Montreal Gazzette Spot On:UFC/Brock!!

Pretty good article by the Montreal Gazzette

Guy seems to know what he's talking about




Brock Lesnar pins Frank Mir during


their heavyweight title bout during


UFC 100 on July 11, 2009, in Las Vegas, Nev.

Photograph by: Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images

AUSTIN, Tex. – By now you have probably heard about Brock Lesnar’s post-fight rant at UFC 100 last Saturday night.

Lesnar had just avenged his only career loss by beating Frank Mir senseless. Then he raised his two middle fingers to the crowd and got in Mir’s face as his fallen opponent attempted to regain his senses.

It got better – or worse – in the ring interview minutes later.

“Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his a--,” Lesnar said. “I told him that a year ago. I pulled it out of him and beat him over the head with it.”

Lesnar then proceeded to take a shot at Bud Light, the event’s sponsor, before informing the crowd of possible bedroom plans with his wife.

Lesnar’s post-fight actions were disgusting. He showed horrible sportsmanship. He established himself as the most hated man in UFC. If I was MMA president Dana White, the first thing I would do is:

Give the big guy a hug.

In a word, Lesnar was brilliant.

White did take Lesnar out behind the woodshed following his rant, and Lesnar returned to the news conference apologetic and sporting a cold bottle of Bud Light. But what isn’t being said is how much money a villain can bring to a promotion.

A great antagonist makes the organization stronger, and while White will always have his hands full with the unpredictable former WWE performer, he needs Lesnar to bring UFC into the mainstream.

The 32-year-old Lesnar is a classic bad guy. He hates interviews, hates opponents and may hate himself for all we know. But he’s one polarizing son of a gun.

While UFC has great fan favourites in Anderson Silva and Montreal’s Georges St. Pierre, Lesnar’s the one who gets the blood pumping. Doesn’t matter if they like him or not; they will pay to watch.

The Tavern in downtown Austin was packed Saturday night and there was a buzz in the crowd that used to be reserved for boxing pay-per-views. While boxing still puts together a quality card once or twice a year, these UFC cards have delivered more

often, even though I still prefer a good boxing match over a good MMA match any day.

That said, save me a seat whenever Lesnar is fighting. He’s a devastating athlete. Just ask Mir, who resembled Two-Face from the Batman movie by the time the night was over. One side of his face was fine. The other side? Not so much.

It was fun to watch. A different ride than boxing, this MMA, with a different fan base as well. It’s younger. More college students and males between 18-30 years old dotted the Tavern landscape than anything else.

One moment got my attention more than any other,

after Dan Henderson landed a one-punch knockout win over brash Brit Michael Bisping and proceeded to land a diving, facial shot on his unconscious opponent before the ref could step in. The crowd went nuts. Then they went nuts again during the replays.

Not too sporting, but this sport doesn’t cater to the timid or the weak. Guys like Lesnar (and, on this night, Henderson) are taking no prisoners, which is basically White’s business strategy.

He’s making money by the barrels while not having to fork over Fort Knox to the worker bees.

Lesnar received $400,000 for seven minutes of work Saturday, while Mir’s $45,000 might cover the cost of a good plastic surgeon.

In this era Oscar De La Hoya is retired and heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko is a docile jab master who seems afraid to engage the opposition in toe-to-toe exchanges. Lesnar and White have come along at a time when boxing fans are starting to cross over into mixed martial arts.

It’s gaining in popularity, though it hasn’t reached mainstream status, as many of its followers claim.

When we see it every weekend for free on major networks, then we will know for sure. Until then, White is giving his fans one or two shows a month and the numbers are staggering.

Saturday’s card is in line to pass Lesnar’s second-round TKO win over Randy Couture in UFC 91, which generated a reported 1.05 million buys. The Associated Press reported that UFC 100 has a chance to top 1.5 million buys, which would make it the biggest non-boxing PPV event.

While White already has a terrific fan base, the UFC must continue to go after guys like me – lifelong boxing fans who are intrigued just enough to show up at a bar on a Saturday night to see guys like Lesnar fight.

good find.