Former two-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen appreciates a good spectacle. In fact, he's often the one creating them.
So, he is as excited as any fan to see WWE star and former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar return to competition, next month, at UFC 200. "Lesnar, without a doubt, is the biggest attraction the UFC has ever seen," Sonnen recently told Submission Radio.
"He's a once-in-a-lifetime attraction. If Brock's fighting, you don't want to miss it. And this truly will be his last fight. Any time there's speculation 'is this gonna be the guy's last fight?,' that helps to draw, that helps make you go 'I don't wanna miss it.' For sure this is Brock's last fight. So yeah man, people want to see it. I'm one of those people."
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With that said, Sonnen also seems to think that Lesnar is more show than substance. As hyped and famous as he is, Lesnar doesn't have much of a chance against top heavyweight Mark Hunt, according to Sonnen.
"You gotta understand, Brock hasn't been in the ring in five years, Hunt was the number one contender within the last calendar year," he reasoned.
"So no, you don't have to be exactly an MMA expert to be able to see how this fight goes. Hunt's gonna wreck him."
Activity and ring rust are important considerations, to be sure. However, Lesnar is a former NCAA division I wrestling national champion with powerful takedowns.
On paper, that type of wrestling ability has often been an effective antitode to dangerous stand-up strikers like Hunt. Here, too, Sonnen contends that Lesnar really isn't all he is made out to be, in terms of his skills.
Even Lesnar's wrestling pedigree and skills come with caveats, to Sonnen -- himself an accomplished international wrestler. "He wasn't a really good wrestler, he was an effective wrestler," Sonnen specified.
According to Sonnen, Lesnar has good attributes as a wrestler, but he relies on having a size advantage. "I'll put this in perspective for you. In the NCAA when he won his national title, he was 265 pounds, which was the limit. In the finals, he had a guy that was 220 pounds and he had to go into double overtime with him. There's not very many wrestlers alive, if any, that if they had a 45-pound weight advantage couldn't put that guy away in about 30 seconds," he claimed.
"So he was an effective wrestler, but you know, he had some size and he had a lot of other things to help him get his hand raised. It wasn't skill and technique. He kept good position, he was a good competitor and he achieved some really great things. So I don't think that a guy as short as Hunt is just gonna get bum-rushed and taken down."