-I don't know how you can walk away from this unimpressed by Brock Lesnar. Everyone said, including those picking Lesnar, that Shane Carwin's power could be the difference maker. Shane Carwin, according to some, possesses the heaviest hands in MMA. Shane Carwin landed clean on Brock Lesnar. Shane Carwin had Lesnar in a world of trouble.
Somehow, Lesnar survives the Carwin onslaught and some people have the audacity to question his chin or his ability to take a punch? He just took a bevy of heavy shots from one of the biggest power punchers in the sport and survived. I think he takes a punch just fine.
-Fabricio Werdum's brief flirtation as the #1 heavyweight in the world just vanished.
-As for Carwin, I think he's going to be unfairly criticized for his gas tank. There's a lot to factor in here: the adrenaline dump of the biggest fight of your life, the nearly unbroken chain of punches in attempt to finish, the letdown of not finishing a guy you had in a real bad spot. Stacked up next to Cain Velasquez or Fedor Emelianenko or any of the smaller elite heavyweights, he's going to look bad in the cardio department. That's what you sacrifice when you carry that size, though. Still, I am cautious to give him the "bad gas" label.
-I was very impressed by Lesnar's work on the floor leading up to the finish. Carwin looked pretty spent at that point, but it was very encouraging to see Lesnar not only work to pass guard, but confidently seek the submission in lieu of ground and pound. That's not mentioning the speed at which he worked either.
-"I stand before you a humble champion, but I'm still the toughest S.O.B. around." Brilliant.
-I don't think Lesnar is a lock against Cain Velasquez. There might be good money to make on the challenger, to be honest. As for Shane's next fight, I think the best option is to give him the winner of Junior dos Santos and Roy Nelson. If the UFC's serious about holding the winner to challenge the winner of Lesnar/Velasquez, I guess you can give Shane someone like Ben Rothwell? Kind of a tough scenario.
Undercard love after the jump.
-Something is wrong with Chris Leben. I hope science one day figures out what gives him such a monster chin because Yoshihiro Akiyama landed some serious shots on him.
-I hope this is a wakeup call for Akiyama to cut down to 170. He might have to shed some muscle to get down, but he looked smaller than Leben in the cage. (I thought he looked much smaller against Belcher last year as well.) I have a hard time seeing him succeed at middleweight in the United States with his frame.
-I don't have much to say about the Stephan Bonnar/Krzysztof Soszynski and Chris Lytle/Matt Brown fights outside of they were what we thought they were. Fun, meaningless scraps. Big props to Bonnar, though, as I had written him off as a certain UFC castoff after this event.
-Speaking of which, did anyone else catch Joe Rogan's brutal backhanded insult during Bonnar's walk-in? Joe and Mike Goldberg were talking about Bonnar's love of brawling and Rogan blurted out (paraphrased), "Yeah, I mean why else is he in the UFC?" That's cold, Joe.
-Kurt Pellegrino looked awful tonight. I think a left hook from George Sotiropoulos hurt Pellegrino early, and "Batman" never really recovered from there. Pellegrino just looked off after that, lacking a crispness he's shown in his last few fights.
-That's not to take away from Sotiropoulos's performance. This was a very good continuation on his win over Joe Stevenson at UFC 110. This should put the Aussie within knocking distance of a title fight. I think he's gonna get Evan Dunham or the winner of Tyson Griffin/Takanori Gomi.