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Brock Lesnar NOT looking to leave the UFC

Brock Lesnar is not looking to leave the UFCMMA websites have run wild the last 24 hours citing comments from MMA reporter Dave Meltzer about Brock Lesnar. Headlines read that Brock Lesnar is looking to leave the UFC. Dave has since clarified his remarks and reports that Brock isn’t going anywhere.

The imaginations of several websites have run wild over comments MMA reporter Dave Meltzer made about Brock Lesnar on his Sunday podcast. I am a subscriber to Dave’s podcast and heard his comments. Now what I heard and what is being reported are two different things. I heard Dave report that Brock hasn’t trained since his loss at UFC 121. To my surprise other websites interpreted this as Brock Lesnar looking to quit MMA and the UFC. Not only was that never mentioned in Dave’s podcast, Dave clarified this with further remarks on a later podcast.

Once the rumors started and cited Dave as the source, Dave was quick to shoot them down. Dave clarified his remarks by stating that he believes that Brock Lesnar will not only fight twice in 2011 but “is looking to make as much money as possible next year.” To me that sounds like a guy that wants to fight and wrestle at WrestleMania, not a guy looking to walk away from one of the most lucrative jobs in America.

Dave did further report that Brock Lesnar hasn’t returned calls to the UFC and hasn’t trained since his loss. To me, this report indicates a guy burnt out of training for two fights in six months, compiled with training for months to recover from an illness. If you factor in Brock’s training last summer in preparation for his first scheduled fight with Shane Carwin, he has been training without much of a break for over a year. I don’t even think there is a news story here other than the spin coming from several MMA websites. The idea that Brock Lesnar would just want to get away from fighting for a few months to clear his head, spend time with his family, and let his body recover is not news. Apparently overzealous MMA fans think otherwise.

The other layer to this story is Brock Lesnar’s desire to return to the WWE for a reported $2 million payday to wrestle the Undertaker at WrestleMania 27. This would fall into Dave’s report about Brock wanting to make as much money as possible in 2011. UFC president Dana White has been vehement about his desire not to let Brock Lesnar wrestle. Brock Lesnar is under contract with the UFC which gives Dana White and the UFC the final calls. Interestingly enough those close to Vince McMahon report that the WWE believes that the UFC will let Brock wrestle. The plot thickens!

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A real interesting part of the plot broke last week when it was announced that Frank Mir vs. Brendan Schaub had been canceled. This immediately leads to speculation that the UFC have Mir vs. Lesnar III lined up. This would seem to work against Dave Meltzer’s report about Brock being out of communication with the UFC since UFC 121. It had been rumored for a few weeks that Dana White wanted Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir as opposing coaches in next season’s The Ultimate Fighter. The sudden cancellation of Mir’s scheduled fight has fueled speculation that White has indeed lined up both Lesnar and Mir for TUF with a rematch to boot.

While The Ultimate Fighter doesn’t seem to be anything Brock Lesnar would be interested in, it actually makes a ton of sense if you follow the rest of the story. Lesnar is known for his privacy to the point where he has turned down all access specials in the past. Why would Brock suddenly be willing to participate as coach and break down some of that Lesnar mystique? What if the tradeoff was WrestleMania 27? It seems like a fair negotiating point to me. The timing may just be right here for Lesnar vs. Mir on TUF to actually happen.

In my opinion, the drawbacks far outweigh the positives at first glance. The big positive of course is a blockbuster season in the final year of the UFC and Spike TV contract. The drawbacks are plenty. One, Lesnar would be greatly exposed for his inexperience and rudimentary MMA skills. Two, Lesnar does have a temper and if he gets frustrated with a lack of effort from his trainees, he could pick up and walk or worse. Three and most importantly, Brock Lesnar is the biggest drawing card in the UFC. One of the reasons fans pay $50 to watch Brock Lesnar is that they can only see him once or twice a year. Not only would fans get Brock Lesnar for free every week on TUF, they would also get him weekly on WWE television building up WrestleMania 27 and on WrestleMania. Overexposure is a risk that could be greater than any of the above mentioned factors in making this deal.

The bottom line here is that there is no evidence nor did Dave Meltzer or any other reporter ever say that Brock Lesnar is looking to get out of the UFC. At 34 years of age and at the pinnacle of his drawing power, nobody would expect Brock Lesnar to walk away from UFC superstardom. Yes he did it in the WWE but he makes more money now and works a lot less. The only news story here is that Brock Lesnar has taken a vacation. Other than that, the rest is all speculation.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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