It was only 8 years ago that Brock Lesnar defeated Randy Couture to win the UFC heavyweight championship, establishing himself as one of the best athletes on the planet. He had gone from being a 2-time National champion wrestler at the University of Minnesota, to becoming the youngest WWE champion in history, to playing in the NFL, to being on top of the MMA world.
When he had first entered the UFC he heard that “a professional wrestler could not survive in this world (of MMA).” Now the 38 year old Lesnar was hearing the same things.
The UFC 200 bout for Lesnar would be against boxer turned mixed martial artist Mark Hunt. It was a clash of different styles. With Lesnar, you have the ground and pound wrestling style. Mark Hunt is the bonafide striker that could end your night with one good punch to the nose.
Lesnar comes into the fight as the under dog in Vegas. He has been away from the ring too long. He can’t take a hit from Mark Hunt. He is only interested in the money. He only had 6
The fight would end up going the distance, 3 rounds, with Lesnar winning by unanimous decision. It was his first win since 2010 and it was a pretty decisive one with most of the fight being spent on the ground, the way Lesnar likes to fight.
The only person that could have been just as happy about this outcome as Lesnar is probably Vince McMahon. Lesnar will probably get some UFC fans to watch his Summer Slam match against Randy Orton and attract more fans to WWE programming. This win also helped solidify the “beast incarnate” persona that Brock Lesnar has as a professional wrestler, making his performances even more legitimate. This win could also help Lesnar ride this momentum into a WWE title reign or help elevate any superstar that defeats him. It is a real win-win for both Brock Lesnar and the WWE.
In the post-fight press conference, Lesnar said that he does not know what is next for him outside of his Summer Slam match with Randy Orton. The best quote of the night came when he was asked what would happen if he wanted to come back to the UFC again. Would he have to have a conversation with Vince McMahon and Dana White. Lesnar answered “Well let’s get one thing clear, Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants to do.” Well that explains a lot about why he got to do UFC 200. What was Vince going to do, tell him no? Lesnar is arguably the biggest draw in the WWE (between him and John Cena) you do not want to risk having him leave for the UFC for good. Lesnar only works for about half of the year (if that) for the WWE appearing at only a handful of PPV’s and some episodes of Raw, it is much better for him to do that than nothing at all if you are the WWE.
Another part of the press conference that caught my ear was that Lesnar said he would like to fight Cain Velasquez again. Just as he said that, Dana White had dollar signs appear as his pupils envisioning the amount of money he can make on a future UFC event with that fight as a part of the main card. After all, Lesnar holds the record for the most UFC PPV buys as the main event fight.
In the end, it was a great night for everyone involved. Brock Lesnar got another win in the octagon after losing his last fight back in 2011. He also made $2.5 million for just fighting the match. He will also probably make even more money by using leaving WWE for UFC as a threat to gain leverage in contract negotiations. The WWE got to advertise Summer Slam during the event and may gain some more fans and of course Lesnar winning is good for them. UFC got to fall back on Brock Lesnar because Jon Jones had a doping violation which completely changed the main event. Also, having Brock Lesnar win raises his confidence and may lead to more UFC fights in the future.
It will be interesting to see what is in store next for Brock Lesnar.