Brock Lesnar: Great for UFC, Bad for MMA

Dan BentonCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2009

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Brock Lesnar holds down Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lesnar defeated Mir by a second round knockout.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Apologies aside, Brock Lesnar's post-fight antics will be water cooler talk for at least the next week, if not the next month.

"Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his [butt], I told him that a year ago. I pulled that [SOB] out and beat him over the head with it," Lesnar said before describing in interesting detail what his post-fight celebration would be.

Unfortunately, Lesnar's poor sportsmanship didn't end fact, it didn't even start there.

As Mir and Lesnar met in the center of the ring prior to the fight, the former NCAA Division I amateur wrestling champion turned his back on Mir, refusing to touch gloves and inciting an already ravenous crowd.

The boo's were loud and they were frequent. And as Joe Rogan attempted to interview Lesnar after the fight, the crowd became so vicious that words could not even be heard for several seconds.

But what does all this mean for the UFC? And more importantly, what does it means for MMA as a legitimate sport?

Well, that's sort of a mixed bag.

On one hand, you have Lesnar really drawing the emotions out of those in attendance and those watching at home. It's one thing to favor a fighter or to root for someone you think deserves to win, but it's quite another to absolutely loath someone and root more against them than for their opponent. Yet, that's exactly what Lesnar had millions doing last night.

I imagine Lesnar's "heel turn" is second nature to him. Making people hate him is exactly what he spent several years doing when employed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), but that's a fine line in MMA.

Sure, it's going to make fans pay to see him. People are intrigued by large, athletic men who beat the living hell out of each other...and that will work in the favor of the UFC and president Dana White, but it will ultimately turn out to be a negative for MMA as a whole.

Those sorts of antics and that sort of hype will have people looking at MMA exactly as they do WWE. Fans will begin to think it's nothing more than a glorified Broadway show with a little bit a blood. And eventually, people will begin to question whether or not it's choreographed.

Somehow, someway, Dana White needs to get Lesnar under control and tap into what he really has to offer. He's a fierce monster who pounds his opponents into oblivion. He's a goldmine, but a loose cannon at the same time.

He could be the man that brings MMA and the UFC into the next generation or he could be the man that ruins the sport with his mouth and WWE-ish antics.