Brock Lesnar Loses: Bad for UFC Business?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship presented UFC 21 on Saturday night from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In front of a sold out crowd, the UFC hit another homerun. It seems that everything they touch turns to gold.
Business is booming.
However, the loss of Brock Lesnar could prove to be a bit of a financial setback. Having a World Heavyweight Champion of Mexican descent could be bad for business. Let’s be honest here. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Cain Velasquez is a talented fighter; more so than the much more inexperienced Brock Lesnar. However, what Lesnar lacks in experience he makes up for with natural charisma and arrogance. “After I whoop your ass, I’m going to go home, drink a Corona and eat a burrito. That’s what I think of your heritage,” said Lesnar. While that was nothing short of disrespectful, Lesnar knows how the fight game works.
Despite what UFC “experts” will argue until they are blue in the face, MMA has taken the aspect of professional wrestling and used it to sell their monthly pay-per-views. It’s fairly simple when you think about it.
A fight is made by match-maker Joe Silva. The UFC production team then writes promos for the fighter’s and the UFC Countdown specials are made. Various clips of the fighters are shown, with their training techniques displayed. A lot of trash talking takes place to help build anticipation for the fight. Why should people care about two fighter’s if they have no idea who they are or where they came from? Why are they here? What are their goals?
Truthfully, while I think this loss is bad for business, I think it’s good for Brock Lesnar. It humbles him a little bit, and makes him realize that he has a lot of work to do in order to become a more well-rounded Mixed Martial Artist. I’m not trying to take away from Velasquez’s victory, as it was nothing short of spectacular.
But I don’t think that a fight between Velasquez and Dos Santo’s will generate anywhere near the amount of pay-per-views buys that Brock Lesnar’s next fight will.
MMA is the exact opposite of boxing. Title changes happen frequently, and it’s difficult for the UFC to market a fighter. Dana White had already been considering the possibility that Lesnar was a whole different beast. “If anyone has a shot, it’s him,” said White. “This guy could be invincible for however many years he competes.”
Unfortunately for UFC, what Velasquez has in ability, he lacks in charisma.
Brock Lesnar and Dana White know that all too well.