clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Brock Lesnar Unsportsmanlike?

Probably, but who cares? More importantly, Lesnar's post-fight actions were neither unique to the sport nor necessarily a bad thing. Jordan Breen opines:

If you want a testament to the power and place that pro-wrestling gimmickry and showboating have in this sport, look no further than Tito Ortiz. His maybe, maybe-not signing with Affliction was the biggest story of last week in the MMA world, despite the looming UFC 87 card. And what for? Ortiz hasn't beaten an elite-level opponent in years. In fact, his period of dominance in the sport is hard to remember in terms of actual action. Apart from slamming Evan Tanner through the floor, and his commercially successful but competitively handicapped smashing of Ken Shamrock, what do you remember about Tito Ortiz's UFC title reign, except for the Belfort fight being cancelled 60 times and him not fighting Chuck Liddell? You remember the six-shooter pistols. You remember flipping the double birds. You remember the Gravedigger. And for some reason, years later, he's still worth millions when he fights, and that includes your hard-earned dollars.

I'm not long for this world of "Great fight, bro,” and shared embraces for any remotely competitive fight. While I could do without a sport full of Ricardo Mayorgas, I'm all for some good old-fashioned pro-wrestling heel tactics. American MMA needs to step up its game anyhow: Ricardo Arona doesn't have a major deal, Josh Koscheck isn't singing "17-1", and Tim Sylvia still just wants to be loved. Since Yoshihiro Akiyama is well-settled (and well-compensated) as Japan's super-villain, somebody needs to angrily galvanize the MMA public.

If Lesnar's laugh-and-lasso annoyed, offended or even outraged you: good. But if you think for a minute that there's "no place" for this pro-wrestling gimmickry in MMA, Dana White will chap your thin hide all the way to bank. And thank God, because I've had all the clichéd "respect" I can handle.

If we add in accusations from some in attendance that Herring was dismissive of Lesnar and rudely demanded ring entrance second before their fight, Lesnar's actions are at worst childish.

What's more important is that Lesnar's antics help fuel drama without going overboard. What Lesnar did is a far cry from the post-fight finger flipping, riot-facilitating behavior of the Diaz brothers circa "Return of the King".  He may be juvenile, but Lesnar is helping to construct an image that can be given to fans to either embrace or loathe. In either case, though, the antics will force fans to watch. Ultimately, that's all one can ask for.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow