Thursday, January 13, 2011

UFC is full of crock; I mean Brock

2011 is barely two weeks old, yet it's making "big" waves as far as MMA news is concerned. One of the biggest, (no pun intended), news stories so far has been the upcoming/impending Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament. This tourney features eight of the world's best heavyweight fighters, including two of the top five in champion Alistair Overeem and former number one pound for pound fighter Fedor Emelianenko.

To counter this heavyweight bonanza, the Ultimate Fighting Championship dropped a gargantuan bombshell themselves this past week. They announced that the coaches for the upcoming season of 'The Ultimate Fighter' reality series would be number one heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos and former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. Not only that, but they also stated the two will fight at the season finale and that the winner will get the next title shot against current champion Cain Velasquez.

While this move may make sense for a couple of reasons, business wise that is, it doesn't make sense as far as the heavyweight title picture is concerned. Then again, when has common sense ever been a factor where dollars and cents are involved? The fact that Dos Santos (12-1, 8 KO's, 3 subs) is riding a seven fight win streak, the last six in the UFC, and Lesnar (5-2, 2 KO's, 2 subs) just lost his last fight against Velasquez means nothing when it comes to money; not to mention that Dos Santos has won as many fights in a row that Lesnar has total in his career.

While UFC President Dana White may publicly say he covets his titles and "doesn't want them to become watered down and meaningless as in boxing," the truth is mixed martial arts, like any other professional sport is driven by the almighty dollar. This is why the UFC is full of crock; I mean Brock. Brock Lesnar. Like him or not, means ratings and Pay-Per-View buys, which in turn equals money. That means that a long as his heart is in it and he's under contract, Brock it is.

Yet, this may be a problem in the long run. Rumors, unconfirmed, have been circulating that Lesnar has no real desire to keep fighting as he's realized he doesn't like to get hit. Geez, what a surprise? Now I'm no genius, but I would think that fear of getting hit is not a good thing to possess if you fight for a living. This has been substantiated with reports that in his last camp he even refused to spar because he didn't like the contact. While the rumors and reports may be unconfirmed, his reaction to contact in his last two fights is not.

Upon getting punched in the face by both Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez, Lesnar's response in both instances were to crumble and run away instead of standing and trading. Granted, he is a wrestler by trade, not a boxer, but even the most novices of fighters instinctively would fight back upon getting punched in the face. It is a natural instinct, for those that have it in them to fight and I'm not sure Brock Lesnar has that.

I'm not saying he doesn't have heart, because any man who is willing to step into a cage and fight, let alone seven times, has to have some heart. However, desire is something else. Does he have the desire to continue to step into the cage, this is the question? Lesnar has shown a track record of quitting in past careers such as professional wrestling and football; though he never really got started in the latter. Yet, with millions of dollars already made, overcoming a near career ending illness, a rumored one more fight left on his current contract and Vince McMahon dangling even more millions to return to pro wrestling, one has to wonder where Lesnar's heart truly is.

Dana White is banking, literally, that Lesnar's heart is in MMA. Regardless, he has him through his next fight and he's going to ride him as long as he can. Thus, the reason he got the coaching stint on 'The Ultimate Fighter'. This will mean coaching and taping for at least six weeks, then at least three months of television ratings. Ultimately the fight with Dos Santos and with Velasquez currently on the shelf for six-eight months with a torn shoulder, the timing is perfect. Not to mention that I think Brock will eventually lose to Dos Santos, thus setting up the showdown we were supposed to get anyway.

However, what if Brock wins? This could end up being quite a dilemma if he decides he no longer has it in him to continue fighting. It's not like he hasn't done it before; he left the WWE while he was their champion and on top of the wrestling world. While this move will be fruitful for the UFC in the short term, in the long run it has the potential to be quite disastrous and embarrassing for Dana White. Only time will tell if a Dos Santos right hand will resolve that problem.

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