I'll be here at Cageside with my normal "Post Event Thoughts" article that will address the rest of the card. I just thought this big of a main event, with this big of a result, deserves it's own post. Am I shocked by the way this fight went? You bet your ass I am. I thought Cain Velasquez would defeat Brock Lesnar. I just didn't think he would beat him like this.
To the credit of many members of the MMA media and blogosphere, they didn't get sucked into the fact that Lesnar is such a monster. Some of them did and it's admittedly hard not to. But as the title of this post indicates, Cain Velasquez just schooled us on the very thing we learned all the way back in 1993 with Royce Gracie running through everybody; size will not win you a fight. Skill and technique beat size and strength every time, if you have enough of both. Cain had more skill and technique than Lesnar had size and strength.
We didn't really learn anything new about Velasquez tonight. He came in and showcased every one of the skills he had showcased in his previous bouts. The only thing we can say now that we couldn't before is that he doesn't buckle under the pressure of such a big moment. He stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam tonight. His striking was spot on, his wrestling defense was great, his wrestling offense was incredible and his killer instinct is on the level of Chuck Liddell when he was in his prime. I accept Cain Velasquez as my heavyweight champion.
So what did we learn about Brock? I'm not sure we necessarily learned anything new about Lesnar tonight; more like reaffirmed what we had already begun to believe. He was utterly dominated by Shane Carwin in the first round at UFC 116 before the big man gassed out. He couldn't handle getting hit by him. His reaction to being punched is possibly the worst in the entire sport. I'm not saying that to be extreme; I'm saying it because it's the truth. He confirmed so tonight when he took one on the chin from Velasquez. Remember when the talk of the town was that Cain had "pillow hands"? That's now a distant memory.
Going into this fight, I asked the question that if Brock were to lose to Velasquez, would his mystique disappear? The question is not a simple one and one that we can not answer at this very moment. We'll have to wait and see what happens with him in his fighting career and the kind of buyrates we see from him in the future. But as of right now, his aura of invincibility is gone. Had he lost a close fight maybe we could justify it but he was dominated. At one point it actually looked like he threw himself down after getting hit. Dana White commented that he thought he saw Lesnar say, "stop".
Brock Lesnar can come back from this. It will take hard work and dedication, something we know he has. But the monster is a monster no more.