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Brock Lesnar Faces Mark Hunt At UFC 200

Brock Lesnar - UFC Bart Hook, via Flickr.


Brock Lesnar Faces Mark Hunt At UFC 200, but, Dana White has some choice words for the former heavyweight champ.

Brock Lesnar, former WWE and UFC World Heavyweight Champion, returns to the UFC for one night only, as he looks to prove whether or not he can still hang in the Octagon as he faces off against Mark Hunt at UFC 200.

For some time now, Lesnar had expressed interests in returning to the UFC, even stating so on an episode of Steve Austin‘s Stone Cold Podcast. But, many have questions as to whether or not “The Beast Incarnate” can still be a major threat in the Octagon, especially after a nearly five year absence.

His last fight was in December of 2011, and Lesnar, who holds a 5-3 MMA record, 4-3 in the UFC, has been keeping busy with his time in the WWE, where he is on an almost similar schedule to that of The Undertaker, who has an even more limited schedule than Lesnar.

Brock Lesnar will have his hands full with Hunt, who comes in with a 12-10-1 record (7-4-1 UFC), and UFC president Dana White thinks he knows the strategy that Lesnar needs to utilize in order to win in his return. According to White, Lesnar will have to take the fight to the ground. Said White, during an interview on the debut episode of the “UFC Unfiltered” Podcast:

“(Hunt’s) takedown defense is a lot better these days. He’s a lot tougher to take down than he used to be and there’s no doubt: If Brock doesn’t get this thing to the ground; he’s in for a bad night. He thought Alistair Overeem was a problem? Mark Hunt knocks guys out that have never been knocked out. He goes in there and knocks out Roy Nelson with one of those one-shot walk-away punches. Nobody does that to Roy Nelson.”

UFC 200, which will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, co-headlining the main card of the event following the prelims, which can be seen on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass. And strike defense and absorption was a big problem for Lesnar, which if you saw his last fight against Alistair Overeem, was evident.

Hunt is considered one of, if not, the hardest hitter in the heavyweight division, and his record shows, with nine of his wins coming off of knockouts alone. But, as the oldest heavyweight in the division at age 41, his limitation is the grappling game, and if Lesnar takes him down, it may go in Brock’s favor. However, with him adding to his technique, there is a belief he might stand a chance against the formidable grappling of Lesnar.

White continued:

“If you look at Mark Hunt, he came from PRIDE and we didn’t want to sign him. We were actually going to pay him to go away, he said, ‘No, I want to come in there and fight, I want to earn my money.’ Stud. Stud, what that guy has been able to do. And at his age too.

Mark Hunt has fought guys who are phenomenal grapplers, great wrestlers. When he stops that shot I think it makes these guys go, ‘Oh, shit. I’m in big trouble now.'”

Insiders in the MMA world are half and half on the bout, with some believing that Hunt could very well walk out the victor of the fight, while others believe that Lesnar’s absence may work in his favor, crediting his wrestling and ground-and-pound game that brought him the UFC Heavyweight title.

White has stated that win or lose, he respects Brock Lesnar’s willingness to return to the MMA world, and for facing off against someone of Hunt’s caliber. A respect that resonates to the point where the UFC even agreed to let him use his WWE entrance theme at UFC 200. White continued:

“I think that guy has that competitive spirit in him. He was a wrestler and obviously a lot of wrestlers migrate to the UFC. And he loves it. He’s so pumped to be back here and he’s so happy that Vince (McMahon) and the WWE let him do this. He’s fired up. He’s really excited for this fight. He just has that competitive spirit in him.”

Whether or not Brock Lesnar can best Mark Hunt remains to be seen, as he has been untested for the last few years. But, if Lesnar can take Hunt down, it’ll show that not only has he still got it, but he truly is a successful cross sport star.

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