That was the question on many fans' minds tonight (Dec. 30) when what the UFC billed as the biggest heavyweight fight in the promotion's history went down.
Perhaps looking to avoid competing with tomorrow's New Year's Eve festivities, Dana White and company decided to run UFC 141: "Lesnar vs. Overeem" on a Friday night, a move that may prove to be disastrous when the buyrate numbers come in as those who assumed a normal schedule for the show and were hoping to make the event a part of their evening during the last night of 2011 will be in for some disappointment.
And while fans of Alistair Overeem will have some of that sting removed, fans of "The Next Big Thing" will only have their sorrow compounded.
The short answer to the headline's question? It's a no. Brock Lesnar came up short against a mountain of a man and decided that his 34-year-old body couldn't handle the stress of taking on the world's best heavyweights.
The long answer is a bit more complicated.
From the opening seconds of the round, even the most casual fight fan could tell that Overeem was more comfortable on his feet and would rather keep the bout standing. That became even more obvious when the former Strikeforce champion easily shrugged off Lesnar's takedown attempts during the first two minutes.
It was easy to see why Overeem respected his opponent's grappling chops -- being a former NCAA Division I wrestling champ earns one a bit of recognition in that regard -- and conversely, it was also easy to see why the Dutchman didn't hold Lesnar's striking in the same regard. The former champ's stand-up remained as rigid and elementary as ever and the now-number one contender to Junior Dos Santos' heavyweight title had no problem picking him apart.
The end started for the former WWE Superstar -- more on that later -- when Overeem began to relentlessly attack the body eventually landing a devastating kick to Lesnar's ribs that dug in so deep he'll likely be feeling it for weeks to come. Lesnar crumpled to the mat and could only cover his face as a barrage of punches swarmed his way.
Finally, the reigning K-1 World Grand Prix champion reached back and leveled his opponent with a thunderous body punch that left the referee with no other choice than to stop the fight. In the post-fight press conference, Dana White announced that the fighter's ribs may be broken as a result of the two minute and 26 second beating.
Following the fight, Lesnar dropped the bomb that he was retiring from mixed martial arts (MMA) after a promise he made to his wife. If he lost, he was done and he remained a man of his word. This suddenly frees up a lot of time for the former champ and while he'll assuredly spend a lot of it hunting, there could be some room made for suplexing and F5ing.
Lesnar's history with the WWE is no secret -- it's mostly why he became such an instant star in the UFC to begin with -- and it shouldn't shock anyone if his former boss, Vince McMahon, gave his old Superstar a ring in the upcoming weeks, days or even hours. Lesnar in the WWE equals money for both men, plain and simple.
He walked into the UFC four and a half years ago and made as many millions of dollars if not more. He leaves with his body still relatively intact -- that foot of colon that was removed notwithstanding -- at an age where he could still handle a light workload in the WWE, earning even more millions of dollars.
So did Brock Lesnar lose?
Somehow it doesn't seem like it to me.