When I think of the meteoric rise of Brock Lesnar, I visualize Dana White watching a UFC 91 rerun, maniacally rubbing his hands together behind closed doors, reveling in the resolution of his latest machination: the ascension of Brock Lesnar to UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) Heavyweight Champion.

It was not long ago that UFC viewers were offered their first glimpse of Brock Lesnar on cable television.  With a record of 1-0 he was awarded a fight against one of the most agile and highly regarded heavyweights in the UFC – Frank Mir.  Unfortunately, Lesnar was submitted by a knee lock in 1:30 of the first round; nevertheless, it was an action packed minute and a half. 

During Mir’s post fight interview with Joe Rogan, Mir expounded on the short but vicious bludgeoning Lesnar, or “that beast” as Mir described him, dished out.  Mir’s face told a story of its own during the brief interview, it looked as if a starving raccoon in a burlap bag were tied over Mir’s head. 

Prior to UFC 91 it would have been difficult to find a person ‘in the know’ who would believe a fighter with a record of 3-1 could have a heavyweight title.  How was it possible?  Simple…enter Dana White the President of the UFC. 

Following in the footsteps of Vince McMahan — owner of the WWE — Dana saw dollar signs the moment Lesnar sat down at the negotiation table.

The green Dana White saw in Lesnar were likely based as much on his fighting ability as his gargantuan physical size.  At 270 pounds and chiseled, his chest looks more like the front end of a Mack Truck.  His trapeziums curve up from his shoulders like flying buttresses on a gothic cathedral — there to support the monolith sitting on top of his practically nonexistent neck.

Not only does Lesnar have the physical tools, he utilizes them with the vigor of a charging bull.  It is hard to doubt that any other word beside profit popped into Dana White’s head when Lesnar voiced his desire to fight.

Anyone with an internet connection can look up the purses earned by individual UFC fighters at most events.  At UFC 81, Lesnar’s UFC debut, Lesnar was the highest grossing fighter with a purse of $250,000 for a loss!  Basically, each fighter is offered a total possible purse and if they lose they receive about half the total; therefore, Lesnar stood to gain approximately $400,000 to $500,000 dollars if he won his second mixed martial arts fight ever.  Frank Mir, the current interim heavyweight champion and winner of the fight, received $80,000.  Furthermore, Nogueira – the main event of the evening and one of the most decorated active fighters in existence – received $200,000 for his win against Tim Sylvia.  Fighter salaries are not precise and were found on www.mmajunkie.com/news

Lesnar’s record, 2-1, prior to his heavyweight championship fight against Randy Couture was just as lopsided as his allowance.  When Frank Mir first became heavyweight champion he had a record of 7 and 1.  Tim Sylvia boasted a record of 14 and 0 when he beat Ricco Rodriguez to become the UFC heavyweight champ.  Andre Arlovski was 7-3 when he beat Tim Sylvia to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minitauro’ Nogueira had a superlative record of 30-4-1 when he defeated Tim Sylvia for the interim heavyweight belt.  Calling Nogueira’s list of former opponents impressive would be like describing Frank Mir’s win over Tim Sylvia as decisive (Mir visibly snapped Sylvia’s left forearm with an arm bar, forcing a referee stoppage).  Records of past UFC fighter can be found at www.sherdog.net and www.ufc.com.

But of course, it is a double edged sword.  As an avid fan and critic of this fledgling, but fast growing sport, I know just as well as President Dana White the benefits of a headliner such as Brock Lesnar.  Lesnar does not just bring his body and athletic prowess; he brings his entire professional wrestling fan-base, a fan-base possibly numbering in the millions. 

Like boxing, UFC Pay-Per-View fights usually cost over $40.  In a nation awash in economic woes, bringing a cash cow like Lesnar aboard procures a large new audience and more individuals who are willing to pay the bill for a Pay-Per-View. 

Most importantly, Brock Lesnar is an electrifying fighter and you can not put a price tag on his ability to enthrall the fans.  Call me a crook, but I would rather have exhilarating showdowns and fighters inside a slightly skewed and greedy organization than boring combat organized by a rigid and fairer hierarchy.    

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