UFC: Brock Lesnar Walked Away from the Game at the Right Time
In UFC 141's main event, Brock Lesnar was pummeled by former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. Lesnar was dropped by a kick to the liver and was finished by strikes for the second time in his career, suffering his second consecutive loss since defeating Shane Carwin at UFC 116. Lesnar announced his retirement right after the fight.
While this is a loss to fight fans and the UFC, as he was one of the most exciting fighters in the organization (he was the largest pay-per-view draw in the business), it was the right thing to do for Lesnar. At 34, Lesnar is still new to the fight game and does not have the time to improve dramatically and make another run at the title. He has had two horribly taxing surgeries on his body in the last two years and has had twelve inches of his colon removed, along with a lot of other physically taxing injuries due to his mononucleosis. Plus, it seems like he will always have a weakness with strikers. And with the talent pool emerging from the heavyweight division, more and more strikers are coming into the heavyweight title picture, making it unlikely that he could ever get his title back.
Now this is not a bad thing. Lesnar has accomplished on pure athletic skill and determination what many can only dream about. Whether or not he was "overhyped" is inconsequential; he reached the top of the mountain and defended his title. So for one brief moment he was undoubtedly the best in his division. That is something to be proud of. His stepping away from the game is the right thing to do; for him, for his family and for the fight game.
Lesnar helped to bring MMA into the mainstream and will continue to thrive beyond him. But what he has done for the game is invaluable. Even if he was becoming irrelevant there is no doubt that he has had the most impact on the UFC in its modern era and should be remembered as the man who championed it into its golden age.
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