On Monday, MMANews.com began its’ look at the top ten “most dominant heavyweight champions in MMA history.” For those who missed part one, you can check it out at the following link: Top 10 Most Dominant Heavyweight Champions In MMA History (Part 1).
Today, we will jump back into the list, revealing the fifth and fourth members of ourr top ten list. Make sure to visit MMANews.com for the conclusion of this list, as we count down the top three later this week.
Let’s take a look at who came in at number’s four and five …
While it may not be a popular decision, it is hard to deny the fact that at one point, Brock Lesnar was the most dominant force in the UFC Heavyweight division.
Lesnar, a former top name in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), transitioned into the sport of mixed-martial-arts on June 2, 2007. It would end up being the only non-UFC fight in his MMA career, as he would easily defeat a much-smaller and out-matched Min Soo Kim at the K-1 HERO’s Dynamite!! USA show via quick first round technical knockout.
Many assumed that if Lesnar were to ever fight a “real” opponent, it would quickly be proven that he was “just” a professional wrestler, and a guy that had no business in the “real” sport of MMA.
Brock Lesnar, on the other hand, had different plans.
People seemed to overlook the fact that Lesnar was a former NCAA Division 1 amateur wrestling champion. It seemed that simply because Lesnar took part in the “fake” sport of pro wrestling that he wasn’t a legitimate athlete. That couldn’t have been further from the truth and Lesnar was eager to prove it.
Although it took some convincing, he finally talked UFC President Dana White into letting him enter the world famous Octagon.
Lesnar, a former pro wrestler with only a 1-0 MMA record managed to get a fight with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir in his Octagon debut in February of 2008. Lesnar’s thought process was simple. If he can’t compete with the best, he doesn’t want to bother competing at all.
As it turned out, Lesnar could compete with the best.
Despite losing in his UFC debut against Mir via 90-second submission, people quickly became aware that he was going to be the real deal if he took the sport seriously and rounded out his overall game to compliment his already superior wrestling base.
Lesnar’s second UFC bout took place in August of 2008, as he took on former PRIDE Heavyweight title contender Heath Herring. Herring had made a name for himself in the Japanese-based MMA promotion by taking out large wrestlers, such as Tom Erikson and Mark Kerr. Lesnar was simply going to be another victim on his list and the MMA world could finally be finished with this “Brock Lesnar nonsense.”
Once again, Brock Lesnar had different plans.
As it turned out, the exact opposite happened. Lesnar easily defeated Herring by way of unanimous decision, completely dominating the MMA veteran from start-to-finish.
Everyone reading this can probably conjure up the image in their brains right now of Lesnar punching Herring so hard that he literally rolled across the entire Octagon floor.
Herring, an 11-year veteran with over 40 professional fights, retired after one fight against the “fake pro wrestler.”
“Can you see me now?” exclaimed Lesnar in his post-fight interview in the Octagon after demolishing Herring. Lesnar was the real deal and the MMA world was simply going to have to get used to it.
It was Lesnar’s third fight in the UFC that truly changed everything and took the sport to a different level. This time he would enter the cage and stand across from perhaps the sports biggest icon of all-time — Randy “The Natural” Couture.
Lesnar would go on to knock out Couture in the second round and become the new UFC Heavyweight Champion. It was quickly becoming clearer and clearer to MMA fans that Lesnar was here to stay.
His fourth fight in the UFC would be a rematch with the only man to beat him, Frank Mir. The fight took place at UFC 100, to this day the most purchased pay-per-view in the history of the sport and one of the biggest pay-per-views of any kind of all-time.
Lesnar dominated Mir, TKO’ing the former champ in the second round. After the fight, Lesnar headbutted the Octagon wall and as drool and saliva poured out of Lesnar’s mouth like a rabid dog, the sport realized that Lesnar could potentially become one of the greatest of all time.
In his next trip to the Octagon, which is perhaps his finest performance ever, Lesnar, now dealing with diverticulitis, would face off against someone who could finally match his incredible size, strength and wrestling abilities. His name? Shane Carwin.
The fight took place in July of 2010 and it would be the first time that we witnessed Lesnar on his back getting pummeled. Somehow he would weather the storm, survive the round and in incredible fashion, would submit Carwin just two minutes and 19 seconds into the next round.
From there, it was all downhill. No one can fully comprehend just how much Lesnar’s bouts of diverticulitis affected him. He was literally knocking on death’s door and it has been described as miraculous that he ever recovered to the point that he could actually compete again.
Excuses aside, Lesnar would lose his final two MMA bouts. First up, Cain Velasquez would batter Lesnar across the Octagon and TKO him in just over four minutes to become the new UFC Heavyweight Champion. After that, a kick to the body from Alistair Overeem in December of 2011 would serve as Lesnar’s MMA swan song.