Why the UFC Needs Brock Lesnar More Than Ever
By Jaime C. Feal
Many reports have been surfacing in recent weeks that Brock Lesnar is interesting in fighting again, and the UFC is trying to land a deal to bring him back to the Octagon.
Dana White validated these rumors recently, to the legal extent that he could (Lesnar is still under contract with WWE), saying he was sorry to not have gotten the deal done already, and that Lesnar is indeed “interested in fighting.”
That would almost certainly mean the two have talked about his return to the UFC, and although maybe the final numbers aren’t worked out, the UFC is in a position to throw a lot of money Brock’s way.
Unlike when the UFC went after Gina Carano, this is more than just conjecture and rumor. Brock is a huge star, drawing a unique fan base, selling more Pay-Per-Views than any other MMA star, and appealing to the always important casual MMA fans. Lesnar, when healthy, remains the most dominant wrestler in the UFC heavyweight division. His pure strength, athleticism, and power more than compensate for a little less-refined technique.
He proved in his first UFC run he can immediately jump into the deepest, shark-infested waters, and still survive. In fact, if not for serious life-threatening bouts of diverticulitis, one could argue Brock would never have retired in the first place. His loss to Alistair Overeem was after he got leg kicked in his surgically repaired body, after which Lesnar crumpled and folded like a house of cards. A healthy Brock Lesnar is a different animal altogether.
Now that Daniel Cormier has moved down to light heavyweight, Brock could immediately come back and be the most dominant wrestler in the UFC heavyweight division. As Joe Rogan always reminds us, wrestling is the best style to have in MMA because you can control where the fight goes. As fighters become more well-rounded, that becomes less true, but the heavyweight division is the most specialized division in terms of pure strikers and grapplers. There are only a few really well-rounded heavyweights, with injured champ Cain Velasquez being the obvious example.
But what really makes Brock so appealing to Dana White and the UFC is the absolute dearth of stars and personalities in the organization right now. With Georges St. Pierre still retired, and Anderson Silva slowly coming back from injury, the UFC really only has one superstar in Jon “Bones” Jones.
Nothing would boost the UFC’s numbers like the heel personality that is Brock Lesnar. His trash talk, speeches, pre-fight hype, and post-fight interviews are the stuff of legends.
You either love him, or you love to hate him, but you have to watch him.
After a rough 2014 with declining Pay-Per-View numbers, the UFC needs Brock Lesnar more than ever.