The Beast Incarnate could be on his way back to MMA next year.
Throwing Hat in the Ring
Speaking with MMAFighting.com this week, Bellator MMA president Scott Coker threw his company’s hat in the the Brock Lesnar ring, saying that Viacom is dead serious about putting money in MMA and will prove that by making a “strong run” at former UFC Heavyweight and current WWE champion Brock Lesnar. Coker admitted that Bellator has reached out to Lesnar just to “say hello” and let him know that they are interested in his services. He added while there have been no serious talks yet, they will be right there in the thick of the fight once that time arrives.
Soon To Be Free Agent
Lesnar, who ruled the Octagon and PPV arena from 2008-2010, is under contract with professional wrestling’s WWE until Wrestlemania 31 on March 29, 2015 and is set to defend his WWE title against John Cena at the WWE’s annual Royal Rumble event in January. Lesnar is enjoying a fat pay as the WWE champion and top superstar while fighting sparingly only in the WWE’s major gigs. But while it is unclear whether the 37 year old Lesnar will ever return to the Octagon again and give up his “easier” job at the WWE, his on-air manager and good buddy Paul Heyman said that the Beast is “still insanely competitive and believes that he can beat the best heavyweights in the UFC today”.
Intrigued About Having the Beast Back
Last October, UFC President Dana White said that he was intrigued with the possibilities of having a 100% healthy Lesnar back in the UFC. White has always open about his admiration for Lesnar, who defeated top notch competition without any previous fighting experience on top of battling a potential killer and performance affecting disease during his UFC run. White said that he still maintains an open line of communication with Lesnar and said that if Lesnar wants to fight again, he ( Lesnar) knows the number to call. It’s obvious that with the UFC’s PPV numbers going down this year in the absence of Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva, the promotion needs a big shot in the arm from a major PPV star in 2015. Lesnar won’t be just a major PPV star, he was the star among PPV stars in the UFC.
MMA’s Pay Per View King
Aside from being a vicious physical freak inside the Octagon, Lesnar was the UFC’s undisputed PPV King during his heyday, with four of his total eight MMA bouts included in the UFC’s Top 10 PPV events of all-time including the top two and three of the top five in the list. Lesnar average 1M PPV buys during his prime, bringing in not only hardcore MMA fans but WWE fans and curious fights fans as well. He retired from MMA in 2011 after losing back to back fights to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem. But his losses were with an asterisk because Lesnar was never truly healthy when he competed in the UFC. He unknowingly suffered from Diverticulitis multiple times and had several invasive surgeries after the disease was discovered.
No Longer a Heavy Weight Class
The UFC’s lighter weight classes have overshadowed what used to be its biggest (literally and figuratively) division in recent years. The “real” heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, has not fought since October 2013 and had to pull out of UFC 180 with a torn meniscus in his right knee. His supposed opponent, Fabricio Werdum won the interim title by defeating replacement challenger Mark Hunt. Werdum and Velasquez are rumored to fight in June 2015. But after that unification bout, the heavyweight division no longer has fights that really matter.
Dearth of Stars At Heavyweight
#2 ranked Junior Dos Santos was already beaten badly by Velasquez two consecutive times and there is no reason why Cain won’t pummel him again. #3 Travis Browne was recently mauled by Werdum while #4 Miocic lost a close fight to Dos Santos earlier this month. The rest of the contenders include Mark Hunt, Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovksi who like Brock Lesnar are in their late 30’s. With the dearth of stars and potential big match-ups available, it’s a no-brainer why White and the UFC would go after Lesnar once he becomes a free agent.
Three Way Dance
The way it looks now, the Brock Lesnar sweepstakes is shaping up to be a three way dance between Bellator, UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship and the WWE World Wrestling Entertainment. Surely the McMahons won’t give up their crown jewel without a fight. Lesnar’s popularity in the WWE is at its peak (more than ever) after he broke the Undertaker’s unbeaten Wrestlemania streak last year.The WWE has lost the Beast Incarnate once to the UFC and doesn’t want a repeat.
Aside from its PPV numbers going down, the UFC is currently embroiled in an anti-trust lawsuit from its fighters who claim of a monopoly. The UFC has recently announced that it has re-signed former light heavyweight champion Rampage Jackson, which the Bellator MMA denied and promised to fight. Things are heating up in the MMA world nowadays, but a Brock Lesnar sighting should top all of that. Who doesn’t want to see the Baddest Man on The Planet fight real men once again?