Lesnar has more to prove

NEIL SPRINGER -- SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

Brock Lesnar made history last night at UFC 91.

He is the first fighter to have a UFC title with only three wins under his belt. To top it all off, he stopped Randy Couture, one of the biggest names in MMA history, with strikes in the second round. It was easily his most impressive performance to date.

The UFC has wasted no time in heralding Lesnar as the next big thing in MMA and an unstoppable monster. The headline on the organization's website today reads, "Who’ll Stop The Brock? The Lesnar Era Begins as Brock Stops Couture in Two." Needless to say Dana White and company must be ecstatic as they have a very marketable champion to promote.

However, despite Lesnar's huge win last night, he still has a lot more to prove before we can usher in the "Lesnar Era."

As impressive a victory as it was, Lesnar was still facing someone who couldn't give him problems on the ground. We all saw what happened in his fight with Frank Mir -- his submission defense is still questionable. As long as Couture was on the bottom, he would be at a disadvantage against an opponent the size of Lesnar.

Some will argue that Lesnar was too over-anxious and that Mir got lucky in their fight. I disagree with the second part, but it's safe to say he won't make the mistake of leaving his leg hanging out in the open again. If the former WWE wrestler looks to really make a statement, his next fight will give him the opportunity.

On Dec. 27 at UFC 92, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defends his UFC interim heavyweight title against Mir. The winner will face the newly-crowned heavyweight champion in the near future.

If Mir wins, Lesnar has the opportunity to avenge his sole loss. If Nogueira wins, Lesnar gets to face the second greatest heavyweight in MMA history -- Fedor Emelianenko being number one -- and one of the best submission fighters the sport has ever seen.

I'll throw out my prediction now: Nogueira will beat Mir and go on to submit Lesnar. The "Lesnar Era" will last for all of one fight. However, in a couple years, when he's had more time to train and compete, the "Lesnar Era" could shape the sport as we know it. Only time will tell.

Florian continues to dominate

Kenny Florian earned the most impressive win of his MMA career last night. After some back-and-forth action, the former Ultimate FIghter contestant submitted Joe Stevenson with a rear-naked choke in the first round. No easy feat, considering 'Daddy' had just received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

If ever there were any doubts that he deserves a lightweight title shot, they were erased last night. Unfortunately for Florian, he has to wait until after BJ Penn faces Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight championship.

Hazelett is a submission magician

In the submission of the night, Dustin Hazelett turned an omoplata (shoulder lock) into a nasty upside-down armbar. Tamden McCrory's elbow joint was completely hyper-extended, facing the opposite direction. It was both disgusting and awesome.

The welterweight division may be stacked with great fighters, but Hazelett is quickly becoming one of my favourites to watch. In his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, he claimed he wants to win more "submission of the night" bonuses than any other fighter. I'd pay to see that.

Maia is one of the top middleweights

What he lacks in striking, Demian Maia more than makes up for on the ground. Last night, he methodically choked out Nate Quarry. The former TUF contestant had no chance -- every time he moved, Maia tightened his grip, before the inevitable tapout. It was literally like watching a Boa constrictor swallow its prey.

If he keeps it up, a title shot can't be too far away.


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