Like most things in life, when something gets hyped for weeks on end and the anticipation builds to a frenzy crescendo, the chances of it actually fulfilling the hype is quite low. Most of the time, it just ends up disappointing the masses. Take last month’s Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson fight. That bout was hyped for almost a year and was surrounded by endless drama but when it finally happened, most people were disappointed with the outcome. This was neither Rashad’s nor Rampage’s fault (even though some many disagree). Unless Rashad and Rampage literally stood in the middle of the Octagon for three rounds and just banged, there was no way in hell the fight would have matched the build-up surrounding it.
In less than two weeks, all us MMA fans are going to be confronted with another fight that has been hyped since the first attempt at it tried to go off last fall. I think you all know I am talking about the upcoming Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin bout. The reason for the incredible excitement around this fight is understandable. This is because the storylines are endless. In no particular order, here are just some of the few storylines surrounding Lesnar vs. Carwin, 1) Lesnar making his return after recovering from a career threatening illness, 2) Carwin shutting himself off from the media to focus on the fight, 3) Carwin still has a 9-5 job while being one of the top MMA Heavyweights in the world. Etc, etc. But, I think the biggest draw of this fight is the fact that both men are almost the exact same size (size being huge), are unbelievably powerful and have a similar wrestling background. This is as close as we will get to seeing two giants fighting and it is fascinating the masses. I have friends that may have only see one or two UFC PPV, but are utterly jacked up for this one. At the end of the day, all this hype is most likely going to turn UFC 116 into the biggest MMA PPV of all-time.
What I have said above is no new information to regular MMA fans and the massive hype is not the point of this article. The point of this article is to warn all MMA fans that your expectations for this bout should be low. Chances are, this fight is probably going to end up being a "boring" one and is going to be the subject of many fanposts afterwards complaining about it. Expectations are not going to be met, children will cry and men will beat their chest in angry. It’s evitable and here are the reasons why it is going to fall short of everyone’s colossal expectations.
1) Brock’s return – One of the biggest storylines of this fight, as I mentioned above, is Lesnar making his return from a career threatening illness. Everyone wants to know if Lesnar is going to have some of that famous "cage-rust" that we have seen before time and time again. If past examples have shown us anything (i.e.- Tito Ortiz, Rampage), Lesnar is going to be a little rusty, but his style is going to allow him to hide it. Outside the first few moments of the fight, there is no way Brock is going to stand and trade with Carwin. He is most likely going to push Carwin against the cage and/or take him down. This allows Lesnar to do two things; avoid Carwin’s power and control the pace of the fight so he doesn’t gas himself early. The majority of this fight is probably going to be Lesnar and Carwin jocking for position up against the cage or on the ground. This is what a lot of people will eventually call "boring".
2) Carwin’s power – While most people think that Carwin’s KO power is going to make this fight exciting, it is going to be one of the reasons why it won’t be. From all accounts, Brock possesses the kind of KO power that Carwin has, but isn’t going to try and test that theory out. As we have seen in Brock’s previous fights, he would prefer to take the fight to the ground even against fighters like Couture and Mir that don’t even come close to enjoying the power that Carwin has. Lesnar has no intentions on finding out whether or not he has a chin unlike Carwin who is willing to take a punch to land one of his own. Like I mentioned above, Brock’s gameplan is going to be avoiding Carwin’s power by putting him on his back which is going to put some viewers to sleep.
3) They’re Heavyweights – Outside of Cain Velasquez and maybe Junior Dos Santos, there are very few Heavyweights that have the cardio to go three rounds, never mind five. Even though Carwin claims to have great cardio and Brock has gone three rounds once, there is no way one or both of these guys don’t gas by the end of the second round, especially having to expend energy carrying one another throughout the fight. This fight could end up looking like Ben Rothwell vs. Gilbert Yvel, which was really ugly in the second round and even worse in the third.
This is one of the times where I hope that I am completely wrong (and many people in the comment section below will tell me I am). There is nothing I would like better than seeing these two Goliaths put on a war. I would even be ecstatic if someone won by knockout in the first round. But, in my gut, I feel that none of these things will happen and all of us will be barraged with articles and posts afterwards about how "boring" the fight was and how wrestling is killing MMA. Déjà vu anyone?