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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Why is there such big interest in Brock Lesnar/Undertaker?

By Zach Arnold | October 26, 2010

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I cannot believe how much momentum the Undertaker/Brock Lesnar deal is getting. Dana White fed the media beast yesterday when he said that Lesnar is under an exclusive contract to UFC and that the match won’t happen.

Dana White says UFC may have a broadcast TV deal in 2011 along with their own TV network. Wonder how much having their own network would influence the media coverage they currently get…

Matt Hughes says that it is time to have a third announcer in the UFC commentary unit and that the third person should be a fighter.

Todd Martin says that we have a ways to go to see how UFC’s Cain Velasquez experiment works in making in-roads with new fans.

Quick thought on Brock Lesnar’s ability to take a punch… In a sense, when he gets hit, he reminds me a bit of Bob Sapp. Bull rush, tire out, get hit. The difference is that Lesnar tries to get to a corner whereas Sapp just goes into the fetal position. Josh Gross takes note of how bad of a tactical error Lesnar made to bull-rush Velasquez early in the fight. Jamie Penick at MMA Torch labeled the fight strategy as ‘baffling’. A what-if question: What if Greg Nelson was still with Brock’s camp? Would the game plan be any different?

Josh Koscheck had his own message to the fans who loudly booed him at UFC 121 in Anaheim.

Roger Hollett won his return fight last night in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Kotaku gives a mixed review on the new EA Sports MMA video game. Pasta Padre says that there is a future for the EA Sports MMA video game despite having an initially slow sales period.

A new man in charge of the Minneasota Combative Sports Commission.

Here’s a profile article on Little Patricia Vidonic, who recently was involved in the taping of the new Ultimate Women Challenge reality show series that will air in a few months through syndication.

At Sunday’s DEEP 50th show in Tokyo at JCB Hall, Shinya Aoki made short work of Yokthai Sithoar in one minute with an arm-lock. Nice work when you can get it. Minowaman defeated Chang Hee Kim in 2’07 with an arm bar. Sanae Kikuta TKO’d Lee Sak Kim in 81 seconds. Ryo Chonan had to use three rounds to dispose of Jun Hee Moon by TKO. Masakazu Imanari defeated DJ taiki after 3R by a 2-0 decision. Yuya Shirai defeated Shigetoshi Iwase after 3R to retain the DEEP Welterweight title. In the main event, Katsunori Kikuno retained his DEEP Lightweight title by defeating Nobuhiro Obiya after 3R by decision. On the undercard, Yoshiro Maeda defeated Takafumi Otsuka by decision and Katsuyori Shibata lost to Yoshiyuki Nakanishi. More notes here.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, WWE, Zach Arnold | 39 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

39 Responses to “Why is there such big interest in Brock Lesnar/Undertaker?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    1) The Undertaker issue will be over by the end of the week. Then nobody will care about it.

    2) If the UFC ends up on Network Television, my guess would be NBC. This is a perfect example of the NBC and Kabletown… er, Comcast deal helping the UFC. Comcast makes a lot of money due to UFC PPV’s. It’s easy to see a relationship easily built starting from there. With that said, I won’t believe a TV deal until it is actually fully announced.

    3) I agree with Matt Hughes, but it’s hard to find the “right” kind of announcer for the booth. Preferably I would like to see a retired fighter in there. The problem is that most of the retired fighters come from a very different age of fighting and even those guys are sort of out of touch with reality. Listening to guys like Ken or Frank Shamrock or even Jens Pulver…. What they talk about in MMA was relevent when they were stars. The sport has passed them by and they don’t bring that new level of expertise with them. I think it will be much easier to fill the 3rd commentator spot in 5 years when guys retiring are still from the “new” era and have a better perspective on the sport.

    4) Brock Lesnar needs to gameplan better. What he has done in his last 2 fights are just a product of him being too green for the sport. A guy with as much skill as Brock Lesnar still needs cage time. He is a great example of why you don’t rush an ultra talented fighter. Of course, it’s hard to blame the UFC in this case. Lesnar being older and with his price tag, it was sink or swim from the beginning. His time in the WWE ended up hurting him because it increased his price tag so much that it was impossible to justify him fighting regular fighters in order to build him up.

    5) EA MMA was a perfect example of how little interest there is for pure MMA. EA, Bodog, Affliction, Strikeforce and others have all failed at increasing interest in MMA outside of the UFC. At this point, you have to assume somebody is a fool for trying to go up against the UFC.

    One added comment….

    The biggest news story at this point in MMA is how much media Cain Velasquez has been doing AFTER his title win. Typically in fighting, all of the media is done before the fight and then we don’t hear from the fighter after the day of the fight for a few months. Cain is proving to being a real company man. Doing interviews with TMZ and Lopez Tonight.

    • I will care about the Undertaker.

      And so will many people. :-0

      You can *pretend* that no one cares about pro wrestling but it doesn’t make it true.

    • The Gaijin says:

      “A guy with as much skill as Brock Lesnar still needs cage time.”

      I think it’s just semantics on your part here – but I want to highlight this problem with people’s assessment of Lesnar and all the acolytes who are/were starstruck over the guy.

      Athletic ability and raw athletic talent =/= SKILL. He needs the cage time, attitude and mindset to get himself in there and develop the raw talent into skill, but at this point his actual mma skill is wanting.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        I disagree. His pure natural talent gave him wins over Couture, Herring, Carwin, & Mir. That shows he has some serious natural talent.

        He just isn’t polished enough to not make really bad mistakes in there….

    • Jonathan says:

      Need I remind you that the latest UFC game was released to “meh” results as well and that was heavily pushed as could be by the UFC.

      And the only fool I see around here is you spouting off with your anti-everything-that-is-not-the-UFC bullshit rants.

      And a few weeks ago you were talking about Brock Lesnar was the pre-eminent heavyweight in the world and how he was the prototype fighter to go by. Now he lost to Cain and you say that he needs more cage time/he is too green? Give me a fucking break.

      I reckon he needs more cage time just like every fighter needs cage time so he doesn’t stop fighting.

      You go and flow with the tide…a front runner. That’s why you love the UFC, that’s why you LOVED Brock, and I’m sure that’s why you’ll love Cain until he loses and/or retires.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        There is a huge difference between the UFC doing worse then expections (which it did) and EA’s game completely bombing.

        And how was I anti-UFC when talking about the game? I have said I am going to buy it. I was talking negatively about how it was selling, which is a legit point.

        As for Lesnar…. I have said he was the #1 ranked Heavyweight in the world. But I don’t ever remember calling him the prototypical Heavyweight. When Lesnar/Cain was first announced, I said it was a 50/50 fight. When I saw the weight-ins, I swayed towards Lesnar due to the huge size difference.

  2. Tradition Rules says:

    The DEEP looks good. I wonder if there will be anywhere to pick this show up on DVD? I at least hope I get to watch it on youtube.

    Katsuyori Shibata needs to give up MMA and go back to puroresu. Didn’t he start training w/ Masakatsu Funaki? He really burned the bridge w/ New Japan, but Funaki is in All Japan, can’t try to get a job with them?

    His MMA career is going nowhere. Maybe through his connections with Funaki, he can try to work for PANCRASE. Being more submission based, maybe he can at least be more successful there if he is going to insist on remaining an MMA fighter.

    • Pancrase hasn’t been “more submission based” for many years now. They moved over to more standard MMA rules almost a decade ago.

      ZST would be the place with the no close guard rule and whatnot, but I’m pretty sure the plan is still to close that promotion and merge it.

      • Tradition Rules says:

        Oh, Iknow about the changes they made in the rules in PANCRASE, but from what I had seen since the rule changes, they still seemed to be a bit more grappling based.

        But, to be honest, it has been over a year since I’v seen any recent PANCRASE, so I’m sure you are right Alan.

        I really enjoyed ZST from what I’ve seen in the past, and the way its booked, you are probably right that it is more of a match for Shibata.

        A shame that it may be folding, as I have read that elsewhere as well.

  3. Robert Poole says:

    A UFC TV network would be a bad idea IMO. First, I’m not even sure they have enough regular programming the justify a channel of their own. Sure they could reair old events all day long or some of their Spike TV programming but I think fans would crave something different than just old re-aired events and unless they decided to cut a deal to air other MMA shows outside of the UFC/WEC banner they probably would have a limited audience for re-runs.

    I’d much rather a legit combat sports station exist with UFC, top level boxing shows and even some K-1 mixed in. Between those three sports and any sort of Muay Thai or Wrestling/BJJ/Grappling shows you could have a solid mix of stuff to work with and really draw a much more diverse fight audience. Hell, it might even be able to help build the fanbases of all those different combat sports variations at once.

    I know Dana White is a huge Boxing fan, why not cut a deal with a boxing promoter or two and give us something like Tuesday Night Fights used to be on USA? Or set it up where every Saturday night (aside from UFC PPV nights) there is a live MMA or Boxing event in primetime? Cable and traditional networks can’t offer such a slot to anyone. This would be a good way to build a viewership, IMO.

    • The Gaijin says:

      “I’d much rather a legit combat sports station exist with UFC, top level boxing shows and even some K-1 mixed in. Between those three sports and any sort of Muay Thai or Wrestling/BJJ/Grappling shows you could have a solid mix of stuff to work with and really draw a much more diverse fight audience. Hell, it might even be able to help build the fanbases of all those different combat sports variations at once.”

      But for the UFC variable isn’t this exactly what the FIGHT Network (and to a lesser extent HDNet) is?

    • 45 Huddle says:

      If they started their own channel, they it would definitely put them into the business of acquiring as much old footage as possible, much the way the WWE basically owns all of the old Pro Wrestling content out there.

      Personally, I find the NHL, NFL, and MLB channels pointless. But they must get some viewers or they wouldn’t be around.

    • They might have broadcast rights to the WFA shows and perhaps the old pre Zuffa WEC events (at least those not released on DVD). Plus they could probably grab a bunch of other MMA events cheap like Battlecades and YAMMA or whathaveyou.

      Then you’ve got lots of TUFs to air as well as old events. Add in some UFC related programming, some “lifestyle” shit, Dana’s failed mob drama he tried to get on TV, old kung fu movies, and infomercials – you have a network. Of course, they can’t demand too much from service providers because they might have a tough time getting that, in which case it would be a colossal waste.

  4. Tradition Rules says:

    AH!

    SAMURAI TV USA!

    This is what they had in Japan, but I’m not even sure if it is arounf any more. I think it still is, but it is nowhere near as popular as it was back in the 1990s. 🙁

    But I personally love the idea Robert.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    Shane Carwin pulled out of his fight with Roy Nelson due to injury. I could see them putting a few different fighters in there. I bet Frank Mir is ready, but do they want to risk potentially losing out on Mir/Lesnar 3? Then again, Mir could lose and probably still make it an interesting fight.

    • edub says:

      It’s not gonna happen, but I think Brock would be perfect. A month to heal, and a month to train for a guy IMO he woud absolutely destroy. If they could make that happed it would be perfect.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        You are correct. It would be perfect. Lesnar has no chance of losing. They could use it as a way to build to Lesnar/Mir 3…. And then they could get Lesnar right back into a title shot by the 2nd half of 2011 and justify it with him having 2 quality wins to get back to the title.

        • edub says:

          Exactly what I was thinking. Probably have to find someone for Mir to fight in the mean time though.

          Whatever Lesnar does, hopefully he does nothing but drill off his back and work striking while he’s off. He’ll never get buy Cain, JDS (IMO of course), and a non gassed Carwin if he doesn’t improve those.

        • The Gaijin says:

          [Lesnar] has no chance of losing.

          Heh – heard that one a million times before.

          I honestly think he’d be heavily favoured and I would likely bet on him, but Nelson hits hard as hell and he’d have a huge striking advantage…if he could get off before he got bull-rushed into the cage I could see the baby giraffe dance happening again.

    • robthom says:

      How about Nelson/Crocop.

  6. cutch says:

    They will probably give Nelson, Ben Rothwell or someone like that.

  7. edub says:

    “he’d have a huge striking advantage…”

    You really think that because he KOd Schaub and Lanky mcTallerson. I’d have to disagree. Slight advantage yes, but lets not start to pretend Nelson has built a career on striking with people. Carwin=huge advantage, Cain=huge advantage, JDS= (I don’t think they even have a strong enough word for it) advantage, BUT… I don’t think Nelson has one.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    Dana White is holding a press conference on Thursday to announce something big.

    Anybody hear of any new toys coming to the market soon?

    • edub says:

      You mean the huge announce could be about new action figures?! DW would never do that…

    • The Gaijin says:

      Line up for the Toronto mma card to include Leben vs. Silva?

      • robthom says:

        I haven’t watched the last few resurging Leben fights yet.

        Is he still taking a punch first to give a haymaker back?

        If he’s still doing that its probable best to keep him and silva separated.

        • He isn’t any different. It comes down to the overt hype revolving around Akiyama, who Leben looked like he outweighed by a good 20 lbs on fight night. However, Wanderlei is on the backside of his career, so its probably a competitive fight now.

        • robthom says:

          Oh, I thought he was talking about the “new” Leben rematching anderson silva.

          🙂

          That would just be cruel.

          I agree Leben/vanderlei is a reasonble fight.
          Two sluggers, should be very watchable if not so relevant.

  9. klown says:

    Brock Lesnar shouldn’t be thrown to a top fighter in his next fight. He’s 5-2, he’s faced a murderer’s row and he’ll be rebounding from a tough loss. Someone coming off a loss around the outskirts of the Top 10 is a better choice of opponent.

    Roy Nelson would be the #1 candidate but it’s unlikely because Nelson is scheduled to fight, so the next best option, in my eyes, is Cheick Kongo. His recent fights were uninspiring, but his only losses in two years are to fighters with wins over Lesnar, too: Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez.

  10. Chuck says:

    We shouldn’t even be talking about Lesnar’s next fight. He got hit with a 180 (!) day medical suspension. That’s about six months folks.

    http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/article/lesnar-gets-180-day-medical-suspension-after-ufc-121-115293

    So that means, at the earliest, he will probably fight in about eight months from now.

    • David M says:

      I am pretty sure these suspensions can be superseded by a doctor clearing the fighter subsequently. Thus, there is no reason to think that Brock will actually be out of action for 6 months or longer.

    • robthom says:

      Lol +1

      But its not like Toney did something to deserve the money.

      I’m not sure who deserves it less, but UFC got the result that they paid for.

  11. robthom says:

    “Matt Hughes says that it is time to have a third announcer in the UFC commentary unit and that the third person should be a fighter.”

    Haven’t they been doing that periodically for years?
    I’ll never forget when Ken Shamrock said that Ricco backing straight up while sylvia jabbed at him was a bad idea about 20 seconds before sylvia starched him.

    I think Shamrock used to be somewhat realistic and insightful before he got old and eccentric.

    “Kotaku gives a mixed review on the new EA Sports MMA video game.”

    I’ve also heard tat the EA game is bad, and it doesn’t look very good, but kotaku ratings are almost always ridiculous.

    Usually a text book example of japanese obsessions and weirdness.

    • robthom says:

      My bad, I’m thinking of “Famitsu”.

      I’ve never even read kotaku.

    • Chuck says:

      Where did you hear the game was bad? As I mentioned before, the game is getting good reviews.

      • robthom says:

        Just chatter around forums and stuff.

        I actually haven’t read the reviews, (I find most “gaming” reviews only a step above fanboy chatter anyway).
        I did look at a few yesterday and they did seem to be generally favorable.

        The screenshots and video’s look okay, IMO.
        It looks like an acceptable companion to the UFC game (which I’m not impressed with either), just not as good as the preview shots that they released at first.

        Just kind of middle of the road.

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