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JIM ROSS: "I'M A LESNAR GUY AND I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE HIS TOUGHEST FIGHT"

By Percy Crawford | June 16, 2010
JIM ROSS:

"I have never met Shane Carwin, but I certainly have respect for him after watching him fight. The thing that strikes me is that Carwin has never gotten out of the 1st round. He's beaten everybody, to my knowledge, in the first round and he's 12-0. It's a dangerous fight for Brock, no doubt about it. I mean, you have a guy that can wrestle and has great striking power...So could Lesnar get knocked out by Carwin? Of course it's possible. It's also possible that Brock could knock out Carwin. It isn't a fight that would seem to me...when you have two guys that are such heavy hitters and so big, so strong and so athletically gifted, it isn't a fight that would go 5 rounds. I have a hard time believing that one. But I'm a Lesnar guy and I think it's going to be his toughest fight," stated world-renowned wrestling announcer and the voice of WWE Jim Ross, or better known as J.R., as he shared his thoughts on UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar's upcoming title defense against Shane Carwin. An avid fight fan who has a great deal of knowledge about Lesnar, you don't want to miss what he had to say. Check it out!

PC: Whether you are a fight fan or a wrestling fan, you gotta love "good ol'" J.R. It is an extreme honor to speak to you. How are you doing?

JR: Oh, everything is great. I'm doing good, enjoying the hot Oklahoma summer and counting the days down until football season. I'm watching how all of these conferences are being realigned. I've really been keeping up with that. That's drawn a lot of local interest here because the Sooners could possibly be moving west. Things are good though. I'm feeling good, my health is good, so no complaints man.

PC: You do some great blogging and everyone should follow your blogs. Through your blogs, I found out you are a huge fight fan; both boxing and MMA. I wanted to ask you about a former WWE star who has a huge fight coming up, Brock Lesnar. You went through some health issues yourself at one point. How do you think Brock will come back from being ill for so long?

JR: Well, I think that he will be fine. Diverticulitis is what I had and I'm under the impression it's what he had as well. It can be, if it's caught early, it can be controlled. A lot of it just has to do with your diet and things that you can eat. It's not as drastic as people think. You can't eat things that can get lodged into those pockets that are created in your intestines. Like corn, nuts and things like that can become problematic. I had colon issues too. I had a colon cancer scare, so I don't eat as much red meat as I once did, but I think he will be just fine. They got it all under control and he is a Spartan and he's a warrior. He'll train and he will be ready to roll. I don't have any doubt in my mind of that. Win, lose or draw, the diverticulitis will not be an issue.

PC: Shane Carwin is one of the only guys that can match his size. He's a huge puncher and although we haven't seen much of it, he has good wrestling as well. How do you like this matchup for Brock with the layoff he is coming off of?

JR: I think it's a...I'm a Lesnar guy, from my WWE days, and I got to know him when he was a junior at the University of Minnesota on the wrestling team there. That's when we informally recruited him to perhaps come into the WWE when he completed his eligibility. We were successful in that, so I've been a Brock Lesnar fan for a long long time and we have a lot in common. We both grew up on a farm; me in Oklahoma and him in South Dakota. I love his work ethic, so I'm a Lesnar guy and I'm pulling for Brock in this fight. I have never met Shane Carwin, but I certainly have respect for him after watching him fight. The thing that strikes me is that Carwin has never gotten out of the 1st round. He's beaten everybody, to my knowledge, in the first round and he's 12-0. It's a dangerous fight for Brock, no doubt about it. I mean, you have a guy that can wrestle and has great striking power. I think that's one of the great things that makes MMA, and certainly the UFC in particular, because it seems the cream of the crop are fighting in the UFC, but that's what makes it so appealing to me. The unpredictability of the sport is amazing. We've seen in the last couple of pay-per-views some unforeseen endings and knockouts. That's what makes it so exciting and exhilarating to me. You never know exactly what's going to happen. So could Lesnar get knocked out by Carwin? Of course it's possible. It's also possible that Brock could knock out Carwin. It isn't a fight that would seem to me...when you have two guys that are such heavy hitters and so big, so strong and so athletically gifted, it isn't a fight that would go 5 rounds. I have a hard time believing that one. But I'm a Lesnar guy and I think it's going to be his toughest fight. But I don't think that the layoff will be an issue. It always remains to be seen how ring rust, or Octagon rust in this case, will affect an athlete. Some guys need a rest, some guys come back rejuvenated and some guys take the time to study their game and they come back more versed. And then there are other guys where ring rust in an enemy. They gotta get a fight or two under their belt to get their timing back. I don't know where Brock fits into all of that, but if I had to take an educated guess, he's such a gifted natural athlete that the cage rust will affect him a little less than a lot of mortal men shall we say.

PC: I remember you from the old NWA days and seeing you go from that to WWE was an amazing thing, the way the sport, and the quality of the production, grew over that time frame. Do you see similarities in the UFC from UFC 1 to UFC 115?

JR: Yeah, I think that the UFC is smart in many facets. They are looking at how the WWE established a global footprint in the genre in professional wrestling. You can see some similarities in the UFC's growth as far as having an established presence in Europe, especially in the UK. The WWE has been nurturing that market place for years and it's one of their more profitable regions in the world. The fact that the UFC just opened an office in Toronto is reminiscent of the WWE's growth. At one time, they had a very viable office in Toronto as well. And you go back and look at things, like video games and how they market pay-per-views, where the pay-per-views are a destination for their fans. Pay-per-views have been a destination for WWE fans since Wrestlemania 1 and it just continued to get more and more popular as more people got access to pay-per-view. And of course the WWE was a pioneer, or one of the pioneers certainly one could argue, out of the pay-per-view genre back in the day. I think some of the pioneering that they've done in the pay-per-view marketing and partnering with cable systems and satellite distributors hasn't hurt the UFC because that seems to be their bell cow is pay-per-view right now.

PC: Same question from a different aspect. Do you see any similarities in UFC owner Dana White and WWE President Vince McMahon?

JR: I haven't had the privilege of meeting Dana just yet. I expect to meet him somewhere down the road. Of course I know Vince McMahon very well from working for him for over 17 years now. They both have...if you look at their television presence, because again, I can't speak on knowing Dana personally, but you look at their media presence and you can see some similarities. There is no doubt who the alpha male is in the company. They both have great passion for their brand. They both have tireless work ethics. From an outside perspective, it appears the UFC consumes a very large part of Dana's life and I know that WWE consumes a great deal of McMahon's life. So I would say yeah, there probably are a lot of similarities in their passion, work ethic and bravado, if you will. And that's not a bad thing. I'm sure there are individual traits that I'm not aware of, because again, I don't know Dana, but professionally, they are relentless and hard charging. They seemingly are two guys that don't take no for an answer.

PC: Dave Bautista is another guy talking about possibly making the move to MMA. Unlike Brock, youth isn't on his side. He's 38, if I'm not mistaken, but again, big, strong and very agile for a man his size. Do you think he could have the same success, or similar success, in MMA as Lesnar has?

JR: To me, it's still a rumor as it relates to Dave migrating to MMA. The question's will always be there until he actually pulls the trigger and fights or he lays the rumor to rest and says he's not going to pursue it. How can a guy at his age...he's certainly not an old guy, but he's athletically mature, let's say, and he doesn't have a NCAA runner-up or championship under his belt. Brock started wrestling whenever he was 6 or 8 years old, so he's been basically doing it all of his life. Dave has not. I would say that the challenges of Bautista being a success in it are much more prevalent than the challenges of Brock to get his success. You never know. You're right, Dave's a big, strong guy, but boy the learning curve would have to be short for him. He's going to have to learn a lot in a hurry to get to where he wants to be. Whether he would ever get the opportunity at this stage of the game to fight in the UFC is probably a long shot at best, but I can see some others that might be willing to give it a shot. If you're CBS and you're looking for ratings and he gets in the gym and works like Herschel Walker did and really devotes himself to it, it might be worth a calculated risk to draw the ratings based on his name identity and things of that nature. I kind of have to see it to believe it. I know that Dave's got a lot of interests, and being in movies is one of them, and you kind of gotta focus on one thing full-time or not. I know that being a part-time MMA fighter usually doesn't equate to success, so I think the question would be is he willing to devote full-time to training with the right group, with the right attitude and work ethic to move into MMA? I don't know if any of us have the answer to that question right now. I think the only person that could answer that question accurately right now is Dave Bautista. I'm like anybody else. If he did all of the right things and got into the dance, I'm certainly one that would tune in to see how he did.

CHECK BACK FOR MUCH MORE FROM ROSS AS HE TALKS ABOUT CHUCK LIDDELL, MANNY PACQUIAO AND FLOYD MAYWEATHER

You can also read more of his opinions on his blogs at http://www.jrsbarbq.com/blog and http://fans.wwe.com/jimross



[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]

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