Lesnar Shuts Down Herring

By Loretta Hunt Aug 10, 2008
Brock Lesnar (Pictures) tapped into a lifetime of wrestling to overwhelm the much more experienced Heath Herring (Pictures) over three rounds Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 87 “Seek and Destroy” in Minneapolis, Minn.

Fans inside the Target Center rewarded the 2000 NCAA Div. I wrestling champion for the University of Minnesota with their undying adulation, while the judges handed Lesnar the second victory of his short, but so-far productive mixed martial arts career with a 30-26 unanimous decision nod across the cards.

Lesnar (2-1) barreled out of the gate with a wild knee that missed, but the former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar took the lessons learned from an overzealous loss to Frank Mir (Pictures) last February and put them to quick use.

Lesnar, who’s trained in the sport since early 2007, followed up with a searing right straight that sent Herring (26-14, 1 NC) sailing to the canvas. A stunned Herring rolled backwards as all 280 pounds of Lesnar charged at his downed foe like a bull enraged at the sight of red.

Wanting no part of the canvas with the 31-year-old wrestler, Herring slid his back up along the cage, and attempted to re-set center canvas. Lesnar wasn’t finished yet though.

The easy takedown came around the 3:35 mark and Herring, who’d made his name fighting the world over, found himself in the one place he wanted to be least, underneath yet another monstrous opponent with something to prove.

The Minnesota Martial Arts Academy student smothered Herring's turtled torso for the majority of the round and landed head punches and body knees, but the Texan could find no reprieve from Lesnar’s broad base.

Herring, cut and bleeding, found himself in the same predicament less than a minute into the second round. Lesnar took side control and briefly flirted with mount, but Herring flipped to his knees again, grasping for a way to make it to his feet. On the fence, Herring absorbed two powerful knees to his mid-section and grimaced, which Lesnar took as a sign to close in tighter.

In the final round, Herring surprisingly closed the distance with his assailant on the fence, only to have his legs collapse underneath Lesnar’s sheer size and overpowering strength. Again, Lesnar hugged Herring’s battered body from a comfortable side position, ripping off an occasional hammerfist, but doing little more to rock the apple cart. Lesnar’s patience served him well and gave Herring few options.

The “Texas Crazy Horse” made a last desperate play on its feet, but Lesnar dropped levels and dumped his exhausted opponent to the mat to finish it out to the bell.

Lesnar celebrated his first win in the Octagon with a WWE-worthy laugh as he pointed a finger in Herring's direction, but embraced the trumped fighter afterwards.

“Can you see me now? Can you see me now?” Lesnar asked his adopted hometown crowd, which gave him a rousing stamp of approval.

Their resounding answer, shared by the rest of the fight community that tuned in to watch the progress of the young and raw, but very promising Lesnar, was “Yes.”

“I fell off the horse against Frank Mir (Pictures) and tonight I got on that stallion and rode out of town,” said an elated Lesnar. “I’ve just been trying to work on everything, every single day to get better, to be a well rounded heavyweight fighter and a contender in the UFC.”
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