Brock Lesnar is in for one hell of a fight at UFC 200. A little over 24-hours after news broke the WWE superstar will fight again in the UFC, his opponent was confirmed, and if you thought this was going to be some kind of a walk in the park…think again.
The announcement was made official today and Lesnar will fight Mark Hunt at UFC 200. The battle of heavyweights has already gotten fringe MMA fans excited about the possibility of a slug fest. Unfortunately that slug fest probably won’t fare to well for Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar was asked on ESPN about whether he had any say in his UFC 200 opponent.
“I’ve never turned down a fight in the UFC,” Lesnar said. “Even when I was champ, I never turned down a fight. When I was fighting to be a champ, I never turned down a fight. If [UFC president] Dana White called me and said, ‘You have opponent X, Y or Z, which do you want?’ — he never gave me those options.”
Lesnar was also quite candid when asked what the motivations were for his return.
“I’m a prize fighter. Titles don’t pay bills. I fight for money. I’m making money. They’re making money. Everybody’s making money. That’s what this is all about,” he said.
This is a big gamble for Lesnar and the WWE. Lesnar is booked in a high-profile match at SummerSlam, which takes place in New York, NY. New York has a commission which regulates pro wrestling. Should Lesnar get knocked out by Hunt, and that is pretty likely, he would get suspended from contact by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. If that happens, New York could prevent him from wrestling at SummerSlam and that would be costly to everyone.
The early odds are about even for the fight with Lesnar as a slight underdog at +160 and Hunt as a favorite coming at -195. Hunt has 13 wins by KO and has only been KO’d twice. Hunt is coming off of two straight KO and TKO wins over Frank Mir and Antonio Silva. Mark Hunt is no joke. Lesnar has two TKO wins of his own but I would certainly rank Hunt as a stronger stand up fighter. It won’t be an easy night for either guy but I have to think that stylistically, Hunt is a terrible opponent for Lesnar.
I would also bet against anyone coming in for a one-off fight at this level. While I don’t doubt Lesnar will take this seriously, he is under contract to the WWE and won’t be going on any kind of a run for the UFC title. This appears to be strictly a money play and in that situation, I’ll take the “fighter” over the “journey man” any day of the week.
I will disagree with those that think Lesnar losing will hurt his value. I think he comes back a bigger star either way and if he wins, he will be returning as a super over babyface. The only risk I see here is Lesnar’s status for SummerSlam, other than that. I think it’s a win-win for everyone involved.