Brock Lesnar has fought three times in his MMA career, which is just over one year old. He holds a modest 2-1 record and is just 1-1 inside the octagon. He has barely 17 minutes of actual fight time. But on November 15, he will compete for the sport's most coveted honor: the UFC Heavyweight belt.
It's no wonder the Old Schoolers of MMA have mounted their high horses and positioned their noses skyward. Seeing a whipper-snapper like Lesnar bully his way to the front of the line has left their jaws open and their eyes wide.
The thing is, everyone else's jaws are open, too. And that's exactly what Dana White had in mind.
Just a few short weeks ago, the rumor machines were crawling with talk of Couture squaring off with Fedor under the Affliction banner. Knowing the UFC was weak in the Heavyweight division, Affliction gobbled up the available talent and bet the farm on the big boys to carry them. Now Dana White has put Affliction on its heels by reclaiming the second-best fighter in the land in five-time champ Randy Couture and usurped all of the media hype by pitting him against the upstart athletic freak, Brock Lesnar.
Say what you want, Old Schoolers, but this is the right move.
Why? Because you're going to watch. And I'm going to watch. All of our friends are going to watch. ESPN is going to talk about it. The sports pages are going to run stories about it. And a whole new crowd of folks are coming to dinner.
Zuffa and White have fought tooth and nail to thrust the UFC into the light of day and, by hook or by crook, they are going to do it. Gone are the dark days when UFC was considered the pornography of sports. John McCain is no longer trying to ban MMA. The UFC has gone legit, with weight classes and rules and referees who are willing to stop the fight before someone loses a pint of blood.
The UFC is ready for its close-up and this is the chance they've been waiting for.
While the Old School contends that Lesnar doesn't deserve the shot, the UFC certainly does.
Besides, even if he wins, he'll have to fight the winner of the Frank Mir/Big Nog fight in order to unify the title. In the end, there can be only one. If it's Nogueira or Couture, you can all sleep sound knowing that some WWE wrestler wasn't able to beat the best of the best. If the last man standing turns out to be Brock Lesnar, he'll be laughing and pointing all the way to the bank and there won't be a thing you or me or anybody else can say about it.