UFC 141: Does the UFC Really Need Brock Lesnar Anymore?

Chris AlfaroContributor IIIDecember 29, 2011

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13:  MMA fighter Brock Lesnar walks in the garage area during practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The "Next Big Thing" is starting to look pretty old.

Brock Lesnar entered the UFC after only one professional MMA bout and lost in resounding fashion to Frank Mir. Shortly after he claimed the UFC heavyweight title, got revenge on Mir and finally lost the title to Cain Valasquez.

And this Friday we'll see him for the first time in a year.

Lesnar has always been considered a big draw among casual fans of the sport and this Friday's pay-per-view will likely draw huge numbers.

But is Lesnar really needed for the UFC to be successful?

Hardly. The UFC is on FOX now and their exposure is only going to keep growing. With every card, national audiences will get to see more and more fighters and get familiar with new faces.

It won't be long until one particularly exciting fighter starts making headlines.

With the new deal on FOX, the UFC is poised for the fastest growth the company has ever experienced. New fans will start flowing in and picking their favorite fighters.

There will soon be several marketable figures who have the star power of Lesnar through their connection with the casual audience. People will see them for free on FOX and follow them to the pay-per-views.

In just a year or two, don't expect Brock Lesnar to remain the biggest draw, or even a necessary fighter. That role will be filled by a new fighter, probably one we haven't even heard of yet.