Brock Lesnar is many things. He’s an NCAA wrestling champion from the University of Minnesota. He’s one of the WWE’s biggest attractions. He’s also a former UFC heavyweight champion who returns to the Octagon tonight to fight in UFC 200. What you may have forgotten, though, is that Lesnar was once a member of the Minnesota Vikings, albeit briefly, in 2004.
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Lesnar played as an enormous defensive lineman both in training camp and pre-season with the Vikings that summer, though that’s as far as his NFL career would go. He hadn’t played the game since high school and was brought in for a tryout simply because of his 6-foot-2, 285-pound frame. That was a long time ago, part of Lesnar’s career résumé that seemed lost forever—until the NFL decided to release footage of some of his 2004 pre-season highlights.
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As big as he is, you can tell that Lesnar lacks the skill or proper form to succeed as a defensive lineman. He repeatedly gets pushed backwards or thrown down at the line of scrimmage. Still, the announcers comment on how hard Lesnar worked; and perhaps if he’d chosen football straight out of college, he could have developed into a decent player.
Lesnar takes on Mark Hunt in tonight’s UFC main event.