As the countdown to the heavyweight title showdown between Randy “The Natural” Couture and Brock Lesnar continues, the two men sat down and discussed the bout on a recent UFC conference call.
Though the men have similar backgrounds, the contrast in styles fans are likely to see was on full display when the men spoke about fight preparations.
With no clear underdog, the more experienced Couture was more thoughtful when addressing his concerns with Lesnar’s still largely untested and unknown skills.
“I don’t know if concern would be the right word,” the champion began before adding, “obviously with a guy of Brock’s size and mobility, those are things you have to consider when formulating a game plan.”
“I have none,” Lesnar said flatly when asked about concerns with Couture.
While there is a dearth of possible training partners to accurately mirror Lesnar’s fighting style, Couture doesn’t seem fazed; noting that he’s been fighting large guys for years.
“I’ve wrestled plenty of guys that were Brock’s size,” Couture said of his years of wrestling. “I don’t believe I’ve fought anybody that’s Brock’s size other than Tim [Sylvia]. [Gabriel] Gonzaga is a little smaller than Brock. Both of my recent fights have been against guys that were pretty large and outweighed me by at least 20 pounds.”
Even Couture’s experience and large training partners, Lesnar is not convinced that anyone in the sport can accurately prepare the champion for the onslaught that is to come.
While Couture’s return to the Octagon is certainly newsworthy, many of the questions surrounding the fight concern Lesnar, as his ascent to the top of the UFC’s thin heavyweight division drew some fire from many MMA purists. Questions on whether or not Lesnar is deserving of a title shot, or even if he will handle the pressure of playing on the big stage at this point in his career abound, but the former WWE champion is taking it all in stride.
“In my mind, I wanted to come in and fight two or three fights and win those fights and hopefully get a title shot. This has been a blessing in disguise. I want to thank Randy for even considering the fight and thank the company as well,” Lesnar laments on his good fortunes.
The graciousness was short lived, as Lesnar switched immediately back to combat mode. “Enough with the thank you’s, I’m ready to get in the Octagon next Saturday night and prove that I’m the true champion.”
Lesnar added that his recent victory over Heath Herring did a lot to cement his sense of belonging in the UFC. And while Lesnar has more sports entertainment experience than actual combat experience, he’s counting on his WWE days to get him over the hump as he headlines his first UFC pay-per-view. “I’ve had the opportunity to wrestle in front of 72,000 people,” he said reflecting on his time spent in the squared circle. “It’s entertainment but you’re in front of a large crowd. I’ve headlined many pay-per-views, and this will be another one.”
The size disparity between Lesnar and Couture will also be on display for all to see. The champion will likely come into the fight around 220 pounds, while the younger Lesnar will tip the scales at 265 pounds. Still, Couture is undeterred at the thought of giving up 40 or more pounds in the fight.
“I have to find a way to make that an advantage for sure,” he said of being the smaller man. “Brock’s a big strong and explosive guy and I don’t want to stand around in front of him. There’s two sides to every coin.”