UFC legend Brock Lesnar may be considering retirement, according to Yahoo! Sports and a few other outlets. The rumors surfaced following a first round TKO loss to Cain Velasquez in October.
Lesnar seems to be slowly losing his edge, narrowly earning a submission victory in the second round of a bout, before Velasquez, with Shane Carwin, after Carwin dominated the first round to the point where a knockout of Lesnar seemed imminent.
While many believe leaving MMA would end Lesnar's career in the spotlight, others are saying there is a possibility he is not retiring, but instead going to the WWE.
With all the rumors swirling, let's take a look at ten reasons why leaving MMA and UFC now would be a bad move for Lesnar and the league, at the perfectly wrong time.
With Chuck Liddell officially retired, one more of the biggest names in MMA is gone, and while the sport and UFC are still very young compared to other sports, it needs to keep these big names to continue drawing in attention.
It will be easier for UFC to prosper as the younger names become more popular, but if these forefathers continue to drop off before MMA and UFC fighters have a firm grip, it may be very detrimental to the attraction of the sport.
Lesnar is a legend and synonymous with UFC. If he chooses retirement, it may come at a time when his name is vital to UFC and MMA success.
According to Fightline.com, "Wrestling Observer contributor Dave Meltzer reports that Lesnar, who returned this year from over a year-long layoff which was forced after he endured a life-threatening bout with diverticulitis, has lost all motivation to compete in MMA and has not spoken with UFC PresidentDana White or anyone involved with Zuffa, LLC. since his loss to Velasquez."
Lesnar may be slipping as of late, but it seems like he still has plenty of fire and ability to win matches. It's not like him to overcome so much, just to call it quits.
This may come down to a matter of physical willingness, and it would be the perfect time for him to continue, and further his legend. Winning in the wake of physical perseverance and recovery is just what he needs, and UFC needs, to further the legacy.
One of the biggest reasons as to why Lesnar would leave UFC and MMA is to pursue a career with the WWE, according to several rumors.
The whisperings are stemming from an odd incident between Lesnar and WWE's "The Undertaker" immediately following Lesnar's loss to Velasquez. "The Undertaker" was giving an interview to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, and appeared to be shouting at Lesnar, attempting to get him into an altercation.
In the days following the incident, rumors surfaced that the two are planning to stir up interest for a future WWE match.
While the WWE remains popular, it doesn't have the clout of MMA and UFC, and it seems like a bad move for an aging man that recently recovered from a life-threatening illness.
What makes so many current and former WWE athletes so successful is the ability to market themselves outside the ring. Most professional wrestlers have an on-screen persona that they use to generate revenue in advertising and appearance-driven ventures.
However with Lesnar, there isn't much potential of marketing a personality brand. The man is dominating, but quiet. It seems as though he wouldn't survive long in the WWE, and a large payoff for participating in "Wrestlemania" would only go so far.
Everyone has heard of WWE stars that died young or fizzled out after their budding career came to a screeching halt. Marketing yourself is risky business, and it doesn't seem to bow well for Lesnar.
While quiet and reclusive, Lesnar has tremendous knowledge when it comes to fighting skills and body control. There were talks of Frank Mir and Lesnar participating in a The Ultimate Fighter coaching stint, which seems like a strong and solid idea.
Fightline.com also points out that Lesnar has one year remaining on his contract. It seems sensible for Lesnar to come back and finish his final season, if indeed he wishes to retire.
Retiring as a fighter in UFC would still be a loss, but it would be lightened if Lesnar remains on as a coach. His name alone furthers the MMA brand, and disappearing into the night seems unfavorable.
The timing works out for both coaching in The Ultimate Fighter, and participating in Wrestlemania. While the rumors state Lesnar would leave UFC and MMA permanently for the WWE, it would benefit both organizations if Lesnar did TUF first, then the WWE event.
Many UFC officials are saying if Lesnar and Mir were to do the show, which includes six weeks of shooting in Las Vegas, it could be the second-highest rated show, just behind Kimbo Slice.
The ratings boost for TUF would benefit Lesnar in his quest of Wrestlemania. The increased camera exposure would help boost his rep just before the event. After the event ended, Lesnar could return to fight in the summer, and at least finish out his contract.
Let's not forget where Lesnar got his start. It all began for him on the WWE, and it turned into MMA once he was called out to show off his real wrestling skills.
Lesnar ultimately failed because he had no on-screen presence, and no ability to captivate WWE followers with his voice. The timing of returning to the WWE may never be right for Lesnar, but especially now as MMA looks to become a sports monopoly.
WWE owner Vince McMahon and UFC's Dana White have consistently thwarted attempts to say the two organizations are competing for air time in a similar industry. While both men see their respective leagues as different breeds, one thing they are competing for is talent.
As wrestlers come out of high school, college, or smaller leagues to discover what is next, these organizations are scooping them up in an attempt to further the brand. Along similar lines to the prosperity of MMA and UFC with Lesnar hanging around, talent attracts talent.
UFC needs more fighters much more than the more-established WWE. Lesnar leaving would be a bad career move for him, and once again, be very detrimental to MMA and UFC.
While many UFC wrestlers are lured by the idea of personal fame with the WWE, Dave Bastista is attempting to make the switch from the WWE to UFC and MMA.
Lesnar, along with coaching somewhere, could make a strong mentor for wrestlers looking to go legit in the industry. We should applaud Batista for his decision, and back him with strong leaders and a solid fan base.
Lesnar is a completely different athlete than Brett Favre, but the comparisons would be hard to ignore if Lesnar did indeed retire, only to realize what he is missing while sitting on his recliner in his big house, as mortgage payments loom.
Favre is obviously a Hall of Fame QB, but his legacy will be slightly tarnished by his inability to let go of the game. Lesnar has disappeared since his loss to Velasquez, and returning too late may look like a desperate attempt to make more money while feeding off the legend of his name.
If Lesnar leaves now, and comes back later, it could be detrimental to his reputation as one of the greatest UFC fighters in the history of the young league.