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Back in the day college wrestlers really had no outlet to make money upon graduation. There was no NBA/NFL, no professional league, no draft and no money. The only outlet they had was WWF/E .Kurt Angle was really the first big name Olympic caliber wrestler to make the jump to the WWF. He's had a ton of success in WWF/E and TNA and in his prime he would have made for one hell of an MMA fighter.
Now with the explosion of MMA wrestlers finally have their post college sport. Of course it's not exactly the same and they will have to learn striking, BJJ and have to actually want to risk injury to get involved. But now for the first time were seeing elite collegiate wrestlers in MMA; Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch are some examples.
Now were seeing what I would deem a potentially alarming trend. WWE/F Superstars and NFL players wanting to becoming "ultimate fighters."
Tom Zbikowski boxes and in Craig Steltz's (Safety for LSU) draft profile it says "Would like to be an Ultimate Fighter.." Johnnie Morton got his ass handed to him earlier this year as well (So much for being a naturally athlete John...go take some more roids.)
The problem is the guys above have no MMA background. Just because you can layout a guy on football field doesn't mean you can take a punch to the chin or escape an arm-bar.
WWE/F superstars are different. Many have college wrestling backgrounds, like Daniel Puder (a former WWF "tough enough" contestant) is doing well for himself in MMA as well as Brock Lesnar, who is the subject of this rant.
Now Lesnar is the first true mainstream WWF/E wrestler to fight in the UFC and of course it's going to cause a media spectacle. But what disturbed me when I saw the odds of the fight
FRANK MIR +130 BROCK LESNAR -160
That means Lesnar is favorite 1.6 to 1. So you would have to bet 160 on him to win 100.
Really? He's a favorite? The guy has one pro fight, beating a jobber.
He's inexperienced, he's never been tested, he's raw. I don't get it.
Especially when you consider who he's fighting.
Now I know Frank Mir isn't a household name, but he's certainly a tough test for Lesnar.
Mir is a former UFC Heavyweight Champ. He's the guy who you'll see highlights of him breaking Tim Slyvia's forearm about a million times before this fight. Recently he's been on a downward spiral. He got into a severe motorcycle accident and he to abandon his UFC Championship. His comeback tour has been less than stellar with losses to Cruz and Vera and a less than stellar win against Dan Christonsen. He's looked sloppy, out of shape and has this look of general malaise about him. He barely resembles the super quick submission phenomen of old. With that being said I still hold out hope for Mir, he won his last fight via submission and has the talent to be a champ again.
I'm actually quite surprised the UFC would throw such a tough opponent at Lesnar for his first fight. I'm especially surprised they matched Lesnar up with a submission machine.
Lesnar is a big powerful guy, striking probably comes naturally to him because of his natural size and power. As mentioned before wrestling is second nature to him because of his collegiate background. However wrestlers have a fatal flaw, being put on their back. Wrestlers spend there whole life being conditioned to never be flat out on their back (being pinned) and when they get on their back they "freak out" and sometimes turtle up or expose their back. It's second nature to them but it's exactly the opposite of what you want to do in MMA. Showing your back exposes your neck to a rear naked choke which is difficult to defend.
Matching a wrestler up with such an experienced ju-jitsu guy is a terrible match up. A striker with limited wrestling experience would have been much more ideal for Lesnar.
I wouldn't be surprised if Lesnar won. He can certainly just physically overpower Mir and TKO him or win a decision. But I just don't think it's logical for him to be a favorite.
Frankly being a BJJ guy myself I find it insulting.