By Zach Arnold | December 26, 2010
Yesterday, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Fight Opinion web site. (Quietly.) One of the goals of this web site when we started was to create a platform that would help educate readers to become smarter about the business side of Mixed Martial Arts. I think we’ve successfully been ahead of the curve on a lot of stories and, in turn, have readers who have gone on to become writers on various platforms. Remember, five years ago, Fight Opinion was one of the first hybrid news/opinion MMA sites out there before blogging platforms like Movable Type and WordPress helped create the boom we have today. I wrote about MMA long before Fight Opinion, but we moved into territory where there were only a couple of online radio shows for MMA (at most). The landscape back then versus today is completely different.
One of the stories that I’ve longed warned everyone about is the career of Brock Lesnar in the UFC. We know his history — he does something for a little while, makes some money or fame, and moves on before he gets completely exposed and runs out of sugar daddies willing to recruit him into something else. In many ways, he reminds me of having the spirit of Bruiser Brody (look him up on Google, non-wrestling fans) leaving one place after another before his welcome is warn out. Lesnar was in WWE for a few years, then he went to try out for the Minnesota Vikings, then he went to New Japan, and eventually ended up in UFC.
When Brock was pummeled by Cain Velasquez, there was the goofy Undertaker incident that was caught on camera by Ariel Helwani. Immediately, the rumors started flying about Vince McMahon wanting Brock Lesnar to appear at Wrestlemania. As we know with Vince McMahon, the harder it is for him to sign someone the hungrier and more motivated he gets to make it happen. (Kind of reminds me of someone else we know as a boss as well.) Anyhow, when Lesnar lost to Velasquez everyone started talking about when he would come back to training to redeem himself in the cage. At first, there were indications Lesnar would get back in the swing of things quickly. Then, he decided to take a break for hunting season. Now? Keith Harris notes (from hearing/reading the cryptocity of Dave Meltzer) the waiting game that Mr. Lesnar is playing. It’s a game that Dana White wants no part of. However, Mr. White should have thought of this when he signed Lesnar in the first place to a contract. What’s intriguing about UFC being relucant to allow Brock to appear at Wrestlemania is that not only is UFC destroying WWE in PPV buys but they have also taken away a lot of disgruntled WWE/wrestling fans who are sick of the McMahon/Kevin Dunn cookie-cutter production. In one respect, Dana’s objections make complete and total business sense. On the other hand, why should he be worried about Lesnar appearing at Wrestlemania if the public at-large knows that UFC is real and WWE is not so much? Despite the amazing growth of UFC, I do think the situation with Lesnar indicates how nervous people in MMA still are to the fact that the public at-large, or at least the media, is willing to lump the two into the same business category.
Brock Lesnar is who we thought he was — and we’ve been saying it for many, many years on Fight Opinion. In fact, since day one this site was created. Happy Anniversary, everyone.
(By the way, 25% off all “UFC gear” at Sears today.)