After watching UFC 91 I remember thinking how much I admired Randy Couture. How he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and how much I appreciate his style. I also was filled with a sense of loss. The notion that Randy Couture was extinct, that I would never be able to witness his greatness again. I don't see him fighting anymore. And if he does fight again it won't be the same. What made Captain America so great was The Quest. The quest for the light heavyweight championship, then heavyweight championship, and then the quest to fight Fedor. This fight against Lesnar was, in my opinion, the continuation in his quest to fight Fedor. But now, the quest has to be over. I don't believe there could be mass interest to see that fight now. I mean, Randy will no longer be considered the #1 or #2 heavyweight. Could Randy beat fedor, could he beat Nogueira, is he in the top two for heavyweights? I believe the answer is yes -- but these questions are irrelevant. All we as fans care about now, is Brock Lesnar. How could this tragedy happen? How could a relative new comer beat the Champion?
Couture looked great in his fight with Lesnar. All of the things that made him so great in the past, were displayed in his fight with Lesnar, except one thing. Instead of implementing that classic DIRTY BOXING, Couture had to devote everything he had into pinning Lesnar against the fence -- Lesnar was just too damn big. Lesnar is very big, he is very good at using that size, and he seems to actually be learning how to fight. For these reasons, I think he would have to be a significant favorite in any fight I can think of right now. A guy like Noguiera, or Mir, or someone with exceptional Jiu-Jitsu, definitely has the best chance at beating Lesnar. But he seems to be learning so quickly, and his wrestling is so good, that I don't see Nog winning that fight (Brock doesn't need to learn Jiu Jitsu, he just needs to learn how to defend against it).
The thought that Lesnar is gonna be champion for quite some time doesn't particularly bother me. I could care less about who the champion is in any weight class. I enjoy stylistic match-ups that produce great technical fights, and because Lesnar is champion, I'm afraid that I will be seeing less of these in the upcoming future. Why would I be seeing less interesting stylistic match-ups in the HW division? For two reasons:
1) Lesnar is not just an aberation, an anomaly, a once in a lifetime occurence! He is the future of the Heavy Weight Division. Let me sum up this arguement philosophically, rather than factually: the best fighter in every weight class, cuts weight before a fight. They do this because it gives them the highest level of strength possible in that division. Why should the heavyweight division be any different? Brock has shown us that it isn't different -- being the strongest guy in the octagon, is a huge advantage. My prediction, not based on any data, is that we will see big wrestlers start making their way into MMA. As the UFC becomes more mainstream, more popular, and more lucrative, why wouldn't we see this transition of big athletes into the sport?
2) All of the guys who would currently make for good match-ups are kind of irrelevant now. If you can't beat Lesnar no one is gonna take interest. I wanna see Couture fight Fedor, or see Nog defend his HW title, or see how the WEC guys stack up in the division. Now all I'm gonna be presented, is a serious of Brock-style ass whoopings -- not that interested.
So what about all the awesome fighters that CAN'T cut to 205 and DON'T cut to 265. I have a solution: THE SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION! This is not a new idea. The SHOOTO promotion currently has a heavyweight cut off at 225 and the Association of Boxing Commissions has proposed, as early as July of this year, a Heavyweight division that cuts off at 225.
Of course I'm not suggesting that we do this immediately. The UFC still has plenty of money to be made off Lesnar -- I wouldn't suggest that we prevent that. Brock has plenty of people left to crush before the UFC can definitively declare that they have the absolute, best heavyweight in the world. But the day will come, when every ex-collegiate super heavyweight wrestler makes his way to the UFC. And, if that day doesn't come, lets draw the line at 225 anyway. Won't we all be sick of watching Lesnar win by then?