Lesnar still has much to learn

Brock Lesnar murdered Frank Mir and left zero questions regarding his standing in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

He’s the unquestioned king of the UFC heavyweights and very likely the #2 heavyweight in the world, which is a stunning thing to say about someone who has five total pro fights on his record. He controlled a black belt submission specialist on the ground with one hand while landing incredibly solid shots with the other, finally rendering Mir unconscious and unifying the heavyweight championship.

Lesnar’s post-fight antics left much to be desired, however.

Immediately after dispatching Mir, Lesnar screamed at his bludgeoned opponent, asking if “he wanted talk [expletive] now.” He basked in the booing crowd, gave them the finger, and then capped the evening by insulting one of the UFC’s blue-chip sponsors and talked about getting on top of his wife.

After Lesnar got back to his locker room, he was paid a visit by Dana White. This isn’t out of the norm, since White typically visits the locker rooms of most of his fighters at some point during the night.

This visit wasn’t a social one.

White took Lesnar into the adjoining bathroom and gave him a verbal lashing. White wouldn’t specify exactly what was said, but he did say that Lesnar admitted to being embarrassed of his post-fight actions. Lesnar admitted as much during the press conference and on ESPN’s MMA Live, and White tried everything he possibly could to ensure the throng of mainstream media members in the room that Lesnar’s not really like that.

White is completely right. Brock Lesnar is actually a very respectful guy, but he’s a fierce competitor. The loss to Frank Mir has been eating at Lesnar for over a year, and hearing Frank masterfully talk trash to build up the fight only served to add to Lesnar’s intensity. After giving Frank Mir the beating of his life, Lesnar couldn’t dial down the intensity or the obnoxiousness.

Every good story needs a compelling bad guy, and Brock Lesnar understands that better than anyone. He’s undervalued by hardcore MMA fans because of his background in the WWE, but it’s his background in pro wrestling that has made him (by far) the biggest mixed martial arts star in the world at a very young stage in his career.

If Lesnar has to continue playing the bad guy to stay on top of the pay per view business, he’ll willingly do that, but I’m pretty sure you’ll never see a repeat of his actions from last night. As he continues to fight, he’ll continue to mature, and while he may never be the type to bow to his opponent after a fight, I also doubt that you’ll ever see a repeat of last night.

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