LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 20: UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar at the UFC 121 pre-fight press conference at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 20 2010 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Is Brock Looking for a Way Out or Just a Better Fight? - Some interpreted Dave Meltzer's radio talk to mean that Lesnar is looking to get out of mixed martial arts, others are taking it as just "a business move." Honestly it might be both.
From asking around I'm getting the feeling that Lesnar isn't interested in getting handed a fight where he might take a beating again (think Shane Carwin rematch) and is looking for fights that he is comfortable he will win (think Frank Mir rubber match). There's no shame in not wanting to go from Carwin to Cain Velasquez and back to Carwin. He's fought an incredibly tough schedule given his experience level and wanting a "bounce back fight" is not cowardly, it's a pretty smart business decision. And I say that as someone who was really upset with Brock earlier.
I'm a little disappointed that in my asking around I was kind of given the impression that Brock isn't really looking to "learn" from the Velasquez loss. Which may speak to some sort of personal realization that he isn't likely to ever be able to beat someone like Cain (which is true) and from here out it's an opportunity to maximize how much money he makes the rest of his career.
He has two fights left on his contract and I think his career is more about getting two wins and hitting the market to drive up his price by getting some other bidders in on the action (there are a few names that may come out of the woodwork and throw huge money to try to put together a one-time supershow with Lesnar). If that is the case and I'm managing Lesnar I'm pushing for Mirko Cro Cop in his next fight. Right now the story is that Lesnar is terrified to get hit and you have a guy who still has cred as a dangerous striker in Mirko. And honestly I see Lesnar winning that fight 95% of the time. Of course, now Mirko is rumored to be fighting Brendan Schaub, but what's one more opponent change for Schaub? Then from there you look for either the Mir rubber match, Roy Nelson or Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. They're all fights Lesnar should win and make for some serious leverage in negotiating his next contract.
Ion Television...Really? - I know that people are trying to spin the Ion deal as big for the UFC. They're on "network TV" now and technically Ion is in more homes than Spike TV. But really, Ion doesn't attract the UFC's target demo. Throughout the week on Spike you have people who are the UFC's audience watching and being reminded that fights are going to be on. With Ion you're just hoping that people hear about it through either the internet, friends or the UFC and tune in that night.
There's no way this is a long term strategy for them and no one should be trying to spin this as a huge deal.
- I can't pretend I have any idea if Mirko Cro Cop will stick as Brendan Schaub's new opponent. The fight is interesting but I just don't trust Cro Cop to be able to handle someone who can push the pace like Schaub can.
- Well, Nick Diaz can continue his path of being a big fish in a little pond. Strikeforce is going to have to develop their prospects very quickly to make sure that there are still interesting fights for him. They can delay with the Cyborg Santos fight (which I still think is a good fight), then a Paul Daley bout and from there maybe a third fight with KJ Noons. By then hopefully there are some prospects ready for a big fight.