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Chuck Liddell: Brock Lesnar 'is very afraid of the punch'

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell had an honest assessment of Brock Lesnar's return to MMA competition, more specifically his belief that Brock fears getting hit.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Brock Lesnar won a fight in the UFC, Chuck Liddell hadn't yet officially retired from MMA. In fact, the former light heavyweight champion was a month removed from a crushing 1st round KO loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115. Lesnar would beat Shane Carwin at UFC 116, but not before surviving an onslaught of punches in the 1st round.

While the legendary Liddell has put away the gloves for good, Lesnar is making his return to the Octagon at next month's UFC 200 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's Lesnar's first MMA bout since he retired following a 1st round TKO loss to Alistair Overeem in December 2011. What does "The Iceman" think about Brock's comeback? As he told Hollywood Life, it all boils down to Lesnar's punch resistance.

"He was a good college wrestler, but he is afraid to get hit," Liddell said. "That makes things dangerous — when you have a guy that can punch, and if he can stop Brock's takedowns a little bit, then [Brock] is in a lot of trouble. I mean, he is tough and has heart because he will still fight and still keep coming and I will give him that. He has heart and he fights hard, but he is very afraid of the punch. So you just have to start punching him!"

Lesnar lost his UFC heavyweight title by TKO to Cain Velasquez just a few months after the Carwin win, and the Overeem stoppage was primarily due to Alistair's powerful knees and body kicks. The finishing blow of that contest was a vicious body punch.

Brock's July 9th fight will be against the vaunted punching power of Mark Hunt, who is coming off a walkoff KO win against former Lesnar rival, Frank Mir.