Brock Lesnar’s Setback Changes the UFC HW Picture Dramatically
As most everyone in the MMA community knows by now, Brock Lesnar has suffered a second attack of diverticulitis, causing him to withdraw from his UFC 131 bout versus Junior Dos Santos. The initial impact is one obviously felt mostly by Brock himself. Whether you like him or not, your heart has to go out to him. The guy overcame massive obstacles just to be back in the cage, and it seemed like everything was fine again. Enter yesterday’s unfortunate news.
Brock won’t be only one who feels the impact of this. The ripple effect that this will cause in the UFC heavyweight picture is gigantic. I came up with of people that will feel the repercussions (positively or negatively), and want to highlight how it specifically affects them.
1) Shane Carwin – Carwin really just got a golden ticket. Lesnar’s loss is obviously Carwin’s gain, and he is the person who stands to benefit most from this. If Carwin had beat Einemo, it’s likely he’d still have to win one more fight before he got a shot at the belt. This puts him right back in contention. If you look at the Vegas odds, not a lot of people are giving Carwin much of a chance. They may be right, but when you have the kind of power (and hands the size of meathooks) that he possesses, anything is possible.
2) Junior Dos Santos – The first way that this impacts JDS is the obvious with the change of opponent. He’s been preparing, physically and mentally, to face Brock Lesnar for months. Now, he has to flip a switch and be prepared for someone else. I would argue that it is not the huge shift in style that some would say it is. They both are of comparable stature. They both have strong wrestling backgrounds. Both fighters would probably look to attack Junior the same ways. The difference is that Carwin is a much better striker. That being said, Dos Santos still has to carry the advantage in that area. In my opinion, the more important way the change affects Junior is the “name” factor. If he were to lose to lose to Brock Lesnar, I don’t believe he would be knocked down that many rungs on the ladder. The guy held the championship belt. He beat Randy Couture. He obliterated Frank Mir. He has a massive amount of celebrity (which should perhaps not hold as much weight as it does…but…it does). If he were to lose to Brock, I believe he still would be right in the title mix. On the flipside, if JDS loses to Carwin, there’s at least a chance that this pushes him one fight further back from a championship fight. Is that fair? No. Is that an accurate assessment of Carwin’s abilities and resume? No. Life is unfair, and perception is reality.Continued on the next page