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By: Jason Amadi, MMATorch Columnist
Clay writes: How good would Brock have been had he gone straight to UFC after college?
A: When people discuss Brock Lesnar's MMA career, they tend to gloss over the fact that he debuted in the sport right at the tail end of his athletic prime. Had he gone to the UFC right after college, I think he could have gone down as one of the better heavyweights in MMA history.
Brock Lesnar isn't just a good athlete, he's an incredible athlete.
In his heyday he was one of the best amateur wrestlers in the country. Lesnar's coordination and athletic prowess made him an exceptional professional wrestler and he got shot straight to the top of that industry upon arrival. The guy almost made an NFL team with little to no football experience and he won the UFC Heavyweight Championship just four fights into his career.
Obviously, when he was in his athletic prime there weren't too many guys who could match his physicality in MMA.
Then again, his WWE run made him rich and famous enough to afford high level training early on in his MMA career. If he strolled into Hammer House in the early 2000's, who's to say that Lesnar wouldn't have wound up having a Mark Coleman-esque career?
Bobby writes: I find it interesting that there is talk of replacing Overeem, who tested positive for elevated testosterone, with Dan Henderson, who himself has admitted to using TRT. I know the circumstances are different but it seems like an ironic choice. Thoughts?
A: First of all, Dan Henderson has gone through the proper channels to get a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone and Alistair Overeem hasn't. Second of all, and most importantly, Overeem was randomly drug tested and his T:E ratio was pretty out of control. That's what he's in hot water over.
Dan Henderson hasn't been accused of abusing anything; as far as we know everything with "Hendo" is on the up and up. If anything, Dan Henderson has a stronger case for needing TRT than any fighter in his mid to late 20's or early 30's.
I'm not sure I sense any irony here, but that's probably because my grasp on that concept is tenuous at best.
Brent writes: My question is about something I never see in MMA, but always do when having BJJ bouts with my friends. Is it legal under the Unified Rules to escape from a choke by grabbing fingers and pulling until your opponent let's go by prying their arm off? For that matter, how do these organizations feel about pulling arm and leg hair? Or even tickling? Ok that last part is a joke but I'm still curious.
A: Well, small joint manipulation is prohibited under the Unified Rules.
As for pulling body hair and tickling, I'm not sure if that's covered or not, but I can tell you from experience that committing one or even both hands to that type of foolishness will get you submitted pretty quickly.
Eric: I'm a long time fan of MMA and the UFC, but I've always been curious about one thing: why do the same fighters always seem to get title fights? For example, we could use the light heavyweight division. You always see the same fighters contending for the top slot. It's great that they're big names, but "Shogun" Rua, Lyoto Machida, and especially "Rampage" Jackson, have had their chances at the title and I for one would like to see some new names get a chance.
A: Exactly who are these new names that are getting passed over for title opportunities at 205? In the light heavyweight division you have your top six guys, then there's a pretty steep decline in talent beyond that.
Fighters like Quinton Jackson and Mauricio Rua are definitely at a point in their careers where they should be passing the torch to younger fighters, but they're still too skilled to get passed up by today's mid level light heavyweights.
Look at a fight like Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader for example. Jackson clearly had a bum wheel and was out of shape for that fight, and even then it took all Ryan Bader had to pull out a pedestrian decision win.
Phil Davis was a pretty exciting prospect, but we saw against Rashad Evans that he's still too green to compete against top level guys at this point.
The fact is, unless Alexander Gustafsson delivers in the way that people seem to think he will, 205 is going to look like a retirement home for the foreseeable future.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JasonAmadi and direct your "Ask the Torch" questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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