UFC 200: Sunday, June 10, 2016, Las Vegas, Nevada
THE brute is back.
WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, 38, will make a remarkable return to the Octagon at UFC 200 next month to take on the Super Samoan Mark Hunt.
And what a fight it will be between two of the most popular heavy weight fighters of all time.
Online bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au has installed the adopted Australian as a $1.59 favourite, with Lesnar at $2.38.
It will be Lesnar’s first fight in the Octagon since December 2011 and he wants to atone for his last two results, where he was beaten by both Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem.
“It haunted me because at the top of my career, I wasn’t at the top of my game,” Lesnar said.
“I felt I was cheated out of my career in the UFC.
“In my mind and in my heart, I never lost to a foe.
“I never lost to my opponent.
“I lost to diverticulitis.
“That was my opponent that beat me.”
Diverticulitis causes inflammation in the bowel and put Lesnar in hospital at one point.
Lesnar, a former UFC heavy weight champion and one of the most popular stars in the WWE, is a physical specimen, but it remains to be scene just how he can perform in a one off return to the real stuff.
He will fight a man who has ended both Antonio Bigfoot Silva and Frank Mir in the first round of each of his past two ventures into the octagon.
The man who says he will fight any body, any where, any time reckons Lesnar “should have stayed retired”.
He said, as usual, he took the fight on short notice.
“When I was asked a few weeks ago to stay ready for July, I was very pumped man,” Hunt told his website.
“I had no idea it would be Brock, but like everything it doesn’t matter who I fight, they are going to get it good and proper when I step inside the cage.
“I’m just going to prepare as best as I can.
“My mind is built for this sh*t, throw me into the maelstrom of battle and nine out of 10 times I walk away (the winner).”
Lesnar might want to make sure he covers his chin.
“I deal with a wrestler like I deal with every other fighter,” Hunt said.
“I punch them in the mouth”.
“I’ll knock his face off.
“I knock his mouth off and then his lips fly off.
“If he has an itch to scratch I will scratch it for him.
“I ain’t no part time fighter.
“He thinks this is a game where he can come back and forth.
“I will send this pretender back so he can play house with the other part timers.
“This realm is for the real fighters, not these damn pretenders.
“Don’t confuse wrestling with real fighting.
“I’m going to give it to him.”
The return of Lesnar has overshadowed the main event of the rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones.
The UFC’s light heavy weight champion Cormier is the rank outsider at $3.34 to beat Jones.
The best pound for pound fighter in the UFC is the $1.33 favourite.
Cormier was meant to fight Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 to defend his title, but was kept out with injury, allowing Jones to step in and take the interim title.
But Cormier has a message for his opponent.
“I’ll be there with my championship belt, with my red wraps on my glove as I come out second and you wait for me to walk to the Octagon,” Cormier said.
“We meet here live from the T-Mobile Arena, the brand new arena out here in Las Vegas, and we unify these titles.
“Don’t bring that interim belt.
“You leave that at home. That’s garbage. That’s a play belt.
“They got that thing from the kiosk upstairs before they gave that to you in the middle of the Octagon.
“Leave that thing at home, Jon.
“Come chase this real title, and get beat, and I’ll ship you back to Albuquerque.“
But Jones said if Cormier had have been capable of fighting him at UFC 197, there would have been no need for this one.
“I would have beat him up pretty good, because I am tuned up to be fighting Daniel Cormier,” Jones said.
“You know, all my techniques, the angles, the ideas.
“I’d been working on Daniel Cormier for seven months, for over seven months.
“I’ve been training for one fighter, and they threw me this taller, power-punching fighter, switching stances.
“It just wasn’t what I was preparing for.
“So I believe I can beat Daniel Cormier right now, for sure.
“And I’m going to prove that.”
The two best feather weight fighters in the UFC will go head to head when number one Jose Aldo takes on number two Frankie Edgar.
The bookies can’t split Junior and The Answer, with both fighters rated $1.90 each of two.
In the other big fight at UFC 200, women’s bantam weight champion Miesha Tate has not bothered to wait for Ronda Rousey to step back into the cage, instead deciding to defend her title against Amanda Nunes.
A technical beast, Nunes, at $2.93 with sportsbet.com.au has all the tools to win a fight against the woman who shocked the world by destroying Holly Holm to take the title.
Tate is the $1.41 favourite and her intangibles are what make her dangerous.
This is a battle between two very different fighters, which should make for some compelling viewing.
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