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Talkin’ MMA and Brock Lesnar with Erik Paulson
Published August 18th, 2008

By Scoop Malinowski

MMAMemories.com: Brock absolutely dominated Heath Herring at UFC 87 in Minneapolis. His amateur wrestling skills simply proved to be too much for Herring to handle. Why do you think Brock was able to manhandle Herring so easily?

Erik Paulson: “I think nobody has been really able to understand since I’ve been training with Brock - his transitions, controlling and riding people are unbelievable. He was really good at riding people in college wrestling. That explains why he didn’t put his hooks in. A lot of people were expecting him to put his hooks in but Heath is really good at rolling out as soon as you put your hooks in. And another thing about Brock is he is really, really hard to catch in a submission. Now we’re really looking for Brock to slow down and really look for openings for strikes and submissions.”

MMAMemories.com: Herring is now demanding a re-match against Brock. Should Brock give it to him? After all, the fighter who wins the first time around generally wins about 70% of the time in the re-match.

Erik Paulson: “I don’t know. Does the UFC want a rematch? If the UFC feels compelled to give Herring a rematch, it would be good.”

MMAMemories.com: How many more fights and how much more training does Brock need before you would consider him coming close to becoming a well-rounded fighter? If he learns how to strike accurately and proficiently, he’s unstoppable.

Erik Paulson: “Well, he already knows how to do that. His striking has gotten so much better. That’s what we’ve worked on for the last two fights - his striking. It’s a daily process. You have to keep in mind they’re not throwing Brock any slouches. He jumped right into the deep end. Frank Mir was his second fight. Sure, he would do a rematch with Heath. Brock is so aggressive, his conditioning is unbelievable. He does an eight-week camp. His two coaches are Greg Nelson for MMA and Marty Morgan his wrestling coach at U of M. They structure his complete training schedule. I’m brought in for a week. I combine the striking with the grappling. People don’t understand that Brock is really fast. One reason he doesn’t show it is because he wants to lead them in.”

MMAMemories.com: Right now in the UFC Heavyweight division, it seems the top three guys in the end will be Brock, Nogueira, and Cain Velasquez. Velasquez is an excellent wrestler and he trains with a good team at American Kickboxing Academy. How would you see a fight going between Cain and Brock? In terms of building a game plan, what are some of the major weaknesses that Velasquez has in his young MMA career at the moment?

Erik Paulson: “I don’t know who he is. I know people have been talking about him. But I haven’t actually studied him. I’ve probably seen him before. Everyone is a contender, you can never take anyone lightly or underestimate anyone. Brock will definitely be prepared for anyone he fights. His number one strength is his conditioning. And he also has a gameplan. That’s where I come in. That’s Greg’s and my specialty - formulating a gameplan for each opponent. Then have a back-up gameplan if that doesn’t work.”

MMAMemories.com: Nogueira is currently the UFC Heavyweight champion and he’s really tough, but he’s also getting older and has taken some real beatings in his career. How much preparation time do you think Brock would need in order to have the skill set to beat Nogueira and win the UFC Heavyweight title?

Erik Paulson: “A lot. Because Nogeuira’s very dangerous on the ground. Brock would have to outwrestle him and take him down. And be very careful that he doesn’t extend his limbs. Brock hits like a sledgehammer. He hits so hard and he’s fast. One thing we’re really working hard on is not pushing his strikes but launching strikes with crack and pop at the end. To have boxer-level hands. Also, his knees are devastating. I would not want to get kneed by Brock. His knees are huge. Heath had no idea that Brock was going to come out and throw a kick at him. As for a match with Nogueira, I have no idea what the UFC’s plans are. I know Brock has two more fights. Brock is such an incredible athlete. He could rise to the occasion. For me, he’s fun to train because he’s so ambitious. Brock is completely coach able. Some fighters I’ve worked with, you go for a week and you end up holding pads for them. With Brock, it’s, Can you teach me? Can you show me? Can you show me? It’s worth the time to go there.”

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August 27, 2008
04:41:58 AM

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