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Brock Lesnar - In His Own Words

The big man is back on December 30th...

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock LesnarIt’s been a long time coming, but on Friday, December 30th, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon to face former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC 141 in Las Vegas.

And since so much has gone on in the 14 months Lesnar has been away, we’ll refresh your memory of one of the sport’s most compelling figures with a collection of some of his most memorable quotes.

Life after College (2007)
“I was out in 2000, and nothing was really available yet in mixed martial arts. I literally had four cents in my pocket, I was bumming beers off my buddies and bumming steaks off my girlfriends, so for me, it was try out for the NFL, stick around for another year, or here’s a legitimate contract (with the WWE).”

Salad Days (2007)
“I was a kid out of Webster, South Dakota who grew up on a dairy farm and drove a Mazda RX-7 that was a hundred dollar car missing fourth gear and reverse.”

Lesnar’s Philosophy of Life (2007)
“I went from Wrestlemania right to the NFL and the Vikings training camp and was like ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ I should have taken a break, but one thing, if anybody really knows me, they know I dive in headfirst and whatever happens happens. I’ll deal with the consequences later. You only live one time, and what I hate are those people that can’t make a decision. I just go for it. Of course, as I get older and a little more experienced, some of these headfirst things I think about a little bit, but I’m still kinda the same way.”

Early thoughts of fighting (2007)
“I originally wanted to fight when I was in junior college. I took some summer school out in Lassen, California, where I met up with some guys who trained out of the Lions Den. They booked me in a show in Reno, Nevada, and then I had to pull out because once you got paid to participate in something, the NCAA wouldn’t accept me, and I wanted to wrestle. But I had actually started rolling and learning jiu-jitsu back in junior college when I was 19-20 years old.”

Entering the world of MMA (2007)
“I didn’t think anybody would really even be interested in me. But here I am, caught between a rock and a hard place. Everybody on Earth knows who I am because of pro wrestling and because I went through the NFL, so where do I even start? Who’s gonna take me seriously? Do I start in the bingo halls and start all over? I can’t do that because I’ve already got a name. I’m more well known than the first guy that ever showed up on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. So where do you start? Well, let’s just find a promotion that’s willing to promote you, let’s go from there, and let’s just see what comes out of it.”

Transitioning into the sport (2007)
“There were some transitions to be made. I was out of the wrestling room for almost six years and some of these old aches and pains started coming out, and it took a while, about a couple of months, and at first I wasn’t sure if this was going to work. I hadn’t been in the wrestling room for almost six years – yeah, I pounded the weights and pounded the road and hotels and was in the wrestling ring every night, but its two different things.”

On his debut against Min Soo Kim (2007)
“I was just so happy to put my fist in some other guy’s face. I felt like I was in heaven. It did go fast, 69 seconds, and it felt like it was five seconds.”

On calling out the UFC (2007)
“A lot of people say ‘well, he was just doing that to get attention.’ Well, I got some attention, so I got what I wanted. Now, the bottom line is, I want to fight, and I want some credible people and I want to beat them. What that does for me is, it makes me very credible. That’s why I did it – I want to fight good people. If you want to go with the NFL of the fighting game, it’s the UFC. It was an easy choice for me and I’m glad things worked out.”

On fighting anyone and everyone (2007)
“I’ve looked up and down the entire roster, and I’m willing and ready to take on anybody. In my mind, I feel like I’m ready. People don’t really understand that I’ve been an amateur wrestler since I was five years old. I’ve been through all kinds of athletics and stuck with them, I’ve got an amateur wrestling background of 18 years almost, and some of these guys that are getting into fighting don’t have these kinds of backgrounds. Obviously I don’t think I’m ready for a title shot right away, but I will be there, and I’m not gonna turn down any opponent because I’m here to prove myself. I’m not here to pick and choose my fights. I’ll fight whomever they want. I don’t make the fights; that’s not my job. I’ve got one job to do and that’s to fight.”

On the first Mir fight (2008)
“I’m still disgusted with myself. I got so excited, then for Mazzagatti to stop the fight kinda threw a monkey wrench into my rhythm a little bit, and then you can chalk it up to a little bit of inexperience. I had Frank on the mat and then I stood up, which was pretty foolish of me. I think Frank will be the first one to admit that I had him up against the ropes and I think he was scared s**tless. He was reaching at anything out there and he grabbed it and he got me. But that’s the beauty of mixed martial arts.”

On silencing the critics (2008)
“I’m not here to shut people’s mouths. I’m in a spot where there might be the toughest son of a bitch out there, but nobody knows his name and he’s climbing the ranks, and here you’ve got a guy like myself who is a household name all across the world. From the business side of things, I’ve got to make the right business decisions and at the same time on the fighting side of things, I don’t want any tomato cans either.”

On getting respect from his peers (2008)
“I’m greatly appreciative of it. I think people get their guard up right away when somebody wants to jump into something when they’re not 100 percent serious about it, and I think people understand that I am. At least the people at my gym and in my training camp do. I think that filters through in the interviews that I do – this is my life and it’s taken a while for me to figure out what I wanted to do with myself. Everybody’s going to have their opinion, but as long as I keep my nose to the grindstone, everything will work out. But more importantly, everybody wants to see a winner, and I want to win this fight - not to prove anything to anybody else, but to prove to myself that I’m capable of being in the Octagon.”

On the positive changes MMA has brought to his life (2008)
“Lifestyle wise, this has been great for me to be home every night in my own bed and to be near my family as often as I can. That’s been huge for me. Everything in life nowadays is so material, so for me to be able to be home and be happy is the number one key for me. All the other stuff is really meaningless. We enjoy doing what we do and most people who have the right job enjoy going to work, but the car I’m driving, the clothes I’m wearing, that’s all materialistic stuff and it’s all fake. In the end, we’ve got to answer to one person and look ourselves in the mirror every day.”

Lesnar’s Philosophy of Life – Part II (2008)
“You only live once. In my mind, I think I’m a good enough athlete that I could do just about anything, and I always had a lot of confidence. But young kids today need to remember that, that when you work hard and stay on track, good things usually come. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you keep your nose to the grindstone, hopefully good things happen.”

On getting ready for Randy Couture (2008)
“The biggest transition was to learn to be patient – in the gym and in the Octagon, but mostly in the gym. You can’t learn this art overnight, and here it is, going on three years for me, and I still don’t know everything and there’s a lot more to learn. I’m just trying to come in Saturday night and be as prepared as I can possibly be for Randy, and I think we did that this last eight, nine weeks. As of right now I can’t change anything. The hay’s in the barn, and I’m just trying to relax and shed a few pounds this week, and come in Saturday night looking for a fight.”

On the Heath Herring fight (2008)
“I didn’t set any goals to take Heath three rounds. We tried to end it early and we almost did (Laughs), but Heath was a tough SOB, and in a fight, whatever happens happens.”

On finding peace (2008)
“I’m just relieved I’m doing something that I find myself very happy doing and I’m relieved that I can be home and spend as much time with my daughter and my wife as I can, and do some of the things that I enjoy doing, like hunting and fishing. There’s more to life than just work, whether it’s wrestling or MMA. I’m not a gym rat. I come in here and put time in and when I leave the gym, I go do something else, whether it’s spending time with my family, or hunting or fishing or whatever. I’m at peace. I’m happy where my career is right now and where my life is right now.”

Before the Mir rematch (2009)
“Nobody likes to lose, and I’m a sore loser, especially when I feel I gave the (first) fight to him.”

On the bitter taste of losing (2009)
“I just think its pure competition. Throughout my wrestling career in college, I didn’t lose too often. But the guys I did lose to, I’ve always been able to come back except for one guy I never had the opportunity to get a rematch with – Stephen Neal. But the other guys I’ve had opportunities to come back and beat, so I’ve been in this position and I don’t see it going any other way really.”

On maturing as a fighter (2009)
“I think I’ve showed some maturity in the Octagon since the first Mir fight. Against Heath and Randy I showed a lot more patience, but it still only takes one punch. I don’t know when it’s gonna happen – we’ve got five rounds to solidify this fight and I might have jumped the gun against Frank the first time – I know I did – but there are times for aggression and times to pull the reins. That comes with experience, and I think I’ve got that now. The first time, Frank was fighting a street brawler / wrestler. The big difference now is that Frank’s fighting a fighter. I’ve had almost two years of experience under my belt and got in the Octagon with a legend like Randy Couture and another guy who’s had over 50 fights and has been very successful, so it hasn’t been a walk in the park.”

On life in the UFC (2009)
“If I had to put it in a sentence, it’s probably been the best year and a half of my life. Not just because of fighting for a great company and that things are going well, but because I’ve had a lot of good things happen to me personally. My wife, my daughter, my son, my family, business has been good, so it’s been a good year and a half inside and outside the Octagon, and I pray to God every day that good things continue. It’s pretty simple out here for me and I like it that way.”

On the illness that has kept him from competing since July of 2009 (2010)
“Everybody’s got life-changing experiences and this is one of them for me. I believe things happen for a reason, and this gave me a different perspective on life and on my family. I’m a young guy – these things aren’t supposed to happen. I consider myself a healthy human being. I’m 32 years old, and for something like this to happen, I definitely had to re-evaluate. When you think you’re doing all the right things and all of a sudden something like this happens, obviously you’re not, so I had to make some changes.”

On his return to the Octagon (2010)
“Let’s make it clear. I still am the UFC heavyweight champion.

Pre-Carwin (2010)
 “At any moment this could be over and I could be Joe Blow serving burgers or doing whatever. Anything can happen at any given moment, and I try to live every day to the fullest, and I really don’t take anything for granted anymore. I never really used to, but this whole setback for me last November was a hurdle in my life that I guess God thought I had to overcome to test me and to make sure this is what I really wanted in my life. There are challenges in your life that are put before you for certain reasons, and this was one of those times.”

Not a social media kinda guy (2010)
 “I don’t pay attention to anything, I really don’t. I don’t buy pay-per-views, I don’t go on the internet. I live, eat, and breathe fighting, but it’s all about me. I don’t care about Who’s Who in Ultimate Fighting, I really don’t. It’s very important to not get too involved. It’s like a job. It’s part of your life, but you’ve got to realize how to separate the two. When you go to work, you go to work, and when you leave the office, you leave the office. I don’t bring the office home with me.”

On his second bout with diverticulitis (2011)
“I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not retiring. This isn’t the end of my fight career. I have a strong faith that there’s a solution to every problem. I just gotta find the right solution to fix this problem. I love this sport and I love what I do. This isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar.”

On Brock Lesnar (2011)
“I was born this way. It ain’t an act, and it’s not a line. There’s nobody out there like me. I was born to do this, and I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me.”