LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 20: UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar at the UFC 121 pre-fight press conference at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 20 2010 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Nate Wilcox is doing a little editorializing over at SB Nation from time to time these days. And now, on a week that was originally supposed to be the build-up to a Brock Lesnar fight with Junior dos Santos, he is looking at the unfortunate way that we may have seen Brock's UFC career come to a close. After exploding into MMA and looking like some sort of unstoppable force (even when submitted by Mir in his first UFC bout) a bout with diverticulitis derailed the freight train.
Nate talks about the post-illness fights of Lesnar:
Sadly, diverticulitis brought Lesnar down only a couple of months after his UFC 100 triumph. Lesnar's illness serves as a painful reminder that fame based on physical prowess is a very fragile thing. He fought back from the initial diagnosis and managed to avoid surgery by changing his diet, but some say he was never the same.
While no living man can take a punch from the fearsome Shane Carwin without suffering serious consequences, many fans were shocked and worse, amused, by Lesnar's reaction at UFC 116. When Carwin touched him, Lesnar cringed and cowered. He didn't stay in the pocket and trade punches, he curled up into the fetal position against the cage. He did show incredible heart and resilience in surviving Carwin's assault and coming back to submit him in the second round, but many could not forget the first.
In his second post-illness fight, a title defense against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, Lesnar charged Velasquez as recklessly as he had charged Mir in their first fight at UFC 81. Unfortunately for Lesnar, Velasquez was able to ride out the storm and once the tide turned it was anything but pretty.
Lesnar's loss to Velasquez wasn't just crushing, it was sad. The once feared monster of MMA tumbled and skittered across the cage like a clumsy drunk. While he gamely tried to trade blows with Velasquez, it was embarrassingly obvious that his heart wasn't in the battle and the referee stoppage couldn't come soon enough.
We've seen the TUF ratings not receive a boost from Lesnar's involvement and then the news that his diverticulitis has returned (or flared up again) and he has had a foot of his intestine removed. It's possible that the last memory we have of Lesnar is the domination at the hands of Cain Velasquez, and it's hard not to find that a little sad.