UFC 116: Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin Analysis - Results, Not Technique, Determine the Best in Sports

LAS VEGAS - JULY 03: Brock Lesnar reacts after his second round submission of Shane Carwin to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship Unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 3 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Last night Jonathan Snowden wrote:

Goldberg made another claim I think we can dispute right away:  he said these were the two best heavyweights in the world. I saw something different. I saw a wildly entertaining fight between two guys who are still nowhere near finished products in the cage. To channel Georges St. Pierre for a moment, while I was entertained, I was "not impressed with their performance."

While I think Jonathan is a great writer I think he genuinely missed the mark in his piece. I don't think we saw any shocking lack of development or technique from Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin. If anyone came to the party expecting this clash between 265 pound monsters to be filled with technical wizardry I'm not really sure where they got that idea. Luke summed it up quite well with the statement "We are watching sport fight and whoever wins in sports fighting is the best."

Frank Mir is a better "all-around" mixed martial artist than both Lesnar and Carwin.  He also got his face beaten off by both of them.  Fedor Emelianenko is a better "all-around" mixed martial artist than Fabricio Werdum. That did not matter when the two met in their fight.  Winning matters much more than "being technical" in sports.  This is not pro-wrestling where some intangible like "work rate" determines your value.

There is a bit of a cancer in the MMA community (both fans and media) where this is this idea that to be a great fighter or fight there has to be this incredible well-roundedness going on.  I talked to multiple media members and fans who thought Jung/Garcia was not a "great fight" because it lacked technique.  Now Lesnar and Carwin clash in a battle between 265 pound beasts and there are people claiming that the lack of technique damages a claim as top heavyweight?  I don't get it.

Are we really supposed to be shocked that Lesnar reacted poorly to Carwin's power?  This is a man who has hurt EVERYONE he has stepped into the cage with.  There really isn't training for feeling that kind of power.  When Carwin landed it, no doubt, shook Lesnar and having never been in that spot he reacted incorrectly by moving backward and covering up. However, on the ground he did a decent job of covering up and reacting at the right times to prevent the stoppage.  He found ways to move his hips, to periodically get Shane away and to avoid Rosenthal's intervention.

He then walked to his corner without being winded in the slightest and came out in the second round, didn't cower and got his takedown to set up the submission win. That lack of being gunshy after a brutal first round and just going right back to the gameplan while being in seemingly perfect cardiovascular shape is pretty damn impressive to me.

Shane is probably the only man at heavyweight who can present the problems Lesnar had in the first round. Cain Velasquez has great cardio but doesn't have that same shocking power that Carwin has which will allow for Lesnar to be more engaging and he isn't as big which will make it easier for Lesnar to not worry about getting bullied. This isn't to say Cain couldn't come out and just outwork him for a decision, but he doesn't have the ability to present the same problems that we saw at UFC 116.

In the end we learned about Brock last night. We learned that he does have an incredibly tough chin, we learned that he can survive from the bottom while a man as big as him drops bombs and we learned that Lesnar can deal with those things and come out the next round and get right back to his gameplan.  And, most importantly, we learned that he has earned his spot as the #1 heavyweight in the world.

It's not always the most well rounded and technical team or individual that is the best in a sport. It's the one that can take the advantages they do have and use them better than everyone else.


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