“The Next Big Thing” was a hot commodity in the WWE and when he entered the world of Mixed Martial Arts there were plenty of doubters that wanted to see him fail. That was hardly from the truth.
Brock Lesnar took the microphone after his loss to Alistair Overeem on Saturday night and announced his retirement from MMA. It was a shock to everybody and many thought he would stick around to show that he still has what it takes to become a champion again. Unfortunately, Lesnar wanted more time with his family and who could blame him?
When he first entered the UFC back in February of 2008, Lesnar was immediately “thrown to the lions” and faced Frank Mir at UFC 81. After a knee bar ended his night the skeptics came rolling in and that this was all about Dana White wanting to get PPV buys because Brock Lesnar was a household name. White or Lesnar didn’t let the talk get to them and Lesnar showed that was all about him.
After his first fight Lesnar fought the following in this order; Heath Herring, Randy Couture, Frank Mir, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez. Now can you name any other fighter that has started their career and had to fight the quality of opponents Lesnar has? After capturing the Heavyweight Title against Randy Couture, Lesnar successfully defended his title twice before relinquishing it to Cain Velaquez. After his losing title he was forced to have surgery on his colon and was out of action from the UFC for over a year. He was near death and made a miraculous recovery, and he took the risk to step into the octagon one more time.
Now the conspiracy theories are already hitting wrestling sites saying this was all planned and Vince McMahon was the culprit to spike his ratings. The problem is in the UFC and MMA in general, you can’t fake anything and who in what mindset would waste their time training and sacrifice time to take a fall on purpose? With Overeem he landed a clear kick to the liver area and took Lesnar down and out. So anybody saying he took a dive is incompetent to the sport and just wants to start rumors.
With Brock Lesnar he was a little raw to begin his career in the UFC shouting profanities after his win against Frank Mir and wanting to drink a Coors Light instead of a Bud Light. All that aside Lesnar entered the sport with very low expectations from others. He proved that he had what it took to become a champion a sport that is so hard to learn in short time period.
With Lesnar’s retirement who knows what he will do, but he wasn’t the same since his surgery. But you can’t blame the guy for wanting to give it another go because that’s what he has worked hard for over the last 3 years. He gained a lot of new tools since 2008 and continued to build his reputation not only as a fighter but as an individual.
Sure wrestling will be there for him and could work a few dates like Dwayne Johnson. It’s easier on the body and would make a lot of money if he does a show like Wrestlemania. But the real reason Lesnar entered MMA was to face a challenge. You can’t take away anything from a man who entered the MMA scene facing the toughest and exiting the very same way.
Brock Lesnar placed his stamp on the sport whether you liked him or not and showed he had what it took. He showed that coming from sports entertainment to an actual sport is possible and is the best to do it to date.
Now Lesnar will probably be known for his WWE stint more than anything but he showed that overcoming obstacles and learning a new sport "on the fly" was successful.