UFC President Predicts Quicker-Than-Expected Turnaround for Lesnar


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Dana White file photo: Sherdog.com

UFC President Dana White thinks former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will find his way back into the Octagon much sooner than previously expected following his one-sided technical knockout loss to the unbeaten Cain Velasquez in the UFC 121 headliner on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The indomitable Velasquez stopped the former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar with heavy ground-and-pound 4:12 into the first round. Prior to the bout, Lesnar vowed to take a break from MMA in order to pursue other pastimes: hunting and spending time with family and friends. White foresees those plans being altered.

“We’re going to find out the real competitive side of Brock Lesnar here,” White told ESPN’s “MMA Live.” “I have a feeling, knowing him, his plans are going to be cut short. I think obviously he’s going to go hunting and spend some time with his family, but I think we’ll see him back a lot sooner than what we had planned.”

White does not believe Lesnar’s image will suffer much of a hit publicly. As the sport’s top box office draw, he has been at the heart of the promotion’s two most profitable pay-per-view events: UFC 100 in July 2009 and UFC 116 three months ago.

“This is mixed martial arts. Every dog has his day, and today was his day,” White said. “We’ll see what happens. I think people will always be interested in Brock, and now they’ll be interested in Cain, too.”

Velasquez survived two takedowns from the imposing champion and attacked him with clean, accurate power punches to the head. White pointed to Lesnar’s inexperienced stand-up skills and believes they may have led, at least partially, to his undoing.

“He has been working on his stand-up,” White said. “He’s only fought five times in the UFC. We’ve seen fights where his stand-up looks good. He’s not going to win any boxing titles, but it looks good when he’s doing the punching. When he starts getting hit is when his hands start to fall apart. It’s not a matter of working on his hands enough. It’s a different ballgame when you’re getting punched in face.”

White also addressed questions regarding whether or not Lesnar verbally submitted to the assault being inflicted upon him by Velasquez.

“I was watching the monitor, and I thought he yelled ‘Stop!’ White said. “From what I saw, I thought he did, too.”

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