Ask a U.F.C. Fighter


The Ultimate Fighting Championship (a mixed martial arts organization) began in the early 1990’s with the motto “There Are No Rules!” but a variety of fouls have since been established:

1. Butting with the head.
2. Eye gouging of any kind.
3. Biting.
4. Hair pulling.
5. Fish hooking.
6. Groin attacks of any kind.
7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.
8. Small joint manipulation.
9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.
10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.
11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
12. Clawing, pinching, or twisting the flesh.
13. Grabbing the clavicle.
14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
16. Stomping a grounded opponent.
17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.
19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent.
21. Spitting at an opponent.
22. Engaging in an unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
23. Holding the ropes or the fence.
24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area.
25. Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
26. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
27. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat.
28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.
29. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece, or faking an injury.
30. Interference by the corner.
31. Throwing in the towel during competition.

Like boxing in the early 1900’s, mixed martial arts have been banned in certain cities, and John McCain once called them “human cockfighting.”

But when the sport went prime-time in March, it pulled higher TV ratings than the Stanley Cup Finals.

Here’s how Forbes sums up the Ultimate Fighting Championship league: “a Las Vegas company that started as a smutlike fight club that’s now worth maybe $1 billion and is drawing competitors like flies to blood.”

Brock Lesnar will be one of those competitors in his matchup tomorrow with Heath Herring in Lesnar’s hometown of Minneapolis. After winning an N.C.A.A. wrestling championship in 2000 and then starring in the W.W.E., Lesnar briefly played football (a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings) but said he found his calling in mixed martial arts in 2006. After a win over Min Soo Kim in his pro debut, Lesnar entered the U.F.C. in February.

He is married to Sable, another former female W.W.E. wrestler. They often joke about who gets more autograph requests at U.F.C. events.

Lesnar has agreed to take your questions, so fire away. As with past Q&A’s, we will post his answers here in short time.

Addendum: Lesnar answers your questions here.


What do you think you'd be doing for a living if Wrestling or MMA wasn't an option?


Do you smell what the Rock is cookin?


With all due respect, during the fight, while on top of Heath Hearing, did you mock kiss him, while in the mount position because of one of his previous knockouts, before the fight even started. During a staredown in Pride a fighter kissed him on the lips and he immediately floored him. It looked to me like you did this? If so your prick level just went up a notch and I will carry your first wrestling or football practice of course!

Killer showing. I have not been able to find any comments from Heath Hearing anywhere. Do you suggest a web page or is he still drinking his lunch through a straw?

Econ Grad Student

Three questions:

1. What goes through a professional MMA fighter's mind when he loses a fight? Particularly after he takes a brutal beating? I can imagine it being a lot more unpleasant than losing some other type of athletic contest--it might involve a greater sense of defeat and humiliation, not to mention the physical pain from injuries deliberately inflicted by the victor.

2. What's the relationship between you and your, umm, colleagues, i.e. your fellow UFC fighters? How do you interact with them outside of the ring, if at all? If you do interact with them outside the ring, is it kind of awkward, since you sometimes try to beat each other senseless as part of your jobs?

3. There are a lot of questions above about the dangers of MMA fighting. Do you feel that MMA fighting might actually be safer than professional boxing? Boxing matches occasionally end with brain damage, or even death; those matches tend to be 12-round slugfests (not the one-sided early knockouts) in which the fighters are repeatedly getting punched in the head throughout the night, and by the end of 10 or 12 rounds, serious damage has built up. In contrast, it could be argued, MMA fights are over quicker, and even the most one-sided ones (which might end in a total knockout) aren't likely to cause the kind of brain damage that 12 rounds of head punches might.



You shoved Heath well after the bell rang in round one. Do you want to become a villain in the UFC, possibly replacing Tito Ortiz as the Bad Boy?


How much do you really weigh on fight day? I know you must make a certain weight the day before but I doubt you are still at that weight the next evening.


I just watched you fight Heath. It seemed that you had many opportunities to go for the rear naked choke plus other moves. Does the training fade away in the middle of a fight?

Alan Silverberg

Good luck in your match tonight, but if things don't work out for you in the UFC, would you consider going back to the WWE? I enjoyed watching "The Next Big Thing" and was disappointed when you left? If not the WWE, what about TNA? Also, what do you really think about Vince McMahon, especially considering the problems your wife had with him?


The only thing worse than banning UFC is turning it into a commercial circus, yet another manifestation of how merchants (networks, ratings, money) now rule the world.

UFC started as a rare example of the macho ethic and aesthetic, one small place where men could let go of the rational and fully release into their primal mammalian roots.

Atempts to "civilize" UFC, to put rules on the fighting, shows how impossible it is for what is basically an androgynous, insect (ant) society to accept a mammalian macho ethos. We understand a dehumanizing, hypocritical rationality. We don't understand honour.

One-on-one physical violence is in our genes, as defining to a male's healthy individuation and growth as menstruation and childbirth are to women. Mixed martial arts at its best gives us an outlet for that primal and important part of who we are, and the only rules should be minimized to those that enforce honour - no weapons, no gang members to help.

If we teach our male children that being a macho is bad, that fighting should be a commercial sport, or, worse, a rational, antlike soldierliness, if we throw out the code of the macho, then we won't repress the violence -- we will simpley make it unbound. So instead of manly men, we get gangsters and thugs.

Our society is uncomfortable with the values of the macho, of the warrior. We prefer cops and soldiers - organized, mechanized, almost mineralized versions of the warrior: A soldier is a warrior stripped of his humanity; his purpose is to win at any cost, for the protection of all the rest of us, as the soldier ant protects the colony.

And yet there are still some of us attuned enough to our mammalian roots that we wish to fight, not for victory for our colony, but for ourselves. For the pleasure and the pride and the honour of it, and because we still have a trace that tells us that intellect without intestines is hollow, that a cost-benefit approach to life renders it lifeless.

So please, don't ban headbutting.


Vic Bean

Is your physique a limiting factor in your striking, or is knockout striking a matter of training and experience (which you did not have in your early dedication to wrestling)? I notice that great strikers tend to have less bulk than their great grappler counterparts.


I have a 14 year old grandson who is very interested in UFC, even though he is not allowed to watch a great deal of it. Him and his friends do read most of the magazines and look at websites. His parents greatly limit television/pc/games not so much from moral considerations, but to chase the kids outside to play. A view I happen to endorse.

He is a pretty good kid in the main. Respectful, Good in school, gentle with his siblings and younger/older relatives.

But him and his friends will rough-house for hours on end.
It is interesting to see just how faithfully the rule of 'UNCLE' is observed in their circle. They also will condemn a playmate who tries any of the 'unfair' moves listed by the UFC.
Some aspects of childhood remain refreshingly the same.

What advice might you give a young man, perhaps your son if you are a family man, who thinks of entering the sport?

Also, as a NCAA athlete, do you think we might ever see college level UFC style competition?

I will say I find the 'debate' over UFC 'brutality' amusing to say the least. I think the chance of serious injury or death happening under UFC regulations is probably much less than in many other sports. Dressage and gymnastics for 2 examples.
Protective equipment in other sports often either gives a false sense of security, or is used as a weapon by the unscrupulous. Many a boxer has discovered just how much a glove protects his hand the first time he bare knuckles a skull.
I say this based on my experience as an EMT/RN in cities and a Marine veteran who has tasted knuckles, boots, and cuesticks (and offered a few in return) several times.



Does carrying around so much body mass reduce your stamina?


You've arrived in MMA later in you career than many others. How do you think that will affect you? What are your thoughts on age vs. 'cage age' and what implications does that have on your career path in MMA?

I imagine you've avoided some of the injuries associated with MMA(though may have sustained injury in WWE). Do you think this will give you a better chance of having a long career?


Is the fallice tattooed on your chest a political statement?


What has been the biggest surprise for you in training for MMA and who is one fighter you consider fighting even if there was no money on the line?


One of the things that interests me about MMA is it's a developing sport. What would you think of an MMA tournament consisting of stand-up fighting as inspired by Greco-Roman wrestling? Do you envision yourself bringing something new to the competition, or just refining your own style?

In winning his title, WEC Light Heavyweight champion, Steve Cantwell, threw a punch-kick-punch combo. Such combinations are rare, especially at the higher weights in American MMA, in part because the fight can be finished with one well placed punch. Combinations which change levels or involve feints are flashy, and they can give an opponent a lot to think about, creating more openings. With your quickness, they could be a boon to you, but are they worth the risk? Is it something you are interested in adding to your game?

What is it you most feel you need to work on to become the dominant fighter at your weight class?

Right now, Fedor Emelianenko is generally considered the best heavyweight in MMA, and perhaps in any fighting sport. Given the chance to face him, how would you prepare for the match? Would your training vary at all from other fights?



Gov. Jesse Ventura recently stated during an interview on The Howard Stern Show that he felt MMA fighters were "working stiff" or that the match outcomes are already decided but there is no "script" to be followed by the athletes. As a former professional wrestler, do you believe his comments have any merit whatsoever or stem from an unfamiliarity with MMA in particular?


Do you think being a UFC fighter requires a significantly higher pain threshold than most other intense physical sports?


Are you worried you might actually seriously/permanently hurt someone in the octagon?


If you could do it all over again (career-wise), what would you change? Would you have played football at Minnesota? Would you have gone directly into MMA after graduation? Or has your time in WWE ultimately served you well, even if it was unpleasant?