Brock Lesnar is one of the few beings on the planet who can inspire both awe and terror at the same time.
Gable Steveson revealed the details of his first encounter with the former UFC heavyweight champion in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, formerly of ESPN and Fox Sports, and described his mentor as 'that role model in my life'.
But the Olympic gold medallist also admits he was 'scared as hell' when he first met his fellow American.
“I was scared as hell of him," Steveson told MMA Fighting when recalling his first meeting with Lesnar.
"Dude came up and he’s about 6-3, 6-4, he’s put together and he was actually ripped.
"I was like, he’s bigger than I thought, this was the first time I’d seen him in person."
Despite being taken aback by Lesnar's incredible physique, the 21-year-old said the two have formed a tight bond once he got to know him.
"But honestly it’s cool to have that mentor, that role model in my life and have him do everything that I want to do in such a dominating fashion, it’s cool because he can tell me how he did it and things I can do better," Steveson continued.
“But when I first saw him, I was like, come on now. You want me to wrestle you right now? But as the time went on and we got closer and got cooler, it was just an easier factor now.”
“I think that could be a good idea, that could be a pathway I could take,” he added. “The Brock Lesnar blueprint and pathway has worked out for him very well, I think. Who knows?”
It's not just in the cage, either - Steveson also credits Lesnar with helping him to transform his own physical appearance.
“Brock came in one day and we were practicing,” he explained. “The first video you probably saw on Twitter of me and him wrestling, he was real tired and all that.
"He came in and he was like, ‘You gotta cut that s--- off your head.’ I was like, ‘My hair? What do you mean? I like it.’ And he was like, ‘No, no, no, you gotta look professional.’
“So I thought about it for a few months and mid-match I would get my hair pulled, because you know head gear and stuff.
"A few months later I went to a barber - It’s a barber I really don’t go to, I really don’t rock with him like that - he cut me up and I was like, just take the top down a little bit.
"My fade was good but he cut it off the wrong way. I thought maybe this is a sign that it’s time for me to cut it all down.
"So my mom cuts hair too and she took the rest of the top off and I had shorter hair and a few weeks later I was like, I’m going down to a short and I’m growing a beard out.”News Now - Sport News