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On today's MMA Hour, host Ariel Helwani had Brittish journalist Gareth A. Davies and writer Mike Chiappetta on, and one of their topics of discussion was "Should Brock Lesnar get into the UFC Hall of Fame?" Both Ariel and Gareth emphatically said that Brock Lesnar was a UFC hall of famer, while Mike wasn't terribly warm to the idea. Here's what our ragtag group of arguers had to say about this.
Makes perfect sense and there's not a strong argument to the contrary.
4-3 UFC record, only fought for three years. There are much more deserving people imo and it would look very much like a cash in
Beat a legend for the title and defended as many times as any other UFC heavyweight champion ever has. On top of that, he's definitely had an incredible level of competition. And finally being the biggest name in the sport for almost the entirety of his career does get him points in this.
Yes, he's a Hall of Famer. His in-cage accomplishments are outstanding, as Chris pointed out, but my reasoning has more to do with what he's meant to MMA on the whole: he brought massive numbers of new fans, drove popular interest, and most importantly showed what a real, top-flight athlete can do in mixed martial arts. Don't get me wrong, there were great athletes before Lesnar (Kerr, Randleman, Hendo, etc.), but nobody with his kind of freakish ability. Along with guys like Jon Jones, GSP, and Jose Aldo, he's the physical prototype against whom all future fighters will be compared.
I can see the case for this. But the accomplishments are largely fabricated. Brock was given gift matches against Mir and Herring - neither of which was a competent wrestler or striker, and then against Couture - another one dimensional wrestler who was 50lbs lighter, and an untested Carwin.
The Couture match is given so much weight because he was the most credible of Brock's opponents. But people so easily overlook the enormous weight advantage of Lesnar, and the fact that Couture had already been out of the sport for a year. Anyone else would have been stripped of the title and dropped from Sherdog's rankings, but he wasn't, so that Lesnar's career could be made to seem more than it actually was.
There is a great deal of argument over his number of defenses and so on, but if I gave Junior Dos Santos average one dimensional strikers such as Cheick Kongo, Pat Barry or Antoni Hardonk to fight, I could have him defend his title a record number of times too.
Truly, he could beat Frank Mir or Couture on any day of the week. But lesser ranked heavyweights could destroy him. He benefited enormously from numbers and rankings, as opposed to actual quality of opposition. But that is just my 2 cents.
"what he's meant to MMA on the whole: he brought massive numbers of new fans, drove popular interest, etc"
Let's make a comparison to another sport. Within the next three years, Jeremy Lin and the Knicks win a championship. At the end of three years, Lin blows out his knee and is unable to play and retires. Lin played at the level he was playing before he got hurt for those years.
Is he a hall of famer?
Does he get his number retired?
He did the exact same things that you just said are the reason Lesnar should be in.
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