Former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar will make his UFC debut against former heavyweight champion Frank Mir, the UFC announced Monday. In a match slated for the February 2nd event in Las Vegas, Lesnar will try to live up to the almost overwhelming hype (considering his 1-0 record in MMA) in a somewhat surprising matchup.
Mir (10-3) is not only an experienced fighter, but his strong submissions game would appear to make him a very tough opponent for a former NCAA champion wrestler like Lesnar, who is still learning the submissions aspect of MMA.
Though Mir has never been quite the same since the motorcycle accident that almost ended his once-promising career (and which led to him being stripped of the UFC heavyweight title), he is still a dangerous fighter off his back and has enough experience in the cage that he isn’t as likely to get overwhelmed by Lesnar’s pure strength and aggression as, say, Min Soo Kim, who Lesnar defeated back in June.
Honestly, I’m a little surprised that the UFC is putting Lesnar up against such stiff competition right off the bat. Considering what they’ve got invested in him, you might think they’d want to bring him along a little slower.
Even considering Lesnar’s resume before MMA, I don’t think anyone would accuse the UFC of protecting him if he fought an Antoni Hardonk or a Justin McCullly for his first time in the Octagon. Experience in this game counts for a lot, and so far Lesnar has about one minute’s worth. If he gets tapped out by Frank Mir in a hurry, what does the UFC plan to do with him? Mir’s at a point in his career where he’s looking up at the gatekeepers in the division, so it seems like a big risk for Lesnar without a commensurate reward.