LAS VEGAS – Brock Lesnar hadn’t won a mixed martial arts fight in more than six years, since he’d submitted Shane Carwin with an arm triangle on July 3, 2010, at UFC 116.
He ended that streak in a big way on Saturday at UFC 200, scoring a unanimous decision over Mark Hunt at the T-Mobile Arena.
Lesnar, who left the UFC after being stopped by Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 in 2011 because of diverticulitis, was extraordinarily wary of Hunt’s power.
Hunt is one of the biggest punchers in the sport and Lesnar clearly respected that power. When Hunt so much as drew his arm back with a closed fist, Lesnar was diving at his legs.
He managed to get Hunt on his back in the first and third rounds, and won the fight by pounding Hunt with hammer fists.
Hunt simply didn’t have the skill or the strength to deal with Lesnar once he was on his back.
But Lesnar, a former UFC heavyweight champion, wasn’t on point all night.
“It took me a little while to get acclimated,” he conceded.
Hunt didn’t do a ton in the second, but he was attacking and trying to throw, and he managed to stay on his feet. That gave each man a round apiece, and Lesnar knew he needed the third.
He took Hunt down with a double leg near the fence about a minute into the final round and they stayed in the corner the rest of the fight. Lesnar didn’t do excessive damage, but he did land enough to bloody Hunt and win the fight.
He’s going to wrestle again for the WWE in August, and his MMA future is unclear.
“One day at a time,” he said. “I’m so happy to be in here. One thing I do want to do: America, a shout out to the men in uniform who protect this country, from sea to shining sea.”
That was typical Lesnar, playing to the crowd, which roared. And the fight was typical Lesnar, too, brute strength and elite wrestling ruling the day.