undertaker says something about thinking Lesnar needs to train harder first in his remarks to Helwani. An argument could certainly be made that The Undertaker may have been asking Lesnar to train with him or work with a certain product that's worked for him. His further reaction saying "it's personal" was also taken to mean something animosity related. It didn't seem that way if you look at The Undertaker's expressions and listen to his voice in the video. This was no choreographed moment. It seemed like he just didn't want to talk about the real answer to the question for some reason.

If Lesnar and The Undertaker do wrestle in the WWE it might well be a completely successful media invention, a fabrication of a "fight" based on a simple viral video. Still, this is no basis to create another hoax story out of Brock Lesnar's vacation from fighting. He loves to hunt, has an amazing wife, a healthy family, and he just beat a long illness and came back to defend his belt in the UFC twice in extremely tough battles. Isn't the guy entitled to some time off without all this gloom and doom about him being done with MMA and the UFC? Give the guy a break, literally, and let him speak for himself on this subject before the rush to judgment.  

Brock's matches are carried at Bodog Sportsbook and Bookmaker.com.