Upon the announcement that Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos were going to be the coaches for the thirteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, it was meant with many groans and complaints of “why is Lesnar going to be a coach, he only has 7 pro fights” and many other variations on his experience level.
Whenever Lesnar’s name comes up, many people automatically think of his time with the WWF/E, and forget about everything else he’s done before and after that time. Before he was a WWE Champion, he was an NJCAA National Wrestling Champion (1998), an NJCAA All-American (1997, 1998), an NCAA All-American (1999, 2000), an NCAA D-I Wrestling Runner-Up (1999) and an NCAA D-I Wrestling Champion (2000).
While not everybody was sold on the idea of him coaching, none of the TUF 13 competitors who were picked to be on his team had anything negative to say about being on Team Lesnar, with the exception being Len Bentley. Even as the season progressed, and fighters from Lesnar’s team won, people still doubted his credibility as a coach. However, three-out-of-four of the Quarterfinal fights were won by Team Lesnar fighters, guaranteeing that there would be at least one member of Team Lesnar fighting on The Finale.
Going into The Finale this past Saturday night, Team Lesnar’s Tony Ferguson wasn’t getting too much love due to his drunken antics that were shown on the show. Once the cage door closed, Tony went to work and dominated Team Dos Santos’ Ramsey Nijem until he finally knocked him out at 3:54 of Round One. In a matter of months, TUF 13 went from “oh no, Brock Lesnar is coaching” to The Ultimate Fighter winner being from Brock Lesnar’s team.
Does this mean that people will stop downplaying Lesnar’s credibility as a coach and a fighter? Absolutely not. It does, however, prove that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Brock Lesnar.
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