Over the years, the UFC has established itself as one of the world's premier combat sports organizations. The promotion has steadily ascended from strength to strength, while simultaneously having taken Mixed Martial Arts from being a niche sport, to a global phenomenon.
Several notable UFC stars such as Tito Ortiz, Chuck Lidell, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Georges St-Pierre, Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and others, have broken through into mainstream popular culture primarily due to their MMA fame. In other words, MMA is no longer the obscure sport, which most people used to consider as little more than mindless cage-fighting.
However, at the end of the day, the sport of MMA does have a business aspect to it, and the UFC has to rake in the dollars at the box office in order to keep things going. As of late, a myriad of issues such as injuries, several PED (Performance Enhancing Drug) test failures, and matters of the sort have unfortunately plagued the UFC.
Let's face it, with the UFC's new owners, WME-IMG, carrying the burden of having to recover the cost of their multi-billion dollar investment in the company, it's no secret that they'd be looking to maximize their short-term windfall monetary gains as much as possible, particularly to recover their funds at the earliest.
Today, we take an in-depth look as to why the UFC needs Brock Lesnar -- one of the biggest PPV attractions in MMA history...
#5 Because current top stars such as Conor McGregor and Jon Jones have been embroiled in a ton of problems outside the Octagon
It's not that the UFC doesn't have any stars in the current crop...Far from it! Regardless, its top stars who are regarded by many as the biggest pay-per-view draws in MMA today, have lately been embroiled in a ton of problems outside the Octagon.
Conor McGregor and Jon Jones are the two biggest draws in all of MMA today. And while McGregor doesn't fight as frequently as he used to prior to his $100 million dollar payday against Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- Jones always seems to run into issues such as steroid test failures, run-ins with the law, and so on and so forth.
Now although Brock Lesnar too, akin to Jones, did test positive for banned PEDs in the past; he's been clean of steroids ever since having re-entered the USADA testing pool earlier this year...With the UFC's current top stars being inconsistent as regards to the frequency of their fights, a huge PPV featuring Lesnar would most definitely help the UFC...
#4 The UFC hasn't been able to create that 'next big star' as of yet
When you speak about top young stars, names such as Darren Till, Brian Ortega, Valentina Shevchenko, Sage Northcutt and Paige VanZant come to mind. While certain fighters such as Till, Ortega and Shevchenko have proven their mettle by winning and solidifying themselves amongst the elite; stars such as Northcutt and VanZant haven't found the degree of success the UFC expected from them.
Ironically enough, the UFC had put a tremendous amount of marketing power behind the aforementioned Northcutt and VanZant; only for the former to have a ho-hum run before being released from the company, and the latter to be stuck in a rut after multiple losses.
Honestly speaking, despite the UFC roster boasting the likes of established stars such as Conor McGregor and Jon Jones, the company has failed to create the 'next big star' as of now. Considering that, it isn't really surprising that a Brock Lesnar PPV which will surely rake in a considerable amount of revenue for the UFC, would be a welcome contribution to the promotion's annual earnings...
#3 Brock Lesnar has proven crossover appeal in the sports-entertainment industry
Irrespective of whether you love or hate him, you simply cannot deny the fact that Brock Lesnar has proven crossover appeal in the realm of sports and entertainment. Brock Lesnar went from being a highly accomplished amateur wrestler, to an entertaining professional wrestler who proved to be one of the biggest stars for the WWE in the early-2000s.
From there onward, he moved on to the sport of pro football, but soon discovered that MMA was his true calling. With little-to-no background in the striking department of martial arts, Lesnar daringly ventured into the sport of MMA. The Beast Incarnate went on to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship, and beat the likes of Frank Mir, Randy Couture, Shane Carwin, and Heath Herring.
Unfortunately, Lesnar's battle with the deadly disease, diverticulitis, adversely affected the latter stages of his MMA run, and likely cut his career short. Nevertheless, the former WWE and UFC Heavyweight Champion, has persevered, and continued his pro-wrestling career, besides also competing in MMA back in 2016.
Lesnar has irrefutable crossover appeal in the combat sports business, and his story of defying the odds time and again, has resulted in even casual viewers of MMA and pro-wrestling, tuning in to watch this mountain of a man compete...
#2 Brock Lesnar is a larger than life character, and unintentionally entertaining
Frankly speaking, Brock Lesnar is a businessman at heart, and probably doesn't worry about entertaining the masses. In fact, the man himself has asserted, on multiple occasions, that he competes in MMA and performs for the WWE primarily because he gets paid millions of dollars to do so.
Granted that the allure of testing his martial arts skills, does draw him towards MMA, had he not been such a huge PPV attraction, we may very well have missed out on seeing him compete in the UFC. Nevertheless, despite all the criticism directed towards The Beast Incarnate by his detractors, it'd be folly to deny that Lesnar is rather unintentionally entertaining.
He is an old-school larger than life character, especially in this day and age of participation trophies and pretentious celebrations of mediocrity. Lesnar is a true anomaly, and that in turn serves to attract the audience towards his UFC fights...A win-win situation for both the UFC and Lesnar...
#1 Certain sections of MMA fans love to hate Brock Lesnar, and that in fact generates more buzz around his fights
Alright, I'd like to use the classic Floyd Mayweather Jr. analogy here. Back when Mayweather went by the moniker "Pretty Boy", he wasn't even close to enjoying the level of notoriety he has today.
Regardless, once he transitioned into his "Money" Mayweather persona, and started trashing fans who'd support his opponents, the entire combat sports community began according way too much attention to the man! Like a true master of human psychology would do, Mayweather used hate to sell more PPVs.
In the years that ensued, it was the hordes and hordes of Mayweather 'haters' who bought his PPVs and attended his fights simply to boo him and hope that he ends up getting knocked out. Well, similarly, Brock Lesnar had been shunned by the vast majority of MMA purists right from the get-go.
The taboo of supporting a professional wrestler or a 'fake' wrestler in the sphere of MMA, caused the hardcore MMA fans to hate him. Funnily enough, that ended up generating an incredible amount of buzz around the Lesnar brand, and resulted in his fights doing amazing PPV numbers.
The UFC has been facing a few challenges as of late, and an adrenaline shot in the form of a Brock Lesnar PPV would surely provide that much-needed impetus for the company to ascend to the next level.
Would you like to see Brock Lesnar return to the UFC? Sound off in the comments!