Lesnar’s next move unclear

December 31, 2010

Does Brock Lesnar want out of the UFC? Dave Metzler of The Wrestling Observermade news this week with news that Lesnar may walk away from the UFC after his contract ends. The news took off that Lesnar was quitting MMA and going back to the WWE–which was not the case. Metzler needed to clarify the situation in an interview with Steve Cofield of Cagewriter.

In his interview with Cofield, Metzler believes that Lesnar does not want to go back to pro wrestling full-time but may entertain one-off appearances like a Wrestlemania. He also believes that Lesnar would like a deal in which the UFC would allow him to do Wrestlemania in exchange for his participation on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Frank Mir.

Zach Arnold of Fight Opinionhas more about Lesnar and a return to the WWE:

What’s intriguing about UFC being reluctant to allow Brock to appear at Wrestlemania is that not only is UFC destroying WWE in PPV buys but they have also taken away a lot of disgruntled WWE/wrestling fans who are sick of the McMahon/Kevin Dunn cookie-cutter production. In one respect, Dana’s objections make complete and total business sense. On the other hand, why should he be worried about Lesnar appearing at Wrestlemania if the public at-large knows that UFC is real and WWE is not so much? Despite the amazing growth of UFC, I do think the situation with Lesnar indicates how nervous people in MMA still are to the fact that the public at-large, or at least the media, is willing to lump the two into the same business category.

MMA Fighting has Dana White’s thoughts on Lesnar:

[Dana] White reiterated that Lesnar is restricted under the terms of his contract from doing a guest spot for any pro wrestling promotion without the UFC’s permission, and that permission is not coming anytime soon. Asked if he could discuss any developments in Lesnar’s potential return to the octagon, White took a deep breath and took a drink of water before answering. “We’ll see what happens,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Not the most confident response from White.

There is speculation that his “run-in” with the Undertaker after his loss with Velasquez is setting up a return to the WWE just in time for Wrestlemania this spring. Thus, the reason we haven’t heard much about his return to the Octagon.  On the other hand, some think that he is destined for a third fight with Frank Mir and he would be a “coach” on The Ultimate Fighter. This could explain the reason why White has not announced the new coaches for the next TUF. Is the UFC waiting to hear on whether Lesnar agrees to do it. Based on White’s statements, the UFC is unsure what Lesnar’s next move will be.

Payout Perspective:

Lesnar is the biggest UFC draw when it comes to PPV. He has drawn 1 million buys in his last two fights. The Carwin fight drew 1.1 million buys and his loss to Velasquez drew 1 million buys. If Lesnar left, his drawing power would be sorely missed. GSP is the only other UFC fighter that can rival Lesnar in PPV buys.

Perhaps it’s his WWE training, but Lesnar is a main event draw despite what you think of his ability. With Cain Velasquez injured, Roy Nelson out indefinitely with legal issues and Shane Carwin recovering from surgery, the UFC Heavyweight division lacks many top of the food chain fighters to main event PPVs.

It will be interesting to see how the UFC approaches the situation. It must decide its TUF coaches and plan Heavyweight fights with or without Lesnar in the mix. Fortunately, the influx of WEC talent can fill fight cards, but the UFC has to determine its Heavyweight division with so many of its notable fighters out.

10 Responses to “Lesnar’s next move unclear”

  1. mmaguru on December 31st, 2010 7:23 AM

    Agreed Jason, does not look good for the UFC HW division at the moment but once all those injuries heal up and the legal issues get resolved, we could see a big push in the second half of 2011.

    Lesnar situation is very interesting. It will be difficult for the UFC to lock Lesnar down for the Ultimate Fighter show. After this week, Lesnar has a bit more negotiating sway. Rumor has it that Lesnar has 2 fights left on his contract and I’m sure he does not want to sit out for 8 months before getting one of those fights out of the way. The question is does Lesnar just retire or does he decide to fight for a belt that could end up locking him down for a longer period of time.

    I think where there is smoke there is fire, but in the case of Lesnar and the UFC, the fire is probably just a brush fire and things will get worked out in the coming weeks.

  2. Steve on December 31st, 2010 10:48 AM

    Honestly, I think the UFC would be foolish to stop him from participating in Wrestlemania. There is no downside for them. Legit athletes participate in pro wrestling all the time. MMA is not so fragile that it cannot survive a guy having a little fun doing the pro wrasslin’ thing.

    Besides, Zuffa owes McMahon a little love. If it weren’t for him giving Spike the OK to use RAW as a lead-in for TUF, the UFC might not have ever got off the ground. They also owe Vince for plagiarizing his business plan.

    Let Brock do his thing at Wrestlemania, enjoy the free promotion and huge TUF ratings, keep your cash cow happy, and pay back McMahon for helping you get your brand off the ground. It’s a win-win.

  3. Steve on December 31st, 2010 10:51 AM

    Also, if the rumors are true that Vince is one of the driving forces behind the UFC’s difficulties in Germany, maybe they can work something out on that front as well. Hell, if they play their cards right, they might even get Vince to help their European expansion.

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  5. jv on December 31st, 2010 12:40 PM

    If they allow Brock to do Wrestlemania then what fighter asks for some thing next? I am sure the Zuffa brass is thinking if we open the door then what? They have always had a scorched earth policy and I expect nothing different here.

  6. Steve on December 31st, 2010 2:43 PM

    “If they allow Brock to do Wrestlemania then what fighter asks for some thing next?”

    They tell him to pound sand.

    Brock is the ONLY guy in the UFC who is enough of a cash cow to do something like this. GSP is the only other guy who even comes close.

  7. Lynchman on December 31st, 2010 4:59 PM

    I don’t think Mir and Lesnar are doing TUF. I think Mir being pulled from the Schaub fight is to set up Mir/JDS with Cain being hurt.

  8. Lynchman on December 31st, 2010 5:02 PM

    Steve,

    Vince allowed TUF to follow because he did not think it would ever impact him. If he could go back, I am sure he would have done everything in his power to not just prevent it from airing after Raw, but to keep it from airing at all.

    Allowing Lesnar to wrestle makes little sense to me. If it got Brock to do TUF, you would still have an unhappy Brock doing it only because he had to and it would likely show.

    The UFC should stay as far as away from pro-wrestling as pos.

  9. Brain Smasher on December 31st, 2010 5:06 PM

    I dont buy the UFC owing Vince anything. Yes he give the OK to be the lead in for TUF. But hw much did that really effect the UFC? It boosted ratings the first season but to what extent noone knows. TUF was still going to have great ratings regardless. Also WWE benefited from being lead in to the UFC. Their ratings went back up during this time. This was the sole reason why Vince made the choice to allow it to begin with to benefit himself. Which he did and im sure it paid off when he signed with another network a year later.

    With that said Dana should do his best to not allow Brock to go back to wrestling. The UFC was doing fine before Brock and it will do fine without him and keep their reputation and the sports legitimacy intact. Brock is going to leave at some point but he cant take the punishment. He never was a fighter. Fighters are born. Being able to deal with the physical and emotional beating you take is something few Athletes are prepared for. If he is looking for a way out now what happens when Satos kicks his head in? This is no point making special consessions for Brock when the benefits are short lived.

    Also there is very good reason for Dana not to allow it. Just because WWE is in the shit done mean they have nothing to gain. The entire point is to use Brock to get more eyes on the WWE product and a percent of those eyes will come back. The same way Brcoking fighting in the UFC got a lot of people watchign the UFC and they stuck. Brock going to wrestle mania could be the shot in the arm they need to get their fans back and over take the UFC again.

  10. shawn on January 2nd, 2011 2:07 PM

    The world of Vince and Dana are very much the same. Vince has to be the only person with a bigger ego than Dana. The guy’s balls are so big he had his wife make a run at the US senate only to get back for when the government went after him for the steriod scandle 15 years ago. Within a year his TV product will become “raw” again and WWE ratings will rise.

    While I am a fan of Vince I am a bigger fan of Dana’a and I think he should keep Brook away from WWE. If a “TNA” wrestler had shown up on Vince’s show and made a on TV chanallage the guy would have had a tuff time getting out of the building with out real life beating. It is about respect, plain and simple and at this point Vince has just shown he has NO respect for Dana and the UFC.

    Plus Arial should be in Dana’s dog house as well, when you watch the interview you can tell he knew someting was up……………..with everyone else there to talk to why the Undertaker?…………WTF?………………surprised Dana has not looked into that .

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