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Sunday, August 13, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- Brock Lesnar Signs with K-1 Hero's, Will Make MMA Debut in Early 2007
by Ivan Trembow
Brock Lesnar, a former NCAA National Champion in amateur wrestling and later a pro wrestling star in WWE, has officially signed with the Japan-based Hero's MMA promotion, which is owned and operated by K-1.
Lesnar's signing was officially announced by K-1 at the company's show in Las Vegas on Saturday night. He is expected to make his MMA debut in early 2007, and his first opponent has not yet been determined.
It was also announced on Saturday night that Lesnar would be doing some training with MMA legend Royce Gracie, but as reported by the Wrestling Observer, this is essentially a storyline announcement to build the Japanese public's interest in Lesnar. The storyline of, "This person is being trained by this legend" is frequently repeated in Japan, and its popularity in Japan stems from Antonio Inoki's years as a legendary figure in Japanese pro wrestling.
While Lesnar will be training with Gracie at some point, it will more than likely be for just a brief period of time, and Gracie's camp will be just one of many that Lesnar visits.
Lesnar is trying to get a diverse sampling of MMA training under his belt, having already trained with Sean Sherk's team in Minnesota and Pat Miletich's crew in Iowa.
Shortly after the 29-year-old Lesnar spent some time training with Miletich's team last month, Miletich said in an interview that "no human being" will be able to beat Lesnar one year from now.
Lesnar quit his job with World Wrestling Entertainment in 2004, at which point WWE tried to enforce a six-year no-compete clause that would have included all pro wrestling and MMA events worldwide.
At every court hearing in the case, things went Lesnar's way, prompting WWE to reach an out-of-court settlement just before a trial date was to be set earlier this year.
The settlement gave Lesnar the freedom to fight for any MMA promotion in the world, and he has now signed with K-1 Hero's instead of signing with the UFC or Pride.