While the UFC lost its top draw Saturday night, the news may not be all that bad. Brock Lesnar reportedly planned to win the UFC title, leave the UFC, & return to the WWE thus screwing the UFC and Dana White if things played out as planned.
Brock Lesnar made the announcement following his loss in the octagon. MMA & pro wrestling reporter Dave Meltzer brought the story to light on his F4WOnline.com post-UFC 141 podcast. The UFC avoided a potential disaster which could have seen their world champion retire and jump back into the WWE pro wrestling rings with the belt, leaving the UFC with no champion and a huge blow to the credibility of its fighters.
Keep in mind what I am actually saying here. I am not saying that Brock would appear on RAW the next night as UFC (retired) champion. What I am saying is that Brock’s plan was to make sporadic (maybe even just one) appearances with the WWE in the future. Contractually there is no way that this would have happened immediately. But at some point something would have to give and whether it be a year, two years, three years, he could have gotten back into the ring as the unbeaten UFC champion.
This is a big story that due to the holiday weekend, has not really played out yet in the press. The idea of a UFC fighter as big as Brock Lesnar retiring as champion and jumping back into pro wrestling as the retired champion who never lost is something that could have been devastating to the UFC.
I am not one to normally defend Dana White but this was a blatant attempt to bite the hand that fed him. If not for White, Lesnar would not have made the money he has made and gotten the opportunities he has been afforded since leaving professional wrestling. Is it a dog eat dog world when it comes to promoting and fighting, yes. But in Brock’s case, there was absolutely no shred of loyalty in his master plan when it comes to paying back the UFC and doing what is right for business.
Now that said, Randy Couture pulled something even more egregious several years ago when he won the UFC heavyweight title and he is still greatly respected among MMA fans. Couture won the championship and tried to hold the UFC up for more money in exchange for not jumping to a rival MMA promotion as champion. The only reason none of that ever happened is because the UFC had Couture locked into an iron clad contract. Most MMA fans have buried this memory but it is obvious with the little promotion the UFC has given Couture since retiring that Dana White and the Fertitta brothers haven’t forgotten the attempted extortion.
In the end should anyone really be surprised at this story? This is the same guy that retired from pro wrestling after being pushed as a megastar and didn’t do the right thing on the way out. A bit of irony isn’t it?