When the news broke that Brock Lesnar was actually going to return to the Octagon, in what is being billed as a one-time only thing, I was shocked. As I’ve been able to think things through, the shock may have subsided, but I am still in the camp of this decision being a tremendous risk. Specifically, Lesnar has a lot to lose. When it was announced that he’d be fighting Mark Hunt, as opposed to another, bigger name, one thought came to mind: Mike Tyson versus Buster Douglas.
Now, it’s not exactly the same. Not really, anyways. You could compare Tyson to Lesnar, but with the case of Douglas or Hunt, Hunt is I think more known at this point than Douglas was. But the main point is this: Lesnar, like Tyson before him, represents the big target. A guy like Hunt could make out like a bandit by winning such a fight. Just like winning made Buster Douglas’ career. A win over Douglas for Tyson? No one would have cared. He was expected to win. Just as Lesnar is expected to defeat Hunt.
So then, here’s the thing. If Lesnar loses, it hurts him probably more than it could have ever benefited Hunt. And just think back to how much damage the Douglas loss did to Tyson. He really never recovered.
Which is why, in this instance, Lesnar has a lot to lose. Because he’s still under contract with WWE, and booked to show up for SummerSlam. He has things lined up after the fight, win, lose or draw. But a loss to Hunt, as imposing as the Samoan is, would be damaging.
So is it worth it? It must be, since it is happening. I am sure Lesnar, along with executives within UFC and WWE, had discussed the pros and cons at great length before making this decision. Since in the world of UFC there are no guarantees of who wins and who loses, either everyone is supremely confident in Brock (entirely possible), or they all think that, regardless of the outcome, it’s too great an opportunity to ignore. I can’t really tell, personally.
What I can tell you, is that at this point, I am actually considering getting the UFC 200 event, when I’ve never purchased a UFC event before (I am a wrestling guy!). And I think, to folks like Dana White and Vince McMahon, that’s the whole point. They want to elevate their company profiles. They want to drive revenues, increase buy rates. They may not really even care who wins or loses, so long as it was a profitable endeavor. Which sounds harsh, but at the end of the day, these are businessmen.
Which is why, at the end of the day, Brock has more to lose than most.