Last week, the internet was ablaze with the news that UFC heavyweight newcomer Brock Lesnar had suffered a hamstring injury and would have to pull out of his planned November 15th title shot against returning heavyweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
The story traveled quickly, as the original source has a history of releasing credible information. Roughly two hours after the story leaked, however, it was confirmed as being a hoax. Someone called the offices of Xtreme Couture and, pretending to be Lorenzo Fertitta, told Kim Couture that Lesnar was pulling out of the fight.
I've had a strange feeling this week. Something seemed off about the way the story was revealed and then quickly refuted. It smelled like a cover-up. The source for the original Lesnar injury story has been right on 100 percent of the stories he has broken thus far, and someone with that kind of credibility typically deserves the benefit of the doubt.
With that in mind, I decided to do some checking on my own today in an effort to find out the truth behind the stories.
Here's what I know: Brock Lesnar did, in fact, suffer a hamstring injury last week. I don't know how severe it is, and I likely won't be able to find out because the camp has closed ranks and won't answer questions about it. Lesnar and his coaches made the decision to fight through the injury, so I suspect that it's not a major injury of the type that sidelined Chuck Liddell earlier this year.
Lesnar is legendary for wrestling through pain, and I have a feeling that nothing short of a torn ACL would keep him from fighting Couture in November.
I also discovered one more piece of news that hasn't been reported anywhere: Randy Couture is also nursing an injury. I talked to two different people today who would be very familiar with what's currently happening in Randy's camp, and both of them say he's not 100 percent. One source said it was an upper body problem, while the other said he's having shoulder issues.
If Lesnar's hamstring injury is severe enough to limit his mobility, it gives Couture an edge that he previously didn't have. Lesnar is bigger, stronger and faster than Couture, but a bad hamstring could limit the amount of control he can apply to Couture on the mat. It could also limit his speed and mobility.
On the flip side, Couture will be wrestling and pushing against a man who will outweigh him in the cage by 60 pounds, and that will put incredible pressure on Couture's injured shoulder for the duration of the fight.
Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture will easily be the biggest and most-hyped fight of the year, and these injuries add a brand new wrinkle to the stories surrounding UFC 91.