As most of you probabaly know by now if you read any MMA sites on the internet, Mark Coleman has been pulled from UFC 87 and Heath Herring has been added to the card to fight Brock Lesnar in Coleman's place. The match will take place on Aug. 9 in Lesnar's home state of Minnesota at the Target Center.
The match with Mark Coleman would have been a dream matchup for many fans. The rising star in Brock Lesnar taking on the Hall of Famer back in the UFC for one last fight. It couldn't be scripted any better than that and it would have been one of the most hyped and most profitable Pay-Per-Views in UFC's history.
But Coleman has been injured and removed from the card and a replacement was sought to fight Lesnar. And that replacement has recently been announced to be Heath Herring. A man who has forty-three professional fights on his resume including wins over Cheick Kongo, Evan Tanner and Antonio Silva.
Now in my opinion, Herring isn't even one of the top three heavyweights in UFC, but he is dangerous and can go toe to toe with anyone in the UFC, including the Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera.
My question is; would UFC be better served placing Lesnar in a couple of fights he could win relatively easily and let him get a few wins under his belt? I understand with his background and raw ability that he isn't like most rookies, and he isn't like Kimbo even who is being spoon fed opponents in EXC. But the fact remains he has two professional fights and is going against someone with 43, that's a big difference.
Now I know that everyone wants to see Brock take on the top guys in the division, everyone wants to see if he can hang with the elite. But the buzz is going to wear off quickly if he picks up his second straight loss. Any MMA fan would choose to watch Lesnar/Herring over say Lesnar/Antoni Hardonk, but despite that, would you not still watch Lesnar/Hardonk? People are enamored with Brock Lesnar and there going to pay to watch him no matter who he is up against.
Just look at EXC and Kimbo. He's facing scrubs everytime in the ring, but people are clamoring to watch it cause they are intrigued by Kimbo, not the guy he is crushing and when he does get a top of the line opponent it's going to mean a lot more and be a lot better fight because of the experience and training he'll have.
Would it not be more beneficial to UFC to let Lesnar beat up on some undercard guys, rack up some wins, and get some more time in the gym and than have him take on the top guys? In my opinion, yes. Will they lose money by doing this? Not much.
Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked about this fight. I can't wait to see how Brock has progressed and if he can take on a bonafide heavyweight contender in the cage, and I do think he can hold his own against Herring and quite possibly win. But is it really worth the risk of having him lose for the second straight time? For me the answer is no.