Saturday’s Heavyweight Championship was originally scheduled to be fought for at UFC 108 in January between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin. At the time, it was discovered that Lesnar was suffering from a debilitating intestinal disorder called diverticulitis, as well as mononucleosis.
In the meantime, there was a bout between Carwin and Frank Mir to determine the interim Heavyweight Champion, and Lesnar’s next opponent. Carwin won that fight, and now awaits Lesnar at UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin.
Lesnar knows he is lucky to be fighting again just six months after shutting down to get well. He is no stranger to recovering from set backs, as he once wrestled with three broken ribs for six months while performing in the WWE.
After quitting professional wrestling, he tried his hand in the NFL, but was cut by the Minnesota Vikings just before the 2004 season. He then began training in the UFC, and found his niche. Lesnar’s college wrestling background, and sheer size instantly made him a winner in mixed martial arts.
At 32 years of age, Lesnar knows his window to make his mark on the UFC is closing. He knows that any day he could be on the outside looking in.
“At any moment this could be over and I could be Joe Blow serving burgers or doing whatever,” Lesnar said. “Anything can happen at any given moment, and I try to live every day to the fullest, and I really don’t take anything for granted anymore.”
Lesnar has gained new motivation through faith, and knowing that he is able to overcome life’s hurdles.
“I never really used to, but this whole setback for me last November was a hurdle in my life that I guess God thought I had to overcome to test me and to make sure this is what I really wanted in my life,” Lesnar added. “There are challenges in your life that are put before you for certain reasons, and this was one of those times.”
In January, Lesnar announced that he would be back to defend his Heavyweight Championship, and admits that since that time his life has been a whirlwind of training and questions about whether or not he is ready.
“We threw a little coal in the fire, we got the engines going a little bit, and every week, the locomotive kept building more steam and building more power, and that’s really what this has been,” said Lesnar during an interview. “Everything’s coming together, and I’ve said this before – the Brock Lesnar now would annihilate the Brock Lesnar of a year ago.”
Brock is one of the quickest to reach a championship in the UFC. He has won four of his five professional fights, and has already won the Heavyweight title and defended it by avenging his only loss to Mir.
Hopefully for Lesnar fans, he has been working on his stand up game. Carwin comes into the fight with an unblemished record of 12-0, most coming via way of knockout.
MMA sportsbooks have set Lesnar as the favorite against Carwin at -140 odds. Carwin’s underdog line is set at +110.