UFC 100: Can Brock Lesnar Handle the Media Heat?

Ept_sports_mma_experts-828769878-1247232249_mediumSteve Cofield breaks it down:

Brock Lesnar is one of kind in the mixed martial arts world. While 99-percent of the fighters are easily accessible and an open book, Lesnar is a little closer to what we're used to when covering major sports like the NFL, NBA and MLB. He's really only available during the lead-up to his fights and he's one of the only fighters who brings along his own PR/security staff to media sessions.

Yahoo! Sports Dan Wetzel pounded away at Lesnar with a "who does this guy think he is" approach:

Afterward White shook his head in disbelief at the scene, "the guy’s trying to leave the UFC 100 press conference?" Two other times during the hour-long session, White had to talk to Lesnar about not leaving Mandalay Bay early. Lesnar had decided he was too good to continue promoting an event that will earn him an estimated $3 million.

Wetzel was rubbed the wrong way by the Lesnar entourage the day before:

On Wednesday, he was surrounded by lawyers and agents that take themselves way too seriously. He got shuffled about in a self-important manner that runs counter to the down-to-earth style of every other star in mixed martial arts. Everything around him seemed stressed.

Let's say it straight out, Lesnar doesn't like doing the media stuff. He's a no nonsense guy who gets annoyed by many of the canned answer questions we're often obligated to throw his way. But I'll defend him, He adds a different element. It's real. Which means the possibility of a great quote is a lot higher than the guy that Wetzel props up in his column, Georges St. Pierre. GSP is a great guy but he's become incredibly programmed and withdrawn. ... I prefer the Lesnar-types who may explode on an opponent or a media member, any day of the week.

I have to take a split the difference approach here. While I sympathize with Wetzel's desire to have a polite, professional relationship with the fighters as he does his job, I also sympathize with Lesnar who is obviously nervous and frightened by the press.

However, Lesnar reminds me of no one so much as Axl Rose of Guns N Roses. Those of you old enough to remember Axl's hey dey will recall that the mercurial star constantly had blowups with reporters, fans, other musicians and his bandmates.

That sort of intensity helped make Rose one of the most compelling figures in pop culture for about five years, but it also dramatically shortened his career by sending him into a decade long self-imposed seclusion.

I hope Lesnar can learn to take some deep breaths because if he wins this fight, the media glare is only going to become more relentless.

Photo by Las Vegas Sun

UFC 100 coverage

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