MMA Ratings Podcast

September 10, 2020

The Brock Lesnar Sweepstakes Is On Once Again

By Raphael Garcia

We are back to the biannual Brock Lesnar sweepstakes. The former UFC and WWE champion has announced that he’s a “free agent” and is entertaining suitors once again. The 43-year-old superathlete has excelled in nearly every stage he’s stepped foot into. Of course he's going to be a top draw whereever he heads next, but figuring out where that will be is the most intriguing aspect of the current situation. Looking at the landscape in front of Lesnar in 2020, multiple opportunities drive home his number one goal: making money.

The conversation of where we'll see Lesnar next has to begin with mixed martial arts. When Lesnar made the jump in 2007 he wasn’t as big of a mainstream star as he is today. Lesnar left the world of professional wrestling to try his craft at “real” sports, leading him to the NFL before his well-known tenure in mixed martial arts. If Lesnar is to take a step towards reestablishing his brand, MMA has to be considered a top option. And both the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA have to keep their eyes, ears, and wallets open if they are willing to negotiate with the former champion.
Lesnar is a pay-per-view and ratings draw. Both of these promotions like to tout shows that bring in big ratings, and Lesnar can pop a number. Bellator and the UFC would likely be interested in one-off affairs with Lesnar, as he never seems to have long-term deals in the forefront of his thinking.

For Bellator, there’s the fight with Fedor Emelianenko. Just like Lesnar, Emelianenko is a point in his career where big fights are the draw. Booking a bout between these two heavyweights would shatter all types of records for Bellator. Putting this fight on free television would garner mainstream attention and finally get some solid eyes on the promotion after it was brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the UFC, Jon Jones is the first name that comes to mind as a dream match for Lesnar. Yes, Stipe Miocic is the heavyweight champion, but a card headlined by Jones vs. Lesnar is the type of event that UFC President Dana White would be dreaming about right now. Ship that out to Fight Island and book a solid event around it, and the UFC would have its biggest event to date in a landslide. Again, Lesnar is all about moving units, and right now the UFC’s best offering for him is against the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.

Professional wrestling should not be out of the question for Lesnar either. Lesnar has used free agency -- and his relationship with Dana White -- on other occasions in order to leverage a better deal from Vince McMahon. There have been rumors of McMahon and crew angling toward yet another WrestleMania match between Lesnar and Roman Reigns (even though fans are already grumbling about wanting nothing to do with that pairing). Be it for that match or another, if the price is right, it wouldn't be surprising to see Lesnar back between the WWE ropes.
Plus there’s the new competitor in the space, All Elite Wrestling. While the promotion touts itself as an alternative to WWE, at hasn't been shy about leveraging the name recognition and appeal of wrestlers that were once a part of that company's roster. Lesnar, even if for a brief stint, would be a major get for them, and it would ensure that viewers would tune in to see what was going on. With the competition brewing between it and WWE, AEW should be highly motivated to back up the Brink’s truck for the former champion.

Brock Lesnar may not be everyone’s favorite, but he does draw eyeballs whenever he’s in front of the camera. The question now is which camera he’ll appear in front of next. It’s hard to imagine any situation where he’s away from the spotlight for too long, so we should expect to find out where he plans to land sooner than later. Get your tickets ready,

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