Ken Shamrock: “Lesnar could have been the greatest ever”

Posted: May 23, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion
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ken-shamrockUFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock knows a thing or two about fighting. So when he states his opinion on other heavyweight fighters, people tend to listen. Shamrock thins that if the UFC groomed Brock Lesnar properly, he could have been the greatest pound for pound fighter ever. Is that a fair statement? Or is Shamrock crazy?

“I thought they threw him in too soon,” Shamrock told Joe Ferraro.  “He’s fighting guys that had 20 fights in his second fight because he’s so massive and so impressive. It wasn’t fair to him.” For the record, Lesnar’s UFC debut was against former UFC champion Frank Mir, who was officially 10-3 at that time. His next fight was against veteran Heath Herring who was 27-14-1 when they fought. So Shamrock’s point is well taken.

“He could’ve been the best fight in any weight class,” he continued. “Best pound-for-pound ever, if he was groomed properly.” The belief at the time might have been to throw Lesnar into the big time right away, to avoid losing to a low ranked fighter. Such a loss would have killed any momentum Lesnar had. Losing to a veteran like Mir (which he did) wasn’t as big of a deal. They did the same thing with Kimbo Slice on TUF 10. A loss to the best guy in the house (Roy Nelson) wasn’t devastating. But losing to Mike Wessel would have been a killer.

“I’m just saying, this guy had an opportunity to be great, and I just saw him mentally get dwindled down because he was thrown right into that. With guys that had a lot more fights than him, a lot more technical than him. Imagine what you could have done with this guy if you had groomed him properly?”

Shamrock isn’t the first person to have this thought. It makes a lot of sense. Look at Brock’s opponents after Herring—Randy Couture, Frank Mir, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem. In terms of quality of competition, there are VERY few—if any—fighters in the division who have ever matched that lineup. Shamrock is 100% correct about wondering what if?

Was Lesnar the greatest ever? Of course not. He had a few glaring holes in his game. But who doesn’t have holes in his game after only 8 fights? Could a handful of fights against lesser competition taken care of those holes? Possibly, but now we’ll never know. Shamrock brings up some interesting points however.

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