• UFC 141

Just wait... Lesnar will be the best he's been - Couture

ESPN staff
December 14, 2011

Randy Couture disagrees with the suggestion that Brock Lesnar will be less of a force after his battle with diverticulitis, insisting the time off will make the former UFC champion as dangerous as he has ever been.

Lesnar is preparing for his UFC return after having a significant section of his colon removed earlier this year. His opponent at UFC 141 will be Alistair Overeem, who arrives as the Strikeforce heavyweight king.

Couture has had the 'pleasure' of sharing an Octagon with Lesnar, losing his belt to the monstrous former WWE star at UFC 91. Lesnar later lost his crown to Cain Velasquez in a bout that displayed serious holes in his striking game.

It has been over a year since Lesnar last stepped into a cage and, having undergone such serious surgery and a major lifestyle change it is predicted he may not be the same wrecking ball that he once was. However, Couture has fought against and trained with Lesnar, and he believes the extra time in the gym will add skill to his immense power.

"I don't think his difficulties will affect his ability to fight. If anything, the time off has given him time to develop more tools and add new skills, rather than trial by fire the hard way in the cage," Couture told ESPN.

"I think he's going to be better having had, for the first time, the time to change and realise his potential."

Couture initially coped well with Lesnar despite an enormous size difference between the two men in 2008, almost taking his back. However, one huge punch that landed behind the ear led to a series of hammer fists, and Couture admits Overeem - who has also trained at Xtreme Couture - will not want to find himself under Lesnar's frame.

"Something about being stood in front of a guy who is that size, but can still move as fluidly as he moves is a very unique thing," The Natural explained. "You don't find guys like that, he's an anomaly.

"How do you prepare? You can't find partners to simulate that.

"It depends who has their way with each other in this one. If Brock closes the distance and gets his hands on Overeem, you're going to see Overeem on the bottom a lot. That's not a great place to be.

"If Brock's timid and allows Overeem to establish his range and throws those big knees, we've established that Brock hasn't made friends with being hit in the face yet. It's not flipping his trigger and letting him know the fight's on.

"Either way, it's a great fight and an exciting match-up, no doubt."

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