It's no secret that there's been talk of a Brock Lesnar UFC return over the past few weeks.
In that time, both the MMA and pro wrestling worlds were abuzz with talk of the former champion returning to the cage.
Lesnar did return, but it was to the WWE, and at once the UFC talk was dismissed as a publicity stunt.
He wasn't coming back. He isn't coming back.
Yet the rumor won't die. It's a testament to the interest people have in him—this commitment to wondering whether or not "Brock won't be back" actually means "Brock will definitely be back."
If it's what people want to talk about, then we all have to talk about it.
Here are five fights for him if he somehow ends up back in the Octagon.
It's hard to know what Lesnar's motivation would be in a UFC return, but it's not likely that he's going to romp to a title again. He's older and well out of his prime, and he looked largely exposed at the tail end of his UFC career.
That said, if it's just a matter of interesting fights that offer a reasonable degree of athletic challenge and are easy to sell, Big Nog might be the guy.
Put the two in the cage and push it as a co-main event on a big card, playing up the idea that Nogueira was the king of PRIDE in his prime and Brock ruled the UFC as forcefully in his own.
There's no avoiding that it's a fight between two aging guys, but there's nothing wrong with that sometimes if the circumstances are right.
In this case, they would be.
For sheer conflicting images, this would probably be the most amusing fight the UFC could pull off in its heavyweight division.
Lesnar is built like a comic book villain, complete with the outrageous tattoos to match.
Meanwhile, Nelson looks kind of homeless, but happens to be a spectacular martial artist.
Once again, it's the type of showdown you might see as a co-main event under a title fight—but with the clash of looks, styles and personalities, it would almost certainly steal the show.
Can you imagine what Nelson would say ahead of a fight with Lesnar? Can you imagine how Lesnar would fire back?
It's a pretty even tilt on paper, and one that has the optics to get the attention of the fans.
The UFC could do worse with a returning Lesnar.
Just think of the appeal that a Barnett vs. Lesnar bout would have.
If it happened in pro wrestling—which it theoretically could, given the backgrounds of both men—it would be massive, considering Lesnar's star power and Barnett's ability to promote fights.
The only thing that would make it better? The fight being the real deal.
Barnett has the size, strength and technical acumen to give Lesnar trouble, but there's always the chance that the sheer force and athleticism that Brock once had could reappear.
If it did, it isn't hard to see him romping the grizzled Warmaster.
Both are former UFC champions with no clear path, and elements of pro wrestling having contributed to their MMA success. It could certainly be interesting.
The thing people love about heavyweight combat is what no other weight class can provide.
Giant dudes wailing on each other.
It doesn't get any more giant than Bigfoot Silva vs. Brock Lesnar, and the UFC would be wise to give it a crack if Lesnar ever came back.
The marketing would look similar to Lesnar's bout with Alistair Overeem, a fight that people couldn't wait to see. That was designed to build a star out of the Dutchman, though. This bout would be more for the thrill of seeing the human equivalent of Godzilla vs. Rodan.
This one is the one. This is the fight to make for a Lesnar return, no questions asked.
The two guys hate each other, they both hold a win over the other, and the majority of people would absolutely love to see them throw down one last time.
Mir welcomed Lesnar to the UFC with a slick kneebar in 2008. Lesnar smashed Mir in typical brutish fashion a year later at UFC 100.
They've come close to meeting in the time since, but it hasn't materialized. Making the fight now, when both men have little stake in the heavyweight division, makes as much sense as it ever did.