Brock Lesnar can probably beat you up. At 6 feet 3 inches tall, 265 pounds, he's also probably bigger than you—unless you're an NBA superstar, sumo wrestler or back-page world-record freak of nature. He's brash, he's confident and he puts on a show when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Pay-Per-View lights come on.
But these are all things you know about the No. 1 heavyweight fighter in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). There's more than likely a few things that you don't know.
Beyond the cameras and the adrenaline of the Octagon he is a straight-forward family man who's not so larger than life. Lesnar has simple South Dakota roots and was raised to have a passion for the outdoors—namely whitetail hunting.
"In my hometown [of Webster, S.D.] there were a handful of things to do," Lesnar said. "You farm, you spend time with family, you hunt and you fish. There's really nothing else going on other than the Friday night football game and the occasional bonfire party."
Sounds like a pretty normal upbringing, doesn't it?
"All my life I've really just tried to do the things that American people love to do," Lesnar said. " I just hunt, work hard and spend time with my family."
Even Lesnar might admit that it's sometimes tough to see past the broad shoulders, ominous tattoos and beer can-crushing Octagon appearances, but he says that's how he's always been—take it or leave it.
"I'm an emotional guy, I wear everything on my sleeve and if you ask me a question I'm not going to b.s. you," Lesnar contends. "I'm the same person in the Octagon and in deer camp. You'll never see me sugarcoat anything, I'm not a good wheel polisher."
Talk hunting with the current UFC Heavyweight Champ, though, and you'll see he's as passionate as anyone about chasing big bucks.
The Hunter Behind The Man Behind the Myth
He remembers one fleeting vision from his youth that stands out from the many mornings he spent with his dad in the field. It was the moment that hooked him on deer hunting: "I can remember the first time I ever went out hunting. I was with my dad and we took the old farm truck over to my uncle's place on a foggy opening morning. We cruised down into this little ravine and a humongous [whitetail] buck crossed right in front of our headlights in the road. Just seeing that deer up close, that's probably what hooked me. The mysterious whitetail is a memory in my mind that will never leave—the buck in the fog."
One of the greatest thrills in Lesnar's life came when his 8-year-old daughter Mya Lynn took her first-ever whitetail this past year.
"Taking my daughter out [hunting] is probably more rewarding than even harvesting anything," Lesnar said. "She went out and took a doe on our property, and that is a memory she will have for her entire lifetime. I'm her dad, and she knows I love her dearly. Seeing the look on [my daughter's] face when she shot her first doe was something that I'll never forget."
Lesnar's hunting doesn't stop there. After his fight on Oct. 23 against Cain Velasquez, the Champ will spend the month of November hunting around the country. He'll have his trusty rifle chambered in 7 mm-.08 Rem., loaded with Federal's Fusion ammunition. He refuses to hunt without it.
"My whole month of November will be hunting," Lesnar said. "I'm going to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Wisconsin and I'll be out on my farm here in Minnesota. That's the beauty with my job, because of what I do, I get to hunt in so many cool places."
The Man in the Octagon
But there's no doubt that people love to watch, and he loves to win.
"I want to be the best fighter that I can possibly be," Lesnar said. "I won't settle for second place, I never have. I want to be the best, and fortunately God has blessed me with the ability to be a champion."
Lesnar first excelled as a wrestler in high school, going 33-0 and winning the South Dakota state championship his senior year. From there he went on to be named two-time All-American and National Champion wrester at Bismarck State College in North Dakota, and after transferring, a two-time Big Ten Champion and National Champion at the University of Minnesota. The list of accolades goes on. Then unexpectedly the fresh-out-of-college 22-year-old was scooped up by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and began a four-year tour as a "professional" wrestler.
"It was just new and I got to travel the world and gain money, fame; it was all really cool," Lesnar said of his days in the WWE. "Then one day I woke up and realized if I kept living like that I would break down. I'm just a country boy from South Dakota, and that just wasn't me."
Enter the sport of MMA.
Lesnar got his first taste of MMA action in 2006, and in his first fight on June 2, 2007 it only took him 69 seconds to destroy Olympic judo medalist Min Soo Kim.
Then, on Nov. 15, 2008, Lesnar defeated MMA legend Randy Couture by TKO to become the Heavyweight Champion. Though health issues derailed him last year, he has been on top of the UFC world ever since.
He defeated Frank Mir in 2009 to unify the Championship and beat interim title holder Shane Carwin by submission this year in the second round at UFC 116.
Now he looks to take down the undefeated Velasquez in Anaheim, Calif., at UFC 121 in what is the most anticipated bout of Lesnar's career.
"I don't see this [Velasquez] fight going past the third round," he says. "I really don't. I just want to purely dominate....When I get in Octagon the 'Sandman' is coming. I'm going put you to sleep."
The former collegiate wrester, WWE superstar and passionate hunter has traveled a long road to reach the top of the UFC, and a smart man wouldn't bet against him.
Watch Lesnar take on .50 caliber rifle at the range, and predict the winner of the Velasquez vs. Lesnar fight for a chance at winning a Scent Killer prize pack.