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Fight of life for Brock
By JOSE RODRIGUEZ - Calgary Sun


Brock Lesnar

It's not that Brock Lesnar can add psychic ability to his arsenal of weapons.

But the hulking heavyweight says he had a premonition about fighting Randy Couture.

After manhandling Heath Herring last month, Lesnar packed up his Harley and set off on a trek with his wife Sable.

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had earlier spoken to Lesnar about a potential bout in November against French behemoth Cheick Kongo.

"I'm in Wyoming, and I'm thinking about this fight against Kongo, and I'm like, 'Yeah you know what? That's fine. I'll fight whoever,'" remembers Lesnar, 31.

"And then I had a split-second thought of, 'I wonder what the hell it would take to get Randy Couture back in business again."

Six days later, UFC president Dana White called Lesnar offering him a heavyweight title shot against the newly reinstated Couture on Nov. 15 at UFC 91 in Las Vegas.

"It's ironic," says Lesnar.

"I'm like, 'I'm in. Where do I sign?'"

Couture had quit the UFC a year ago citing pay and a lack of respect by UFC brass. He also said the fight club's inability to sign Fedor Emelianenko was at the root of his reason for leaving. After months of legal grappling, the UFC and Couture came to an agreement and he was reinstated as heavyweight champ earlier this month.

Critics have said Lesnar, a former World Wrestling Entertainment star, hasn't been in the mixed-martial arts game long enough to deserve a title shot.

A loss against former champ Frank Mir and the win over Herring are the only two items on his UFC resume.

But in both fights, Lesnar has shown he can be a powerful, explosive fighter and that -- along with the lure of big pay-per-view numbers -- was enough to convince White to give him a title shot.

Lesnar makes no excuses for get a title shot this early in his MMA career.

"Not a lot of people get this opportunity, but not a lot of people are me, either," says Lesnar. "I had to win against Heath Herring and that puts me in this spot. Would anybody else turn it down? Absolutely not."

Lesnar is a two-time all-American wrestler and won the 2000 NCAA heavyweight championship. His four-year record was 106-5.

He says his wrestling forms the core of his fight game.

"Anybody that's in this sport knows that without a real wrestling base, they're swimming upstream," says Lesnar.

And though Couture has had success against big men -- most recently beating 6-foot-8 Tim Sylvia -- Lesnar says Couture's never faced anyone like him.

"Randy said that he's going in at 225 pounds. Well, I'm coming in at 265 pounds," says Lesnar who, at 6-foot-3, admits he has to cut weight to make the 265-lb maximum.

Lesnar is also the first UFC fighter whose fists are too big to fit into the extra large gloves supplied by the UFC.

RELATED LINKS

  • Brock Lesnar bio and story archive
  • SLAM! Fighting section for all your MMA needs