Nov 08


TMFD3 comments • 932 views

I’d never watched any of the ‘ultimate fighting’ stuff, bar a little in a pub once. It looked very boring to me. I’m a big WWE fan – as silly as it is, I am hugely entertained by that. At the weekend I saw an ad for the next big Ultimate Fighting Championship event, and the main match seemed to be a world title fight between someone called Randy Couture (who inexplicably seems not to have a line of clothing to promote) and Brock Lesnar, who used to be in the WWE. This intrigued me: fans of UFC will often regard the WWE superstars with contempt. Obviously it’s all fixed, and the wrestlers help sell their opponents’ moves to a very blatant degree, so those who dislike the WWE deduce from this that the stars are just showy bodybuilders with gimmicks, and wouldn’t last five minutes in a fight with, for instance, a top ultimate fighter. (A couple of top ultimate fighters had tried their hand in the WWE, but never amounted to much as far as I am aware – obviously it demands somewhat different physical skills, and to get to the top it helps to have some sort of distinct personal style too, of course.)

Couture, I soon found out, is the top man: the only five-time world champ, already in their Hall of Fame and so on. He has legitimate claims to be the greatest ever. But it was always clear, in the WWE, that Lesnar was an impressive athlete: big and very strong, extraordinarily athletic and quick for someone his size, and skillful too – he’d been a champion amateur wrestler. Then again, UFC fighting, it became clear when watching the rest of the card, does not resemble either amateur or professional wrestling. There is some grappling, and the occasional submission (never with as fancy a move as the WWE stars offer), but mostly when you get someone on the floor the purpose is to get in position to punch or elbow him in the head repeatedly. A lot of it is done standing up, more like boxing – Couture was some kind of martial arts champion, so that was his speciality. Also, Lesnar had had a total of three fights in the UFC before this big title match.

Their match was scheduled for five five-minute rounds. The first featured lots of wrestling, Lesnar on top, looking for openings, not finding any. He’d have won them on points, but no one was damaged. The opinion was that Lesnar, carrying something like 50 pounds more weight, would tire quickly as the match continued. The second round was quite different, a boxing match. After a couple of minutes, Lesnar landed a heavy punch to the side of Couture’s head, Couture went down, Lesnar climbed on and started hammering fists into his head and the ref stopped it.

It was barely a contest – Lesnar never looked in any kind of trouble at all, and it didn’t last a third of the scheduled time. I was pleased, in that this severely damages the “they wouldn’t last five minutes…” line, and it confirms my repeated claims that many (though certainly not all) of the biggest WWE stars are genuinely great athletes.


  1. 1
    Tracer Hand on 19 Nov 2008 #

    Lesnar is incredible.

    If you’ve ever see “pro” wrestling live and in person there is no doubt that most of these guys are just amazingly physically skilled. Astonishing that they can do what they do, really, given that they are hoisting about twice times my body weight around.

  2. 2
    Martin Skidmore on 20 Nov 2008 #

    I remember him first appearing in the WWE, and when I saw this big man with huge muscles I thought he’d be dead slow – then he jumped up onto the apron and vaulted over the ropes. So I assumed he at least wouldn’t have any real skills, and they said he had been an amateur champion. I’ve never seen it live – I did see British pro wrestling live once, around the mid-’70s, but the standards of athleticism in that are rather different, especially at the biggest end. I recall Pat Roach (who’s had a moderately successful acting career) as British heavyweight champ – his role was an unstoppable big guy, like Lesnar or the Undertaker or someone – but he was of very moderate size in US terms. Big Daddy, whose most athletic move was falling on an opponent (termed a splash), was about the same weight as Kane, who leaps off the top rope at people, and about 80 pounds less than Kamala, who also did the splash, but leaping from the top rope halfway across the ring to land on the other guy.

  3. 3
    Flexo on 14 Dec 2009 #

    Well,,, On german sports TV the “The ultimate Fighter” episodes are casted at the moment. This is the first contact with UFC. The only thing that makes UFC exciting is the “real” aspect. It just hurts watching the fist exploding in the opponents face and there is some kind of excitement and some kind of strategic touch of the fights. Not that bad.
    But finally I prefer professional Wrestling. Entertainment aspect, story line, characters last up to 30 or 40 years in the business and some of their children too. Variations of different matches, which enable the wrestlers to perform amazing stunt actions.

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