Brock Lesnar will lose a lot of steam if he gets humiliated by Randy Couture. And yes, the same can be said for Couture if Lesnar manhandles him and treats him like "an old man."
But what would you do with Couture's return? Match him against Nogueira for the Undisputed Title? How do you promote that fight to the non-UFC audience? Where's the mainstream marketing after the first day of "Couture Goes Back to UFC" headlines?
This story would have been dead by Thursday if that match was signed.
Frank Mir? Interesting fight, and it may happen if both Mir and Couture emerge victorious, but same story, different opponent. By matching Couture against Lesnar, UFC has guaranteed itself 10 weeks of speculation, curiosity, and discussion. That's a tap-out victory on so many levels for MMA's most dominant brand.
So says Paul Heyman, the former owner and creative guru behind professional wrestling's legendary Original ECW promotion, and the man who was instrumental in Brock Lesnar's rise to fame in Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002. Heyman, who was Lesnar's on-air agent in WWE, was also the Head Writer for WWE Smackdown, where Lesnar crushed legends like Hulk Hogan and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Heyman theorizes that UFC has dealt a knockout blow to the Affliction MMA promotion the likes of which have not been seen outside of Rashad Evans' KO of Chuck Liddell last night.
In a blog posted this afternoon by the UK Sun, Heyman says Brock Lesnar is arguably the most famous UFC fighter in the world right now. He carries with him a huge deal of mainstream exposure, as well as a global pro wrestling audience that is just dying to know how good of a legitimate fighter the former WWE Undisputed World Champion truly is.
Add to the equation the fact Lesnar is a hotly-debated subject amongst UFC fans, many of whom are salivating at the thought of premier strategist Couture showing Lesnar the difference between "fake pro wrestling" and "real cage fighting," and you have the biggest money fight UFC could possibly put together for the return of its all time greatest champion.
Lesnar vs Couture is a stroke of genius, even with the downside being acknowledged. If Couture is UFC's version of "Rocky Balboa," Lesnar is Ivan Drago. Lesnar is a monster, a driven athlete with freakish size, speed, and agility whose ambitious nature is only surpassed by his ability to improve his own game at an alarming pace.
Even people who have never watched or even followed UFC are going to know about this fight before November 15th. That's the crossover UFC has been looking for. That's the publicity UFC wanted. That's the mainstream type of buzz UFC needs to get on par with boxing on an acceptance basis with the still-skeptical media.
Brock Lesnar vs Randy Couture. UFC 91. There's only one safe bet regarding this fight. And that bet is that you're going to hear a lot more about it before November 15th.
It really is an interesting read, both from a matchup analysis (although Heyman is careful not to offer any prediction on the outcome) and from a business perspective as well.
You can read the entire blog here: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/wrestling/heyman/article1658736.ece