Brock Lesnar: Tainting MMA's Legacy?

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Brock Lesnar: Tainting MMA's Legacy?
(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Tuning into UFC 100 Saturday night, I was not only celebrating the UFC's milestone but mine as well. UFC 100 was to be the 50th UFC pay-per-view I've watched live or shortly after the original air date. Boy has the sport changed since UFC 50, but none more so than it did after UFC 100.

I watched welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre absolutely dominate his opponent Thiago Alves for five rounds then proceed to say that Alves is a great fighter and will learn from this fight.

This isn't the first time GSP has been classy and it won't be the last. St-Pierre is the type of person you'd want representing the sport. The same can be held true about the likes of B.J. Penn, Lyoto Machida, and Anderson Silva all of whom hold UFC championships of their own.

All great ambassadors for the growing sport. There's someone missing from that list and he's not hard to miss.

After Brock Lesnar’s embarrassing display of sportsmanship after his domination of Frank Mir Saturday night, Brock Lesnar made himself look like the biggest jackass in the history of the sport. Yes, that list does include Tito Ortiz.

Entering the UFC, Brock was already out of favor with the hardcore fans of the UFC. Not because of his attitude or the fact that he was a former pro wrestler, but because he was given his spot on top of the UFC.

Much like his much less talented counter-part Kimbo Slice, Brock Lesnar entered MMA with little experience. As fighters of the past such as Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, and others had to fight their way to the top of the sport while fighting in abysmal crowds for little pay, these two had to pay as many dues as a certain Hilton Hotels heiress.

Brock was signed to a UFC contract and immediately thrust into title contention. His first fight? An embarrassing loss to Frank Mir. A loss this early in another fighters UFC career would send them back to the bottom of the barrel. Not Brock.

Brock faced off against Heath Herring in Minneapolis and dominated him for five rounds. Brock was two and one in his MMA career and one and one in the UFC. Brock got a title shot. Keep in mind that Lyoto Machida had to fight six times in the UFC and win them all to receive his title shot.

That’s exactly why the crowd boos Lesnar, he did absolutely nothing in the sport and he gets rewarded. To his defense, it wasn’t Brock’s fault he was signed to a golden contract, Dana White and Zuffa knew Brock was a cash cow and treated him so.

You all know that Lesnar destroyed Couture to win the belt. That was an extreme slap to the face of Couture, who busted his butt in the UFC for years while Lesnar was still at the University of Minnesota. Randy had to watch Lesnar take his belt in only his fourth career fight. It was Randy’s 25th career fight.

So Brock gets a chance to defend his title against interim champion Frank Mir at UFC 100. We all know how that turned out. Brock laid on top of him for seven minutes and destroyed Mir’s face with his Cadillac’s he has strapped to his arms.

After the fight, Brock proceeded to make himself look like a complete jackass. First by getting in the every so bloody face of Mir and then proceeding to give the single dumbest post-fight interview in the history of MMA. It’s the type of interview that would make Tito Ortiz say “This guy’s a jerk!”

Why is Brock acting like he’s the single greatest thing in MMA? If anything, he should be the most humble person in the UFC and MMA in general. He didn’t have to fight in front of crowds of two hundred in a hotel’s ballroom.

He didn’t have to take on a job while he trained to be a fighter. He just learned those annoying little hammer fists (which looks like he’s dribbling a basketball) and bam; he’s fighting for the title.

Perhaps the mainstream success of MMA is tarnishing the legacy laid down by the greats before Brock Lesnar and Kimbo Slice.

If Dana White or another promoter sees a fighter who can make them money, they’re going to sign them regardless of how good they are and promote them ahead of the veterans that were there when MMA was in the “dark ages.”

One could give Brock Lesnar a lot of respect as an athlete. Unlike Kimbo Slice, he took advantage of being thrust a top of the heavyweight division. You must respect the man for that. He will be a hard man to beat.

All in all, this isn’t the same MMA world the hardcore fans grew up loving. It’s all about the money now. Let’s just hope the likes of Dana White know when to stop putting the money before the legends of the sport and hardcore fans that built this sport.

 

Dan Carey is co-founder of Minnesota Sports Guys blog at http://themnsportsguys.blogspot.com/ and is a sports-humor writer at http://www.bleacherreport.com/

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