After a methodical and judicious victory against Daniel Cormier at the recent UFC 214 to recapture his Light Heavyweight crown, Jon Jones dropped a bombshell of monumental proportions – calling out seasoned pay-per-view seller, and a man who is built like the Himalayas, Brock Lesnar. With Jones’ former valiant opponent Alexander Gustafsson waiting in the wings for a rematch after his dominant display in Stockholm and even Volkan Oezdemir climbing up the division after a remarkable 42-second knockout over Jimi Manuwa, Jones has chosen the proverbial “cash cow” route by calling out Lesnar – who is still under suspension by USADA after his clomiphene-laden victory over Mark Hunt back at UFC 200, a result that has since been overturned as clomiphene is a banned substance. Whether the astronomical bout proves to be incredible or improbable, these questions are on the lips of MMA fans everywhere who watched the UFC event unfold: Will it happen and who would win?
“Brock Lesnar, you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by someone 40 pounds lighter? Meet me in the Octagon.” – Jon Jones, UFC 214
Will it happen?
Whilst fans of mixed martial arts have come to expect the fantastical match-ups that everyone wants – even if they cross the realms of MMA and boxing – there is still an air of uncertainty surrounding what is such an immediate and recent announcement. Lesnar is still serving out his one year suspension for using performance enhancing drugs which can postpone the bout all the way to next year. Unless Jones is willing to endure that weight, a rematch with Gustafsson at Madison Square Garden in November may seem more fitting, for the mean time, which would shroud the fixture with doubt as there is the possibility that Jones could lose his belt. Whilst he may seem untouchable and on top of the world, it was Gustafsson who arguable came closest to dethroning “Bones” back at UFC 165 and Gustafsson looked possibly in the best shape of his career for his win over Glover Texiera. A Swedish spanner in the works is most definitely not off the cards.
On the other hand, whilst Lesnar is still prolifically competing for the WWE, whom he is contractually connected with, the wrestling company may even would want to push the UFC bout as it dramatically raises the drawing factor of an already huge asset to the company. It would also give WWE prime advertising spots, just as they did for UFC 200, for an event that could even threaten to break UFC pay-per-view records.
Whilst there are clearly obstacles in the way of this bout going ahead, I have very little doubt that Brock would decline the opportunity to fight in such a pecunious event and make an abundance of money from one fight against a fighter that is 40lbs smaller than him. Both competitors will confidently believe that they can win, with Jones stating he going to “deal” with Lesnar, and it is probably the biggest headliner possible now that Dana White can book. I see no reason why this fight can’t take place after Lesnar has served his suspension and for fireworks to ensue inside the Octagon.
“I don’t feel pain. I ain’t got time for that. I let other people feel pain for me.” – Brock Lesnar
Who will win?
There are astute arguments for both sides of the debate but I don’t believe you can look past Jon Jones for this one. Brock Lesnar is a collegiate level wrestler and extremely profuse with takedowns – an ability that allows him to dominate fights as he did against Shane Carwin and Mark Hunt (albeit he was on USADA violation drugs for the latter). However, another man who is exponentially skilled with wrestling and takedowns is Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones managed to prevent any sort of wrestling advantage by DC and kept the fight standing up to deliver a finishing headkick for the knockdown. The size and weight difference doesn’t seem like it will play a vital part in the fight either as Jones’ physique in recent times has been outstanding and his protracted reach is able to keep fighters exactly where he wants them.
I’m of the opinion that Brock Lesnar’s downfall will come in a similar way to his devastating loss against Jones’ training partner Cain Valasquez. The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion showcased his deliberate and calculated style of fighting that triumphed over DC and a similar approach may be warranted against “The Beast Incarnate”. A precise strike on the button of Lesnar and barbarous ground and pound, just as Jones exhibited against Cormier, would be textbook for the 30-year-old and would comfortably swing the superfight in his favour. For one of the finest strikers in the sport, and many people’s argument for the pound-for-pound best fighter ever in the UFC, a win over a fighter who is not in active competition would be surely expected.
Whether the bout proves to be incredible or improbable, whoever leaves the Octagon showered with glory, only one thing is for certain:
It will be explosive when these two are in a cage together.
Let’s just hope that both of them stay clear of banned substances…