(Photos courtesy of the UFC)
During the media conference call last week for UFC 116, members of the national mixed martial arts media were treated to a new version of heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
This version was a bit more subdued, respectful and candid. After going through a scary time while battling and defeating a life-threatening case of diverticulitis, a slight personality change was inevitable.
Of course, Lesnar couldn't be expected to hold back his emotions for too long.
"I'm still the same ornery S.O.B. I've always been," he said.
Now fully recovered from his bout of diverticulitis, which is a swelling of an abdominal pouch within the intestinal wall, Lesnar will return to the cage for the first time in more than a year when he squares off against Shane Carwin in a UFC heavyweight title unification fight on Saturday.
The Alexandria, Minn., resident says he's 100 percent healthy and may be in even better shape than before. He's certainly a more complete fighter, Lesnar said.
Part of Lesnar's newfound attitude regarding the fight game is owing to his life-threatening experience. But part of it also has to do with his respect for Carwin.
Members of the media tried to get Lesnar to say something bad about Carwin, who is undefeated at 12-0 in his MMA career. But they failed.
"There's not a lot of animosity (for Carwin)," Lesnar said. "He's just an obstacle I have to