Recently, in the eWN news section, there have been some rumors about the possibility of Brock Lesnar returning to the UFC. Before I get into that, let’s recap what we know so far.
– Brock Lesnar is rumored to have signed a contract extension with WWE recently.
– Whether WWE admits it publicly or not, Lesnar had it written into his WWE contract that he would be permitted at least one fight with the UFC if he so desired.
– Brock Lesnar is expected to attend UFC 168 in Las Vegas this Saturday and is rumored to be meeting with Dana White.
That’s basically all of the facts as of this moment. Here’s my take on the situation.
First and foremost, UFC president Dana White has said on the record on multiple occasions that he would never promote an active pro wrestler. The only problem with that is, UFC will not be in a position in 2014 to turn down the biggest drawing card in company history just because he does a couple of pro wrestling matches per year. Not only is it ignorant in theory (he’ll promote fighters who take acting roles where they are in staged fight scenes, but not if those staged fight scenes are in a four-sided pro wrestling ring?) but it would also be an ignorant position to take considering the business impact it would have.
UFC will be without many of their highest-profile drawing cards in early 2014. Their largest current draw, Georges St-Pierre, recently vacated his title and walked away from the sport. There Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez, will miss the first several months of 2014 due to injury. The same goes for their Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis. Their former Middleweight Champion, and arguably the greatest single fighter they’ve ever promoted, Anderson Silva, is strongly hinting at retiring following his rematch with Chris Weidman this Saturday night.
So if you’re Dana White, and Lesnar comes to you saying he wants to fight, and you’re looking at taking the biggest leap in international expansion in company history, as well as a huge digital leap with the launch of your UFC Digital Network, are you going to turn down Lesnar just because he’s involved in pro wrestling? A prudent businessman certainly wouldn’t, and I consider White to be exactly that. He’s a down-to-earth, smart guy with a good head on his shoulders. I think in that situation, if it were to present itself, White would certainly “go back on his word” in a sense, and absolutely promote Lesnar despite having current ties to the pro wrestling industry.
If you’re WWE, and the rumors are true that it’s written into Lesnar’s contract, then they basically can’t legally stop him from pursuing this. If they could, however, should they? In my opinion, Lesnar is the drawing card for WWE that he is currently, and someone they’re willing to bend a million policies over and give a very special contract to specifically because of the success and notoriety he achieved during his stint as a mixed-martial-arts fighter. It legitimized him. People witnessed, first-hand, Lesnar rising through the ranks to become the biggest name in the sport, and the champion of the most coveted and universally respected division (Heavyweight). To phrase it simply, Lesnar was the baddest son of a bitch on the planet and everyone had the proof. This resulted in huge box office both for UFC while he fought there, and for WWE when he retired from active competition and returned to the pro wrestling universe.
Basically, Saturday night just became not only a historic night for UFC, as the company internally expects UFC 168 to break all previous pay-per-view records (which it won’t, but it will be a huge show and in the top three or five of all-time) but it just became an interesting night for pro wrestling fans. There’s a chance that “The Best In Carnate” and Paul Heyman’s favorite monster will be returning to the MMA world. Personally, I hope he does. I’m an enormous MMA fan and would love to have a guy like Lesnar to write about. I would love to have a guy like Lesnar bring back all of those extra eyeballs that stopped watching when he left. And well, honestly, I love when my two favorite worlds collide — MMA and pro wrestling. The fan bases for each generally despise the other, with a small audience that realizes that both are very similar, and can be equally exciting and entertaining. Come on big man, get back in the octagon and shake things up!
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