In his fight against Shane Carwin at UFC 116 it was clear Brock Lesnar’s ground game had gone through an evolution. Lesnar applied a tight arm-and-neck choke to submit his opponent and remain the organization’s heavyweight champion. The giant’s coach, Brasa black belt Rodrigo Comprido, spoke with GRACIEMAG.com about his famous student. Check it out:
What do you think of Lesnar winning using Jiu-Jitsu?
You can’t succeed in MMA without knowing Jiu-Jitsu. Brock has been training with me for two years and has evolved a lot. I feel that was clear in his fight against Mir. In this fight he used the right position at the right time. It was a simple position, but we practiced it a lot, since we figured that’s where the finish could come from. It was a great night for everybody. Brock proved once again that he’s the best heavyweight in the world. It was a great night for Jiu-Jitsu and for Brasa, since in the end Ratinho and I worked with the best heavyweights in the world (Ratinho helped Fabrício Werdum train to face Fedor) and they won by submission.
I read an interview where Lesnar said he was grateful for your work. How does being recognized in this way make you feel?
Who wouldn’t want recognition for their work? I felt great, really happy. It made up for not having competed at the Worlds because I opted to work and couldn’t prepare myself to compete. I received messages of congratulations from a lot of people, but I was especially touched by the recognition from friends of mine like Murilo Bustamante, Pedro Rizzo, Demian Maia, Gabriel Napão, some of Brazil’s greatest representatives in MMA. Not to mention so many other friends and family members I can’t even name them all.
Do you feel Lesnar will evolve in Jiu-Jitsu even more? Does he like ground training?
Like I said, Brock is every coach’s dream. He doesn’t complain, he always pays attention to what we’re teaching and he’s a born athlete. He has abnormal strength and speed. The sky’s the limit with him, and he’ll continue to evolve for a long time. He’s a grappler, so he loves training on the ground, likes training as a whole a lot. And one thing you haven’t seen yet is how he has an aggressive guard. He’ll surprise a lot of people.
Jiu-Jitsu had fallen out of favor with a lot of people, who said the public likes seeing knockouts. What do you think of that?
I think it’s stupid; what the public likes is a lively fight. There isn’t a sport out there where the public likes seeing apathy. Jiu-Jitsu is the most complete martial art, but it needs to be complemented with boxing and wrestling. I don’t feel a boxer should turn into a guard player, but it’s important to know other martial arts. A good example of broadening one’s knowledge is the final round between Demian and Anderson Silva, where Demian, unable to use his Jiu-Jitsu, won the round by boxing.
What do you think of Lesnar’s next opponent, Cain Velasquez?
Velasquez is really tough, quick and technical. It will be a really tough, these days there are no easy opponents. The guy beat Minotauro, there are no better credentials than that. It will be a great bout, everyone will see. But I’ll bet my job on Brock! (Laughs)