MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Brock Lesnar To Return To UFC?
An intriguing rumor is making the rounds during fight week in Las Vegas on the eve of UFC 168, and it concerns the return of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
It all started earlier in the week, when a fan on the underground posted that Lesnar wanted to return to the UFC. The rumor then hit Twitter, but with no confirmation from either Lesnar or the UFC, it was just that: a rumor.
Well, maybe it's more than that.
On Thursday, at the UFC 168 pre-fight media scrum, UFC president Dana White was asked by reporters if Lesnar was returning. White said, "Honestly, I don't know." Then he grinned his famous grin.
It was pretty obvious that White was telling a white lie to the media, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Lesnar will indeed return. Instead, it appears that Lesnar -- who is still contracted to do WWE events -- will be in Vegas for UFC 168 and will talk to White. But it's not a given they will be able to come to an agreement.
But, if they are, it opens up a door of possibilities for big fights.
Let's face it, the UFC is in a tough spot right now as far as pay-per-view draws go. Georges St-Pierre just took a leave of absence, Nick Diaz is in a quasi-retirement, and Anderson Silva is nearing 39 years of age and likely doesn't have much time left in the sport. Right now, as far as PPV draws go, the UFC only has Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, Silva (for now), Cain Velasquez, and then some lesser stars like Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar. Basically, it's not enough, and so it's no wonder the UFC would possibly be interested in the return of Lesnar to the fold.
But if he does come back, who would be fight?
Personally, I think there's a number of big fights out there for Lesnar -- although to be fair, any fight involving Lesnar is going to be big, just on principal alone. There's a possible matchup with Roy Nelson. Or maybe Lesnar could take on Mark Hunt. How about Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira? Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva? Or heck, what about Junior dos Santos?
Sure, Lesnar would likely have a hard time with all of these guys in his current form -- he has missed two full years of MMA competition -- but even if you think he'll lose, you have to admit the buildup and promotion to all of those fights would be big. Very big.
If I was a betting man, and I am, I would say that yeah, Lesnar is going to return to the UFC sometime later next year. I just really think the UFC is in dire need of starpower right now, and there's really no one else but Lesnar that could help them out at the moment. So I think White will cough up the cash and make it happen.
Hopefully we hear more about this Lesnar rumor during the rest of UFC 168 fight week, but even if we don't, it's certainly something to give the fans to think about as we head into the year 2014 in MMA.