At UFC 91, Randy Couture faced Brock Lesnar in one of the biggest heavyweight fights in UFC history. Lesnar was just 2-1 in his MMA career (1-1 in UFC) and already receiving a UFC Heavyweight Title shot against Couture, who was a legend in the sport, but hadn't fought for over a year due to a dispute with UFC.
Lesnar was victorious in the bout, finishing Couture with strikes in the second round.
Speaking on 2000 Percent Raise with John Cerasani, Couture reflected on stepping into the cage with Brock Lesnar.
"I think I was on my way to winning that fight, for sure. I had a plan to try and make him wrestle me and use my Greco (Roman wrestling) background. In that first round, I had him up and he had to grab the fence, probably would have hit the deck, and it might have been a different night from that point. He's a huge guy and a very athletic guy, an NCAA Champion from Minnesota. At 290 pounds, he's as athletic as they come, a very rare thing for a guy that size. A great wrestling background. I knew that anytime I faced another wrestler, it was going to negate an advantage I had against others. I knew it was going to be a challenge and with his size, I had to find big partners that could simulate him as much as possible. That was a big challenge because not a lot of guys his size could move. I could find big bodies, but they weren't nearly as athletic as he is. He was a legitimate athlete, not just a WWE...we saw with CM Punk and what happened with him trying to make that same transition. CM didn't have that wrestling background to rely on to get him through some of the tougher spots and it didn't go well," he said.
CM Punk had two fights in the UFC, losing by submission to Mickey Gall in 2016 and losing by decision to Mike Jackson in 2018, though the result was overturned after Jackson tested positive for marijuana.
Couture continued by saying, "He wanted the challenge, he saw the popularity of MMA and saw the application of all his years in wrestling in the sport. Took some lumps early on, Frank Mir caught him in a kneebar and he lost. What he never did was make friends with getting punched in the face. At some point, you have to make friends, I don't care how fast and good you are, you're going to get hit. If you don't make friends with that, a lot of people have never been punched in the face, it's a unique experience. You could see it against (Cain) Velasquez and against (Alistair) Overeem. When he got hit, he got that look in his eyes like, 'oh damn' and it didn't go well. I ended up training with Brock before the Shane Carwin fight, spent a little time with him. I like him. He's a good ol' boy, loves the outdoors, and we have a lot of things in common. I loved training with him."
Lesnar is currently feuding with Bobby Lashley in WWE. The two are set to have a contract signing for a match at WWE Elimination Chamber on Monday's WWE Raw.
Couture retired from fighting in 2011 at the age of 47.
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