Last Saturday night, Randy Couture returned to the Octagon to defend his UFC heavyweight title against Brock Lesnar, a nearly-280 pound former national collegiate wrestling champion. With no maximum on the heavyweight class, Lesnar looked like a giant compared to Couture, and to his detractors, Lesnar represented the downfall of the sport's artistry. He beat Couture with a 2nd round TKO, and some worry he's opened the door to less-skilled fighters and bigger, badder guys who will dumb it down, leaving a product that doesn't resembles what's become the sport's "golden years," basically, since TUF, they say. But that's not giving Lesnar enough credit for mastering the technique of wrestling, and coming in cut at over 270 pounds. He earned this win, every inch of it.
I'm not going to knock Lesnar for being bigger than anyone else. This simply isn't his fault. He's not a one-trick fighter, kind of like the guys who started in the sport as boxers who thought they could knock anyone out. You can't classify him with Kimbo Slice and his street-fighting prowess. The history of MMA is riddled with smaller guys outclassing bigger ones, and Lesnar's size didn't guarantee his win. His ability to move gracefully - and wrestlingfully, if that makes sense - was what won him the fight.
You make choices with your training and your diet and your fighting style in the UFC. Wanna bulk up? Go for it, but make sure your conditioning keeps up, or else you'll gas early and end up tapping out. Wanna lean out and be ultra-lean? That's fine, but make sure you're strong enough to move your opponent around the ring. There's a reason most MMA champs don't look like ultra-marathoners. Find me someone who's as big (and as skilled in one discipline) as Lesnar is, and we'll see how good he is. But until then, credit him with being the champ, and at least, give him credit for making his size work for him. As much as it looked like it was an advantage, it very easily could have been a disadvantage.