Massive Brock Lesnar had taken the Heavyweight title from the legendary Randy Couture in 2008, and Frank Mir would take the interim title by defeating Antonio Rogerio Noguiera in December of 2008. this would set up the much anticipated rematch with Mir for UFC 100, in what was to date the biggest event in UFC history. Mir owned a victory over Lesnar, but Lesnar would not be denied as he ran Mir over to keep the UFC Heavyweight title.
Lesnar had all the hype of being famous and coming to the UFC for a fight, and he was starting to back it up. The fight with Mir was thought by most observers to be the start of something special. Then what can perhaps be called the ‘curse’ reared it’s ugly head – Lesnar was diagnosed with a disease most MMA fans had never heard of before. Diverticulitis would take Lesnar out of the rotation for a year, and force the UFC to pit Frank Mir against fast rising Shane Carwin for yet another interim title.
Carwin would take the interim belt by beating Mir, and all that was needed was the return of Brock Lesnar. This occurred in July of 2010 when Lesnar would take out Carwin after weathering a huge onslaught. Along with Couture, Sylvia and Arlovski, Lesnar is only the fourth man to defend the heavyweight title twice.
Lesnar would return to the Octagon to face undefeated Cain Velasquez in October of 2010, and he would come away with a loss. Velasquez would take the belt from Lesnar by KO, and the new champion would face a long layoff due to an injury.
On November 12th of 2011, Velasquez returned for his first title defense, and dropped the belt to Brazilian Junior Dos Santos, which is where we stand today.
Brock Lesnar eventually returned from a second bout of diverticulitis, but he lost his bout with Alistair Overeem. Before he left the octagon, he had retired, and in the immediate aftermath there was a tendency to make little of his accomplishments. Interestingly, with a good look back at the title, I would rate the top 3 UFC heavyweight champions in order of their accomplishments and importance as follows:
#1 – Randy Couture
#2 – Brock Lesnar
#3 – Tim Sylvia
So overall, it is time to say ‘Thank You Brock’ for his contribution to MMA and the pedigree of the UFC title. He did not have it easy, entering the sport at the highest level, and he made as big an impact on the sport as anyone in it’s short history.
See the earlier posts for this blog -