Brock Lesnar is the most polarizing figure to ever step foot in the UFC Octagon.
Love him or hate him, Lesnar always came to fight, and when he did, he brought the fans with him.
UFC pay-per-view cards headlined by Lesnar have done historically well for the UFC, and the buys and fan turnouts for these cards are a testament to Lesnar's drawing power.
That said, Lesnar was not always the most skilled fighter in the UFC Octagon; in fact, I would argue he was only once the more skilled fighter in his UFC fights.
Was he always strong?
Lesnar was little more than an explosive wrestler with a big name and a unique ability to sell a fight, but that certainly did him well during his stint with the UFC.
So, after a string of losses and subpar performances coupled with an offer from his previous employer, Mr. Vince McMahon, Lesnar fled the Octagon and has not looked back since.
With such a big name gone, is the UFC better or worse off?
The answer is easy: The company is significantly worse off, and not just from a financial standpoint.
The UFC is, despite a few lackluster cards recently, still one of the largest growing sports promotions in the world, and it will grow with or without Lesnar.
Boy, oh boy would it be smoother sailing with him, though.
Lesnar creates new UFC fans like few other names in the sport. Whenever a first-time watcher buys a UFC pay-per-view to see Lesnar in action, he or she is also being exposed to four or five other great matchups.
At UFC 100, many people bought the card for Lesnar and Georges St-Pierre, but they also got a glimpse of developing fighters like Jon Jones and Jim Miller.
Do those names ring a bell?
Aside from this ability to fester new fans, Lesnar was, despite his technical failings, a competitive fighter, and he was always a test for his opponent thanks to his freakish strength and speed. He was never a disgrace to the sport by any means, and his fights were always entertaining (which is more than some heavyweights can boast).
Especially with the recent string of injuries in the UFC's heavyweight division, Lesnar could have been a great option to save a card or to make a lackluster bout more appealing.
When the heavyweight megacard UFC 146 was plagued with injury, Lesnar was nowhere to be found, but just imagine if he were an option.
Instead of Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, we could have seen a rematch between Velasquez and Lesnar.
Or, when Roy Nelson was left facing Dave Herman, we could have seen the showdown between Big Country and Lesnar that Roy himself has long wanted.
Needless to say, both of those matchups involving Lesnar are more tantalizing than the actual bouts presented by the UFC, and they are prime examples of how Lesnar would have been useful to the organization.
Brock Lesnar is, simply put, a rare find. Not only does he have the skills to compete with the world's best inside the Octagon, he has the name, the swagger and the mic skills to draw fans in hordes on fight night.
From the hardcore fan eager to observe the minute tweaks to his standup game to the casual fan just wanting to see his/her favorite WWE superstar fight (for real), Lesnar draws an audience, and that is good for business, plain and simple.
The UFC will not die without Brock Lesnar, but I think I speak for us all when I say:
Brock, I want you back.
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