Brock Lesnar’s reported $5 million deal with the WWE has not gone unnoticed among his former UFC peers. One just happens to be Lesnar’s biggest rival who may be angling for a third match with Brock this time in a WWE ring.
Mir was asked about a potential career in pro wrestling in a recent interview with the Chronicle Journal. Mir gave an answer that is surprising quite a few people in the MMA world this weekend.
A possible foray into professional wrestling isn’t out of the question either. “Not opposed to the idea,” Mir said. “I can’t do a back flip or anything.”
This isn’t the blatant flirtation with pro wrestling that Tito Ortiz and Roy Nelson have dropped publicly over the last few weeks but it is something to think about. With Lesnar and King Mo recently signing pro wrestling deals, this probably seems like a natural progression once you are done with the real fighting…or is it?
I think it is incredibly naïve of these fighters to just assume that pro wrestling is waiting for them. Vince McMahon in particular has been burnt in the past by MMA fighters and is very hesitant on using them. One story that has gone around for a few years is that Vince became so angry with Bob Sapp after failed negotiations that he closed the door completely on signing MMA fighters.
Brock Lesnar certainly isn’t helping with any of this. Lesnar is the exception to the rule as he is a fighter that was a former WWE superstar. Some would even argue that he was always a WWE wrestler doing real fighting. Brock’s reportedly been very frustrating for Vince to deal with and Brock’s appearance at UFC 146 reportedly set Vinnie Mac off. I would have to think that this would be another black mark on using MMA fighters in the eyes of McMahon.
While King Mo did sign with TNA Impact Wrestling, TNA is not in a position to offer these fighters big time money. For one, these fighters would probably have to work out some kind of dual Bellator/TNA agreement, thus closing the door on future UFC opportunities after fighting. Two, thus far MMA fighters haven’t made a difference when appearing in TNA. If King Mo fails to move the needle, that could also take TNA out of the mix when it comes to MMA fighters entering the Impact Zone.
There is also a real lack of respect here from the MMA fighters when it comes to pro wrestling. Sure pro wrestling is worked, but these guys work a grueling schedule which includes falling on your back, running ropes, etc. None of these guys would get “Brock deals” with limited dates. These guys would have to go on the road as full-time performers and after years of nagging injuries and brutal training, there is very little chance that they would ever hold up under a full touring WWE schedule.
Of course there are international opportunities for ex-MMA fighters (or current) in pro wrestling. Josh Barnett has been wrestling regularly in Japan for years. Tim Sylvia has dabbled in pro wrestling overseas as well. America isn’t the only opportunity yet nobody is going to make even close to Brock Lesnar money unless they are wrestling on WrestleMania.
A completely off the wall thought here would be for Zuffa to start their own pro wrestling promotion. When the Showtime deal runs out, maybe the UFC could turn Strikeforce into a pro wrestling company? This would open up an avenue for aging fighters to continue performing under the Zuffa banner when they can’t go inside the octagon. If they brought in someone like Paul Heyman and some available recognizable pro wrestlers, there could be an opportunity here. Imagine Dana White as the heel G.M.? Talk about art imitating life.
It is a fun idea to think about for a minute but at the end of the day this has Goldberg vs. Lesnar written all over it.