The Half-Guarded Truth
By: Mike Coughlin
LESNAR V OVEREEM
When gods clash and the earth rumbles it leaves us with no choice but to watch.
Alistair Overeem gained a television set’s worth of muscle at an age when most people find their bodies beginning to physically slow. It took him almost four weeks to simply pee in a cup. He has beaten exactly one somewhat passable heavyweight in MMA in the past four years (the length of Brock Lesnar’s entire MMA career!). Lesnar himself hasn’t fought in over a year, and in that time has been convicted in Canada of improperly killing animals, all the while he continued to battle a disease that saw his intestines try to eat him alive. Tonight, they fight and it shall be glorious.
The undercard will showcase Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone fighting. Both are exquisite fighters, well versed in every single aspect of the game, with a plethora of knock outs and submissions to their respective names. In every way imaginable, they embody what a mixed martial artist is today. And that’s all well and good, but I want to see Overeem and Lesnar fight for one simple reason: they are gigantic.
Combining to weigh over 500 lbs, they are two of the biggest heavyweights on earth, with each representing a different end of the MMA spectrum. In Overeem, we have a former K1 Grand Prix Champion kickboxer; in Lesnar, a former NCAA Division One National Champion Wrestler. One punches and kicks; the other wrestles and pounds. There isn’t a real great mystery as to each man’s approach to tonight’s fight: on the feet, Overeem wins, on the ground, Lesnar wins.
The fight taps into that primal urge to watch behemoths clash. I want to see men who should wield stone crafted battle axes, or the very hammer of Thor himself, while fighting off 10 men on a battle field in the snow covered terrain of the Black Forest. These two titans are the men that when one falls to a knee with a dozen arrows piercing his shoulder it is a D-Day like victory. They are as much Greek myths, or modern day comic book superheroes, as they are mixed martial artists.
Is the fight an illusion? Likely. Overeem looks like a god and fights such that he literally leaves a trail of unconscious bodies behind him, but he’s also untested against top flight competition. And while Lesnar is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion who let drool run off his chin while he roared a visceral scream at the camera, he’s also dealt with the aforementioned illness and year-plus layoff. And I don’t care. I will allow myself to get excited and to believe that I’m watching two men so big, so powerful, so majestic in what they do, that they are the only two men on earth capable of beating one another. And one of them will win.
Mike Coughlin is the host of FIVE STAR RADIO. He’s about as big as Lesnar’s right leg. Maybe.