For five years, Brock Lesnar has been getting paid more money than most of us will ever see in our entire lifetimes. From his days F5ing sharks in the WWE to now, he has always gotten paid handsomely for his athletic endeavors.
And while some deal with the sudden onslaught of cash in the most absurd of ways -- Soulja Boy, my finger is pointed directly at you -- it always seemed that once Lesnar bought his house in the woods of Minnesota and stocked it full of Coors Light, hunting rifles, and ATVs, he would be set.
What else would a man of simple means and tastes need beyond that?
In his mid-30s and having already amassed a small fortune that would make Warren Buffett blush, there's really no need for the former WWE superstar to continue putting his body on the line.
Except every time Lesnar should logically hang up his gloves, he doesn't. He's an athlete, a competitor, he's a damn hoss.
And at the end of the year, he is being sacrificed by the UFC to the throne that is Alistair Overeem.
Faster than you can eat a horse...
Ever since his first brush with diverticulitis, mixed martial arts (MMA) "insiders" have been hearing from their "sources" that retirement was all but banging on Lesnar's door. But he survived that scare and Canadian health care and took out Shane Carwin in a fight for the ages.
He outlasted the bombs attached to Carwin's wrists that he passes off for hands in the first round to earn a surprising submission victory in the second.
So if a debiltating digestive ailment wasn't enough to keep Lesnar out of the Octagon, it had to be something else. "Oh, look at the way he reacted when Carwin tagged him," pundits all but screamed from their keyboards. "He doesn't like getting hit!"
You know who likes getting hit? Guys who slur their words and need help walking when they're only 45-years old.
That train of thought only became more pronounced when Lesnar was thrashed by Cain Velasquez last October. Lesnar took a shot from the one and only fighter to legitimately knock out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -- a man who survived getting hit by a truck -- and crumbled.
But that's fair, right? Getting beaten by someone who has been lauded as the future of the division for a while now is fine, right? No, apparently.
After the loss to Velasquez, Lesnar's "heart" was once again brought into question. He has a history of quitting when things became tough, we were told. The WWE, the NFL, he's a quitter.
Ahem, allow me to retort.
The WWE: All in all, he spent around four years with Vince McMahon's traveling circus. He hated it. He hated the travel, he hated the toll it took on his body, he flat out hated it. So he quit. I may not be a history professor, but I would find it hard to believe that this is the first documented case of someone quitting a job he or she hated.
The NFL: Hating the travel intensive schedule the WWE demanded, he decided to try out for the Minnesota Vikings, the NFL team in his backyard. He nearly made the cut and impressed the higher ups in Minneapolis enough that they recommended he spend a few years in NFL Europe, sharpening up his tools before giving it another go with the big dogs.
He balked and walked away. I wonder why a guy who hated being away from home for so long would scoff at the idea of moving halfway across the world?
The UFC: Oh wait! Despite what most pundits have said, Lesnar has not quit the UFC.
He lost his first fight against Frank Mir, he came back. He came down with an illness that very well could have killed him, he came back. He suffered a brutal technical knockout (TKO), he was ready to come back until diverticulitis reared its ugly head again and forced nearly a foot of his colon to be cut out of his belly.
And when people said he wouldn't come back after that surgery? Here he is, signing a contract against the most dangerous striker in the heavyweight division. Lesnar was supposed to be afraid of Junior dos Santos' striking but yet he's agreed to take on the defending K-1 World Grand Prix champion.
But the UFC isn't booking this match simply because it's near the top of everyone's "dream match" list. It also fears that the gas might be running out of Lesnar's tank. Yes, the former champ is absolutely one hell of a competitor, but the wear and tear of his athletic career will catch up to him eventually.
It does everyone.
The promotion can't afford (literally) to throw Lesnar into a tune-up fight. It needs him -- as a former champ with a paycheck his size -- fighting in main event-caliber fights. So if the UFC only has so much time left with the big lug, it might as well use him to make their next big lug -- Overeem --- look good.
But Lesnar didn't sign on for this fight for the paycheck, guaranteed. He is a beast of a man, spending his entire life taking on challenges that people say he should have no business taking.
Alistair Overeem is just the latest one.