11 Years Ago Today Brock Lesnar Made His Chaotic MMA Debut
Brock Lesnar is a household name. The 40-year-old, 6’ 3’ giant of a man has competed as a top-level wrestler, an MMA fighter and a would-be NFL star. The dream of playing in the NFL was lifelong for Lesner, who quit his 3-year all-star career in the WWE to pursue the passion. After being injured in a motorcycle accident, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings, playing a preseason but not much more. It was after this let down that he turned his focus to other interests.
Lesnar announced in 2006 that he wished to be an MMA fighter, specifically in the K1 Hero’s League. After months of negotiation, Lesnar had his first contract, a showdown with South Korea’s Kickboxing sensation, Hong Man Choi. At 7’ 2” tall, he towered over the already-massive Lesnar who called in special trainers and sparring partners to practice with, in the lead up to the fight.
K1 was hugely interested in Brock’s pulling power to draw fans from WWE to MMA and building its somewhat dwindling audience. The much-anticipated fight against “The Techno Goliath” was set to be one for the ages as Choi was 10-3 in kickboxing at the time. However, 10 days before the fight, He was denied a license on medical grounds. It was later revealed that a tumour had been found on his pituitary gland during a scan.
This news did not stop K1 from continuing to build hype around the fight, only disclosing a replacement fighter just before the fight. On June 2, 2007, at the K-1 Dynamite!! USA, Lesnar matched up against 1996 Atlanta Olympic Judo champion “Mr Shark” Min Soo Kim. Despite not having a history, Lesnar and Kim were butting heads as referee Steve Mazzagatti ran through the rules for the fight.
Lesnar came out firing, putting Kim on his back very early in the fight. His dominance was punctuated by his size and force. He manoeuvred his way to a mount where he was able to take pot shots at Kim’s head. Within a minute, he was declared the victor, with referee Mazzagatti waving the fight off.
Lesnar barely had a scratch on him after the fight and walked away with a big payday for a 69-second encounter.
“I want to keep fighting and, I don’t know, we will see what happens. We will see what promoter wants to step up and hand out some money and let’s get some heavyweight titles on the line.” Lesnar said after the fight. It wasn’t long before Dana White and the UFC took him up on the offer.
See the footage from his first fight on the player below, 11 years ago today!
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