When UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar heads into battle this Saturday night at UFC 100 to face the only man to have beaten him in his professional career, he won't do it alone. Head Trainer Greg Nelson, who runs the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy and has worked with Lesnar since the mammoth heavyweight began his MMA career, will be there shouting instructions and talking strategy with him right up until he steps into the octagon. Nelson recently appeared as a guest on MMA's premier radio program, "The Light's Out Show", to discuss strategy, Lesnar's demeanor heading into the fight and much more.
"We're going over strategy [even now]," Nelson said. "Different types of strategy. Kind of re-hone things in his head so that mentally he's got things reiterated in his head so that when we he goes out there, and we're in the corner, he already knows what we're going to talk about."
What fans, the media and opponents are talking about is Lesnar's immense size. The former Division I collegiate wrestling champion is one of those rare UFC heavyweights that must cut weight in order to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit. Reports have put Lesnar's walking around weight at upwards of 300-pounds, but Nelson claims that Lesnar cuts very well and won't have an issue making weight.
"He's pretty much at weight," Nelson said. "You know, after a workout he's pretty close to being right on. And even when he's cutting weight it's not that big of a deal because he has a lot of size and he sweats like a water facet so he loses weight very fast."
Lesnar will need to be in top condition when he steps inside of the octagon this Saturday at UFC 100 opposite UFC interim heavyweight champion Frank Mir. These two have met before, with Mir pulling out the win, but not before Lesnar stunned observers by overwhelming Mir with shear power and athleticism belying a man of his immense stature. Lesnar came out as if shot from a cannon, he quickly took Mir to the ground and began peppering his head with a quick succession of hammerfists which had Mir reeling.
Referee Steve Mazzagatti, who'd previously warned Lesnar about striking to the back of Mir's head, pulled Lesnar off the clearly distraught Mir and restarted the fight. Lesnar quickly took Mir down again, but left his leg in a vulnerable position which Mir quickly capitalized on by sinking in a leglock and finishing the fight via submission. Nelson believes that his fighter has learned from the mistake however, and will be much more composed due to his experience in two subsequent fights against Heath Herring and Randy Couture respectively.
"The biggest thing now is the fact that he's been in the octagon for several fights," Nelson said. "He'd only been in once before. That was it. That was his very first fight [in the octagon] and he was really jazzed up and was kind of over-amped; and that's what caused him to run into the problem. This time, you know, he's fought Heath Herring, he's fought Randy Couture; he's much more composed in there. And over these last couple years, we've really developed a better understanding of the ground game - what can happen, how to defeat it. Basically, we've also developed a lot of striking, much better use of the length of his arms and how to move in that octagon. And he's just become more at home in there. So, the biggest thing is that it's not...