The excitement is growing for UFC 101 but let’s take a quick look back at the epic card of UFC 100. The aftermath of UFC 100 was quite interesting. Well, first I should say that was a great night of fights. Brock Lesnar surprised us all with such a dominant dismantling of Frank Mir. It was very impressive and Lesnar looked unstoppable. And then, weirdness prevails. Lesnar got in Mir’s face and was trash talking him. Hey Brock, you just kicked his ass, I think he knows all about it. Next, Lesnar proceeded to slobber and spit all over the camera like a rabid dog. I actually liked his post fight interview with Joe Rogan though, the way he antagonizing the crowd was great. He might have gone too far by dissing Bud Light; after all they’re a major UFC sponsor.
Brock’s whole demeanor got me thinking. Did Dana White just pull a Vince McMahon? White is the President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He definitely comes off as brash and arrogant but that guy is a business genius. He has helped grow the UFC from bankruptcy to the biggest MMA draw around. In case you don’t know who Vince McMahon is, he is the Chairman and primary stockholder of the WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment. McMahon also has strong business sense, having taken a family owned business and turning it into a multi million dollar company. I think that White instructed Lesnar to act like an ass and, to steal a term from the pro wrestling business, turn heal. White knows that heavyweight is by far the weakest weight class in the UFC, and probably all of MMA. What better way to build excitement for upcoming cards than have a champion that no one likes. People will shell out the bucks to see an arrogant ass get the hell beat out of them.
Look over the roster of UFC’s heavies and there are very few that will generate a lot of prefight hype. You have the crowd favorites Couture and Nogueira. Lesnar already knocked out “the Natural” and “Minotauro” looked like a sack of crap against Mir. The top contenders appear to be undefeated up-n-comers, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez, who I think fight each other in an elimination bout for the #1 challenger spot. Velasquez is a great wrestler but hasn’t shown huge power in the fights I’ve seen. Carwin, who has the size and power, should supply the best matchup. Can either of these guys stop Lesnar’s takedowns? The other options just don’t get my pulse racing but in MMA, an upset victory is only one punch away. There definitely isn’t a light heavyweight that would move up a class to take on Lesnar. He has to cut weight to make the limit. The heavyweights that would generate the most excitement are all outside the company. I would love to see Fedor or Bobby Lashley join the UFC. Lashley should continue to get better but would make dramatic strides if he dropped the pro wrestling bit.
Until some other fighters evolve, or some new talent is brought in, the UFC needs Brock Lesnar to be the guy that everyone wants to lose.