Afterthoughts from UFC 116 ...
Brock Lesnar staked his claim as the world's top mixed martial arts heavyweight fighter Saturday night -- rallying from a first-round beating to defeat a fatigued Shane Carwin by submission in the second round -- while confirming his recovery from a near-fatal bout with diverticulitis.
"The thought crossed my mind that I'd been through a lot, and I thought, 'This isn't how it's going to end,' " Lesnar said of his first-round troubles at the postfight news conference.
Lesnar conceded that he entered the ring in Las Vegas with self-doubts after his yearlong layoff for health reasons.
"I thought, 'I'll just throw it on the table [against Carwin], I got nothing to lose,' " Lesnar said.
Impressed while sitting next to the ring was Lesnar's next opponent -- another unbeaten fighter -- Cain Velasquez.
"Brock showed a lot of heart," Velasquez said.
Lesnar-Velasquez is set to take place later this year, although UFC President Dana White said it will not be in Indianapolis in September. Velasquez, too, said he was unclear when the fight date would be finalized.
White has more pressing matters on his plate, starting with the likely signing of Jake Shields, the recent Strikeforce middleweight champion whose long-expected split from the organization was confirmed by Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.
"We gave him a full release," Coker said Tuesday.
White wouldn't say how quickly he expected to sign Shields, but he did say he wanted Shields to fight in UFC as a welterweight, where he would be poised to have a shot at UFC champion Georges St-Pierre.
Interestingly, White declined to say that the winner of next month's high-profile welterweight fight between Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves would get the immediate title shot.
White also caused a stir Saturday night by describing his involvement with former world heavyweight champion boxer James Toney as a "freak show" that is intended to address in a high-profile bout ongoing questions about how a top boxer would fare in mixed martial arts -- even though Toney's best years in boxing are far behind him.
Toney is scheduled to fight former two-division UFC champion Randy Couture on Aug. 28 in Boston.
"I don't do freak shows, but I got sucked into this one ... this whole boxing vs. MMA thing," White said. "Randy Couture wanted [Toney], and you don't say no to Randy Couture."
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Brock Lesnar. Credit: Eric Jamison / Associated Press.