The UFC 81: Breaking Point (February 2, 2008), in Las Vegas, bout of the night pitted the MMA legend, Frank Mir against the pro-wrestling champion and NCAA national wrestling champion turned UFC newcomer, Brock Lesnar. I had high hopes for Lesnar in MMA, especially after his K-1 debut on June 2, 2007, in which he defeated his opponent, Min Soo Kim by submission via strikes in under two minutes.
In the back of my mind, I knew Min Soo Kim was not a big name in MMA, so Lesnar’s win must be taken with a grain of salt.
When I heard he would be fighting in the pay-per-view UFC 81, I was psyched. I don’t follow MMA much, so I didn’t know Lesnar’s opponent’s name until last week. I knew the name, Frank Mir, for a reason – that being that I often hear his name and saw a few of his fights. He’s the real deal and former UFC heavy weight champion. I thought Lesnar might be in over his head.
I thought that Lesnar might stand a chance. He has the size, strength, youth, and speed. On the other has, he is a wrestler and has had limited MMA training. He is new to martial arts. I’ve never really seen him use his legs much, which, I thought, was a bad omen to come.
Lesnar debuting in the UFC was big news in the sports world. Lesnar had big words about his debut match. He was confident in a win. His TNA friend, Kurt Angle, also gloated about Lesnar being the real deal in MMA.
Before UFC signed Lesnar, he said he wanted to fight someone with credentials in his debut match and that he wanted a deal done soon.
Lesnar trained with Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, under Greg Nelson, and with University of Minnesota Head Assistant wrestling coach, Marty Morgan.
Each of their game plans went as they stated. Lesnar went with brutal punching attack. Mir practiced taking hits and waiting for an opening.
Well, apparently, Lesnar needs way MORE training before he’s the real deal, like his opponent, Mir. It was sad to watch Lesnar’s obvious inexperience.
Frank Mir defeated Brock Lesnar via submission with a kneebar at 1:30 in Round 1.
Now, on to my review. Lesnar looked over-confident and Mir had on his poker face.
The bell rings. By 0:05, Lesnar went for a take-down and over-powered Mir. For the next 25 seconds, Lesnar pummeled Mir but Mir had Lesnar in half guard.
At 0:30, Lesnar had to break his hold for hitting Mir in back of the head accidentally twice. He had one point deducted.
At 0:36, they resume and Mir leads with a kick to Lesnar’s left leg.
At 0:38, Lesnar punches Mir twice, knocking him down on his back and by 0:41, Lesnar’s back on top, overpowering Mir again.
At 0:51, Mir almost got Lesnar in an armbar but Lesnar got out of it, still stuck inside Mir’s guard.
At 1:10, Lesnar lands a big arm to Mir’s head and Mir goes for the arm again but no go.
At 1:15, this is where I think Lesnar made a crucial mistake: Lesnar stands up! This left Lesnar’s legs open for attack.
Mir gets his legs into position and springs the trap at 1:23 with a kneebar submission and, unless Lesnar wants a broken leg or ankle, Lesnar taps out.
It’s ironic because Kurt Angle often defeated Lesnar with a similar hold, an ankle-lock submission in “fake” wrestling.
This match only proves that Lesnar needs more training and sparring. He needs to learn to use his legs better and better defense. The match proves that offense alone won’t cut it in MMA. Mir held out against Lesnar’s punching onslaught and waited for his opening to spring it. Lesnar never saw it coming. He shouldn’t have stood up to give Mir such an opening, which shows his inexperience and over confidence.
Don’t get me wrong, Lesnar’s offense is strong and brutal. He overpowered Mir throughout the short match. If Lesnar didn’t punch Mir in back of the head and be forced to break, maybe we’d have a very different outcome, provided Lesnar broke Mir’s guard. Lesnar had Mir overpowered near the end until the goof stood up.
Lesnar, train another six months and start out with lesser opponents. Don’t jump in with the best until you are ready.
To Kurt Angle, who’s also interested in MMA, learn from Lesnar’s mistakes. Wrestling and punching will not defeat most MMA’s best.