Lesnar: I hope Randy brings it all - Sports Illustrated

Lesnar: I hope Randy brings it all

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The whole scene is very Rocky IV, minus Russian Ivan Drago.

Former NCAA wrestling champion Brock Lesnar travels to chilly northern Minnesota, hours away from the outside world, to train for a fight anticipated to be the biggest pay-per-view event in UFC history. In place of Drago posters, Lesnar totes opponent Randy Couture's biography, training books, and fight videos to immerse himself in the mind of his adversary.

"We got to know Randy pretty well," Lesnar said of the two-month camp in preparation for UFC 91.

Knowing the "caveman" training drills popular at Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts, Lesnar's trainer, Greg Nelson, probably found a few tractor trailers for the heavyweight to drag around as well.

"I'm excited to come out and enter the world again, because I've just been away for eight weeks," Lesnar added. "I had big guys to train with and guys that have wrestled Randy before ... we had a really good camp. I'm honored to get into the Octagon with Randy."

By all appearances, Lesnar is well settled into the life of a mixed martial artist. In only three professional fights, he's managed to cement a reputation as the future of the UFC's heavyweight division. His pro wrestling past, now four years behind him, is no longer a lurking question. He can fight.

Lesnar said he and Nelson worked hard to plug the remaining holes in his game following his decision win over Heath Herring at UFC 87.

"We watched that fight over probably a hundred times and looking for other things that I can do to stay busy and stay more dominant," Lesnar said.

In Couture, the former pro wrestler is taking on a man with a decided edge in championship-level competition. Even in amateur wrestling, where Lesnar developed his powerhouse style, Couture has more years and more medals on the mats. But at 31, Lesnar is younger, has fewer miles on his body, and carries a size advantage that can't be overlooked.

Lesnar believes his youthful inexperience will be a positive come the 15th of November. He can't be afraid of the demands of a 25-minute fight, because he's never had one.

"There's one thing of having experience, and there's another of just not knowing any different," he said. "I've never fought five rounds, but I don't know any different either. It's kind of a toss-up for me because I've got to just put my head down and go."

Though most pundits have pegged the fight as a wrestling battle for top position, Lesnar says he has worked extensively to better his 4XL-sized hands.

"Speed plus mass equals destruction, so we're just trying to... sharpen my hands and how I'm executing my punches," he said. "Maybe I could be wrong, but... he's going to want to stay away from my hands because I feel that he might be threatened by them."

Still, Lesnar admits that much like his fight with Herring, the fight will be about controlling the bulk -- or relative lack thereof -- of his opponent. He knows Couture has struggled against bigger heavyweights, but also wants to be ready if he's in a bad position.

"It's just about staying calm and executing the right things and not worrying about anything if it doesn't happen," Lesnar said. "It's a mental thing too. You get guys out of their comfort zone and boom, the heart rate goes up and they're like a deer in the headlights, so obviously better try not to be that guy."

Whatever happens this Saturday, Lesnar says he did the right things to prepare for Couture on those cold Minnesota days and nights.

"I'm prepared for just about anything Randy Couture has to offer," he said. "And I hope that he brings everything, including the kitchen sink."

If betting odds are any indication, the sports community has already warmed to him. One line has him at -125 to Couture's -105, virtually erasing the vast experience gap between the two.

The chance to take the UFC heavyweight belt -- his first in eight years where the outcome wasn't pre-determined -- doesn't concern him at this point.

"I got a lot of plowing to get done before I get to see the end of the field on this one," said Lesnar. "Hopefully at the end of the five rounds or before that, my hand gets raised -- the only thing that's in front of me right now is Randy Couture."

That singular focus is Lesnar's calm before the storm.

"I'm at peace with my life," he said. "I'm at peace with my family and I'm at peace in the fight game right now. So whether I come across cocky or confident, take it either way."