I promised that I would not write an article about Brock Lesnar until his next title defense, but I can't help it.
Everywhere I turn there is an article about Lesnar. And nearly every article written about Lesnar centers on the "need" for a super heavyweight division in the UFC.
Pictured next to Lesnar is Hong Man Choi, "The Techno Goliath," who I share a birthday with. If a UFC super heavyweight division was created, Choi could be one of the guys selected to help fill the ranks.
If he looks familiar to you, it's because he is the massive Korean kickboxer who smashed Jose Canseco a couple months ago. Is that something you want associated with the UFC?
Before I reveal my reasons for disliking the notion of a new division, let's first take an intellectual approach to this concept, analyzing the idea and what this division might look like.
Let's say the weight class begins at 250 lbs. and has no ceiling, allowing for the possible return of Emmanuel Yarborough. Looking down the current UFC heavyweight roster, here are the fighter who would be eligible:
- Brock Lesnar
- Shane Carwin
- Gabriel Gonzaga
- Antoni Hardonk
- Heath Herring
- Tim Hague
"Big Country" Roy Nelson is the only other guy currently under the UFC umbrella who would also be eligible, which brings the total to seven fighters.
That means the UFC would have to go out and find more athletic and skilled fighters who weigh over 250 pounds. How many of those guys do you think are just walking around?
Instead, I would bet that the likes of Jan Nortje, Bob Sapp, and Mark Hunt would be given an opportunity. Personally, I don't find that interesting. They're even lesser mixed martial artists than Lesnar.
Even if the weight minimum was decreased by 10 pounds, you're not increasing the talent pool by much.
In creating such a division, you'd end up with a situation where, and this is the best-case scenario, Lesnar and Carwin would trade the title back-and-forth a couple times a year. That's only if we presume Carwin has the strength to drop Lesnar the way he dropped Gonzaga.
Tell me how this is interesting:
UFC 124: Lesnar vs. Carwin, First One to Seven Wins!
Sarcasm aside, here is the real reason why a super heavyweight division is ridiculous to me:
You don't change the rules just because no one seems to be able to beat Lesnar.
For starters, he has been beaten. Up until last Saturday, countless people were reminding Lesnar supporters, like myself, of his UFC debut and his submission to Frank Mir's kneebar. How has this suddenly become a forgotten fact?
Additionally, Anderson Silva is just as dominant at middleweight as Lesnar is at heavyweight, and no one is calling for him to give up his belt and make a permanent change in address.
And before everyone starts telling me how Silva uses "skill and technique and martial arts training," the bottom line is that he decimates opponents with the same quickness and ferocity as Lesnar, and how they do it doesn't matter.
The goal is winning, and you don't receives style points in MMA.
Besides, if you think he's a dick now, imagine if the UFC forced him into a new division.
"Well, Brock, none of these heavyweights seem to be able to compete with you, so we're going to make a new division with bigger guys just because of you."
He'd run through the list of "super heavyweights" listed above just as quickly as he ran through Mir at UFC 100 and, in many cases, probably faster.
Creating such a division would give Lesnar less competition and a longer title reign, and that seems to be the last thing his detractors want.
What is the solution? It's adaptation.
Like it or not, Brock Lesnar is the next evolution of mixed martial artists in the heavyweight division. He is difficult puzzle to solve.
But so was Royce Gracie.
Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, and Georges St-Pierre seem unbeatable as well.
While some believe Lesnar being champion makes the heavyweight division weaker, I say he will only serve to make it stronger.
He is presents a new challenge to an already difficult task.
We should be excited about the heayweight division's attempts to figure out the Minnesota mammoth, not looking to banish him to a less competitive landscape.