Former WWE star and NCAA Division 1 wrestling national champion Brock Lesnar went 4-3 in his three and one-half year UFC career. He won the Heavyweight title and defended it 2 times. He notched wins over fellow UFC champs Frank Mir and Randy Couture. Lesnar's WWE manager Paul Heyman thinks that should be enough to get him in the UFC Hall of Fame.
He made the case to MMA Junkie:
"Of course he is [a UFC Hall of Famer]," Heyman told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Listen, here's the thing: Look at the three that he lost to, number one. Number two, what if Brock Lesnar did what everyone else did and said, 'Feed me a guy every other month for three years so I'll get six victories a year. I'll be 18-0 before you put me in there with a Frank Mir, a former UFC heavyweight champion, or Randy Couture and the legends of legends in UFC.'"
Heyman elaborated to Bleacher Report:
"The UFC Hall of Fame is about IMPACT ON THE SPORT. It's akin to Time Magazine's Man of the Year. How can anyone seriously, intelligently take the position Brock's impact was anything but enormous? His numbers STILL can't be touched," Heyman said. "Will they be one day? Hopefully, for the sake of the sport.
"Charles Lewis-Mask-deserves to be the in the UFC Hall of Fame, and he never competed in a single fight inside the Octagon. By that same criterion, if for no other reason than the fact UFC was dramatically changed by his participation, Brock Lesnar is a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame."
Ben Fowlkes makes the counter-case after the jump...
Here's what Fowlkes wrote:
That's not to say that Lesnar's time in the UFC wasn't remarkable, for several reasons. He jumped into this sport and sprinted straight for the top. It's impressive how quickly he became a champion and how willing he was to take on far more experienced opponents time after time. But I'm not sure if simply accepting those fights is itself a Hall of Fame-worthy act, as Heyman seemed to imply. Shouldn't that be expected at this level, especially when you're making Brock Lesnar money just to step in the cage?
And sure, we can point to his struggles with diverticulitis and say that kept us from finding out how great he really could have been. Mickey Mantle had that drain pipe cover, and Lesnar has his intestinal ailments. Still, once we start talking like that we're well off into the land of hypotheticals, the same territory occupied by all the boxers and pro wrestlers who love to tell us how they totally would have gone into MMA and been awesome at it if only it had been around when they were younger.
For some reason, when it comes to Lesnar, people seem to want to lower the bar. It's never just "look at what he accomplished." It's always "look at what he accomplished, given the circumstances." People point to his lack of experience or his illness or the quality of competition he faced as if they want him to receive some sort of mitigating factors award. It's like those friends we all have who still claim that, while they got an unspectacular score on the SATs, they did it hungover, so that should count for something.
Personally I believe the UFC Hall of Fame to be a forum for rewarding Zuffa's favorites. As long as legends like Frank Shamrock are boxed out over politics, the UFC HOF is anything but a true Valhalla of MMA. It's Dana White's sandbox and if he wants to butter up Brock by putting him in the Hall, I'm all for it. Particularly if it helps him book his Moby Dick dream-match between Fedor Emelianenko and Lesnar.