Goodbye Brock

It turns out that being a freakish human specimen is not enough to survive in the UFC. After a humiliating defeat to Alistair Overeem, Brock Lesnar announced his retirement from mixed-martial arts (MMA) last week.

Not everybody is cut out to be a fighter. After all, not very many people like getting punched in the face. And if you don’t truly love to brawl, the UFC is not the place for you. Even if you are the personification of the Hulk.

Brock Lesnar was a world-class collegiate wrestler, but there is no striking in wrestling. A pure wrestler does not discover how he will react to getting kicked and punched by an elite kick-boxer. Lesnar didn’t seem to like it very much.

But is the love of brawling something that can be learned? I don’t know, but if Lesnar wanted to make a comeback, that’s what he should focus on. He should get training partners like Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar and spar as intensely as possible.

And of course, there are MMA skills, of which wrestling is only but one. Lesnar had only eight MMA fights. He retired a rookie. There is no doubt that he could make vast improvements in his game if he stuck with it. He is only 34 years old, after all, and his diverticulitis is fixed.

When you consider how little MMA experience Lesnar had, it’s astonishing how quickly he became the UFC heavyweight champion. And he had two successful title defenses. That might be the most amazing feat in martial-arts history.

Lesnar looked incredibly nervous as he walked in for the Overeem fight. He knew he was going to lose. Nevertheless, Overeem was bleeding right off the bat. I think Lesnar opened him up with a jab. So, even in defeat, Lesnar showed a spark of brilliance there.

Overeem has 62 MMA and kick-boxing fights – almost eight times the experience as Lesnar. That matters.

I think that if Lesnar wants to rescind his retirement decision, he could have a long and lucrative career in MMA. But the level of competition in the UFC is so high that not even the Hulk can expect it to be easy.

Steven Segal – Trainer of Champions

Last week, Anderson Silva knocked out Vitor Belfort with a front-kick:

Turns out, the kick was a super-secret technique known only to actor, Steven Segal who taught it to Silva. Or so says Segal. Thirty-five years ago, my karate instructor called it a “snap kick” but what did he know, right? In any case, if there were an Academy Award for “Being Full of Yourself” Segal would win it in a landslide for this performance:

Main Street’s Mortgage Fraud

It’s fashionable to criticize Wall Street over the financial crisis, but let’s not forget Main Street. For every fraudulent mortgage peddled by an i-banker, there was a Main Streeter signing the loan papers.

This case from Oregon is interesting because it involves UFC fighter, Chael Sonnen, who is also a licensed realtor. Sonnen is the only fighter who has even come close to dethroning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Maybe there were some banksters involved in the case, but it looks like all the people indicted were Main Streeters. My theory is that the Great Offshoring has made all Americans more prone to crime as we struggle to survive in our new jobless, post-Apocalyptic landscape.

Sonnen will be sentenced in March and faces up to 20 years. However, since he cooperated with the investigation, he may not do any time.

Say a Prayer for James Toney

Why is boxing called “The Sweet Science”? Because it’s just slap-fighting with big fluffy mittens. Tonight we will see a demonstration about how boxing doesn’t prepare you for real-world fighting at UFC 118 when champion boxer James Toney gets a beating from a guy who knows how to fight for real, Randy Couture.

Normally, the UFC does not put on this kind of circus act. And that’s a good thing. But since boxing is a competitor to MMA for pay-per-view dollars, I think Dana White probably sees this as a great way to embarrass boxing and take market share.

Update: Well, I was right. Toney didn’t land a single punch, and was instantly taken-down, mounted, pummeled, and choked out.

Fabricio Flattens Fedor

Fedor Emelianenko‘s strategy of appearing invincible by only fighting washed-up UFC fighters came to a screeching halt last night when washed-up UFC fighter Fabricio Werdum needed only 1:09 to choke out Fedor.

Now we see why Emelianenko has avoided the UFC for his entire career. He prefers to be a big fish in a small pond rather than take his chances in the big show.

On July 3rd, we will see a true clash of titans at UFC 116 when champion Brock Lesnar fights Shane Carwin. Carwin is 12-0 with all of his victories coming in the first round.

How would Fedor fare against fighters of this caliber? We may never know, however perhaps this humiliating loss to Werdum will motivate Fedor to prove himself. Maybe he will now feel the need to fight in the UFC.