Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pre-Fight Interview with Brock Lesnar's Coach

Is wrestling superstar Brock Lesnar ready for his UFC debut?
His coach thinks so.
As the head trainer at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, Greg Nelson is one of the top instructors in the sport with a team including Sean Sherk, Nick "The Goat" Thompson, Brock Larson and Kaitlin Young, just to name a few.
Now, with a 265-pound monster like Lesnar in his club, Nelson says that the UFC heavyweight division is in trouble.
"Brock's a great listener," he says. "His wrestling is phenomenal. His striking and jiu-jitsu defense is doing great. Plus, he's used to being in front of hundreds of thousands of people. He can handle it very good. Training has been going great."
Facing former heavyweight champion Frank Mir, Nelson says the UFC chose the perfect opponent for Lesnar's first fight in the octagon.
"I think if they'd given him anyone else, who's just coming up, and he would've won, they would've said 'so what'? But, being that Frank Mir was a former champion, and he's a very good jiu jitsu guy for a heavyweight; if he beats Frank it'll give him a step up on the pedestal. Because instead of some tomato can, it'll be a win over a guy who's done some damage in there."
"Mir says psychologically that he's fit for this fight," Nelson continues, "but we'll see how he is once he feels the pressure that Brock is going to bring on. Brock is really going to be loose with his hands. He's got powerful punches and when he gets down he can really go. His conditioning is phenomenal."
Although Mir once wore the belt, both his conditioning and his mental toughness have failed him in the past. That's something that Lesnar's coach plans to attack.
"He's always had that thing where he either gets tired or he mentally breaks and the fight turns," Nelson says, "and you saw that with the [Marcio]'Pe De Pano' [Cruz] fight, where Pe De Pano looks like he doesn't even know how to strike, but he's just totally man-handling Mir."
"That's our goal in the fight," he explains, "to go in there and pressure him, try to hurt him and break his spirit, then go from there, and for the first few minutes, just watch out for some leglock or armlock, which he'll most likely try to do. He'll try to wing something out. So the whole goal with Brock is to stay tight, keep a good defensive base and then just keep the leather in his face the whole fight."
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