Today, in a piece put together by Sherdog, Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva (Strikeforce heavyweight fighter), had an interesting quote regarding Brock Lesnar and his recent withdrawal from UFC 131 due to a second bout with diverticulitis.
"I don’t want to judge anyone and I really wish it’s not a big health problem for [Lesnar], but I have some doubts," Silva said. "That big guy doesn’t like being punched. In his last fights, he was put in the fetal position by Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez, which is humiliating for a fighter. I think he pulled out of the fight against ‘Cigano,’ who is a real heavy puncher and a real tough opponent for someone who doesn’t like being punched."
If the quote (and the translation, if there was one) is accurate, that's quite a bold inference to be making about Lesnar and his toughness.
This is not the first time Lesnar's toughness has been questioned by a fellow fighter. It's not even the first time a fighter has alluded that Brock did not want to fight Junior dos Santos. Way back in January, fellow UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson was quoted as saying the following:
"I think Brock Lesnar is done," Nelson said. "I think Brock doing TUF is one way to basically take a situation and make it win-win for him. I think Lesnar doing the show is a way to introduce Junior Dos Santos to the American fan base in the way the show does. TUF introduces "stars in the making" to the casual UFC fan and while JDS is the number one contender he still needs some help with the American fan base. So the conspiracy basically comes down to the fact that Shane Carwin has no one to fight in June. I think Brock Lesnar will walk off the TUF set and then Carwin will take his spot or Frank Mir will come in to "save the day" and fight JDS for title contention. The reason I believe Frank would be the guy is because Mir is coming off a win and I was already supposed to fight Shane so fans were already hyped to see it. Or Carwin could move in to face JDS and I could still face Frank but it doesn't really matter to me as to who fights who because all that really matters is the fans want to see me fight somebody. A lot of things could happen over the next six weeks but it seems a bit off that Carwin doesn't have an opponent right now and all of the top heavyweights are spoken for."
At the time, it was just a playful jab at someone that Nelson might one day get in the cage with. Now that it has (at least in some ways) come to fruition, it's poured gasoline on a fire of controversy.
All this on the heels of Rashad Evans outright saying that Jon 'Bones' Jones faked an injury to avoid a fight with him (Evans).
Does any of this cross a line? In particular, with Brock Lesnar, is it okay to go after a guy who is potentially dealing with a career ending illness? At this point, there is nothing but suspicion to go on to prove that Lesnar is not being 100% truthful. Come on, be real. If Dana White hadn't talked to doctors who'd examined Brock and seen the evidence, and knew for sure that Brock couldn't go, do you REALLY think he'd saddle up next to Brock and support him as he cost him millions of dollars (potentially)? I don't.
Don't get me wrong, if it were to come out that Brock (or Jones or anyone else) was faking to get out of a fight, I'd be first in line to condemn the act, and would probably not care to see him fight again. I just think that if you're going to make an accusation like that, you'd better be sure, and have more to go on that a gut feeling and a snippet from a Roy Nelson interview.
There's nothing wrong with disliking a fighter. There's not even anything wrong with disliking him as a person. I just think it's the easy thing to do to kick a man when he's down.