Brock Lesnar dominated WWE in his first stint in the Company in the early 2000s. After a tour with UFC that ended after his long battle with diverticulitis, he resigned with WWE. Rumors then swirled whether UFC President Dana White was trying to make a match between Lesnar and retired fighter Fedor Emelianenko. If White could have made the match, would WWE have let Lesnar fight?
Before answering that, know that Dana White never attempted to make the fight happen. It was all speculation. But it is highly likely WWE would have let Lesnar fight, and here are several reasons why.
WWE, had they allowed Lesnar to participate, could have been paid handsomely for the use of their talent.
There have been a number of professional wrestlers that have expressed interest in competing in MMA events. Bobby Lashley, Dave Batista (real name David Bautista) and Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal are just a few people who have either transitioned from wrestling to MMA or split time in both sports.
If WWE were to allow someone like Lesnar to fight for UFC, WWE could easily negotiate a "talent lease" program where MMA companies could essentially rent talent. Smaller MMA promotions would benefit from the name recognition of popular pro wrestlers and WWE would be paid for their talent.
Another way WWE could make money from such an arrangement is through sponsorship opportunities. If companies that advertise on shows like The Ultimate Fighter or Bellator MMA start seeing a large crossover audience between pro wrestling and MMA, pro-wrestling companies like WWE could stand to gain new advertising partners and generate more money for their shows.
One thing that WWE CEO Vince McMahon always craves is mainstream media attention. What better way to get WWE in the MMA conversation than to send a top talent and widely-known wrestler to fight one of the bigger stars in MMA history?
The Rock, who recently won the WWE Championship, now takes the WWE title with him to red carpet appearances. He is featured on various shows like TMZ, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight and other celebrity gossip shows.
That gives WWE access into a media market it usually does not penetrate. A partnership with an MMA company could help WWE gain viewership from MMA fans interested in seeing what happens with the cross-promoted talent.
If there is one major reason WWE would let Lesnar fight Fedor, it would be the cross-promotion. Imagine Bruce Buffer announcing Brock Lesnar as "former three-time WWE Champion" before a fight. That promotion alone would be invaluable. It would legitimize the WWE Championship, and WWE itself.
Fans of MMA, who may not have watched wrestling in years if they ever did at all, may tune in to see their favorite MMA fighters perform weekly on WWE programming.
If WWE were smart, they would take the opportunity to promote their business and their brand in a fast-growing sport. They stand to make a lot of money and garner needed publicity by allowing wrestlers to fight in MMA events.
So even though Lesnar vs. Fedor may have only been a dream, if WWE were smart, they would definitely allow the fight to happen given the chance.