Frank Mir Loss Aside: Don't Count Out Brock Lesnar
Feb 4, 2008
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- A year from now, it will be fun to look back at UFC 81 and realize that the show wasn't a "Breaking Point" but a "Turning Point" in the lives of many in UFC. Brock Lesnar was a dominant, violent fighter who simply got caught by the experienced former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir, who now moves back into title contention.
Tim Sylvia beat the hell out out of Pride's Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. but got caught in a Guillotine in Round 3. It seemed to be the story of the night. Technique over brute force. On this night, Jui-Jitsu was the premier martial art.
The Mir vs Lesnar fight was as exciting a 90 seconds as you'll ever see in sports. Mir, who not only fights in the Octagon, but is also director of security at the Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen's Club in Las Vegas, said he was he was ready for Lesnar's power but was in no way ready for his quickness. "I almost kind of chuckled a little bit," Mir admitted, "It was like Oh (crap), and he's fast? What the hell."
The explosive Lesnar had Mir in serious trouble just a few seconds into the fight, but it was Mir's combination of patiently waiting for the slightest opening coupled with simply Lesnar's inexperience that was the deciding factor. Lesnar shot in and violently took down Mir just seconds into the fight. Mir appeared to be in trouble as Lesnar just bombarded him with hard punches. As Wrestling News Desk.com editor Matthew Cooper pointed out, "Anyone who ever doubted Lesnar, could stop right at that moment."
Mir was busted open. Lesnar was raining down punches on him, but Mir kept moving around, causing Lesnar to inadvertently landed punches to the back of Mir's head. Referee Steve Mazzagatti controversially halted the battle and took a point from Lesnar, though a warning would have been more than sufficient. The crowd thought Mazzagatti had stopped the match and awarded it to Lesnar. "Constant motion was the key to not having the fight stopped," Mir admitted.
Mazzagatti restarted the match.
Lesnar and Mir were back on their feet and started slugging it out, but Lesnar decked Mir, and went after him on the ground again. With Lesnar on the attack, Mir tried to secure an armbar, but Lesnar's arm was too massive, and the brute from South Dakota just too strong. Lesnar continued his attack, as he pulled out of yet another armbar attempt by Mir. To the amazement of Mir and the 10,583 fans in attendance at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Lesnar was escaping solid armbar attempts by Mir. Lesnar stood up, and Mir saw the opening, and grabbed the leg.
Mir thanked one of his training partners for the awareness. "He pulled out of the armbar earlier," Mir commented, "Marc Laimon showed me that. The legs stay stationary, I switch to a kneebar."
Lesnar said, "I must have worked on getting out of that leglock ... I don't know ... a thousand times. I maybe got a little overzealous. I thought I was gonna get out, but he held on for dear life."
"A lot of people thought Lesnar was just going to be a pro wrestler who couldn't back up his mouth," commented Wrestling News Desk editor Cooper, "but Lesnar looked awesome, and has nothing to be ashamed of. It was a mistake made solely out of inexperience, and not one he's likely to repeat."
UFC President Dana White summed it up by saying "The question surrounding this event was Can Brock Lesnar Fight? ... And I think the answer is YES, HE CAN!"
Mir had nothing but praise for the former WWE Undisputed World Champion. With a smile that expressed satisfaction with victory as much as relief from simply surviving Lesnar's onslaught, Mir just told the truth.
"I was not winning that fight the first minute and 20 seconds."
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