New Year’s Weekend: The MMA fight of the year? The future of the UFC?
On the night before New Year’s Eve, Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem will face off to determine the number one contender for Junior Dos Santos’ Heavyweight Championship.
So many questions to consider going into this fight, like: “Will it even happen?” with Overeem’s licensing issues (a rant for another time..) and “How healthy is Brock?”. If we get a healthy Brock and a hungry Overeem this could be a fight for the ages, however if Brock isn’t at least 95% and Overeem isn’t fighting like his career depends on it… it could be a bomb, though, still one of the most purchased events of the year.
My prediction? Brock with a submission or TKO in the second round. Now I know a lot of the MMA marks HATE Brock, I’ve heard all the whining about how his attitude is disrespectful and he is an embarrassment to the sport blah blah blah… The truth that these “fans” fail to see is that Brock is exactly what MMA needs, much like Bisping, Sonnen, and some of the other loudmouth jerks in UFC. UFC is a sport, yes, but it is also entertainment… so I guess you could say that UFC is Sports Entertainment (I just felt you all cringe at that phrase and I feel your anger… but it is true) and It has become more so since the Brock Era began. I mean having Paul Heyman coach Shane Carwin how to interview and hype up a fight couldn’t be a sign that UFC knows what is best for it… could it? You know why Brock is a great face for the UFC… because you hate him. You hate him and you tune in to watch him fight hoping he loses, and the same goes for the other guys I mentioned. Those fights draw amazing buyrates, because it gets attention. All forms of entertainment need their stars, and they need villains and good guys. Baseball has the Yankees and the Red Sox, Football has Vick and Tebow, Basketball has had guys like Kobe, Rodman, Shaq and others, and Boxing… Boxing has a list of loudmouth legends.. Ali, Tyson, Foreman, Fraizer, Maywhether, Apollo Creed (shhhh), and many many more… These guys, bring viewers to the sport, they put the proverbial asses in the seats.
MMA has always had its share of characters from the start. Shamrock, Severn, Tank Abbott, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell… but a lot of that had kinda disappeared for a bit while MMA was attempting to get taken more seriously and get approved by athletic commissions while fighting off the “Human Cockfighting” tag given to it by media. The entertainment took a backseat… but Brock brought it back and now others are following. This is a good thing for the sport, and a great thing for UFC. Fans need to let go of this purist mentality, if the want the sport to thrive, that’s why the always entertaining Brock needs to win on NYE, not the boring Overeem. Alistair is a good fighter, an entertaining fighter, but he could put a tweaker to sleep on the mic. Having Overeem vs. Junior would be a great fight in the cage, but a horrible fight to build up. Junior is a great fighter, but he is the ultimate milquetoast good guy, he needs a villain to fight. Brock is that Villain. Bring back the loudmouth Brock and you have buyrates that will break records.
Now, aside from analyzing the fight from a marketing perspective… how about in the octagon? Brock is a great wrestler and Alistair is a great stand up fighter. We all have heard the cries of “Brock can’t take a hit”, but really, how long has it been… do we know what his training has been like during this downtime? Brock has learned a lot from his last two fights, I think we will see a different stand up game from him. Apart from that, I think he will do his best to outwrestle Overeem and keep the fight in his comfort zone. The minute this fight goes to the ground it becomes Brocks fight to lose, I just don’t see that happening. Alistair better load up on that horsemeat and plan on trying to take Brock out quick, If not then the fight is already over.
I’m looking forward to the next week of buildup to this fight…
See you all on New Year’s Day.