When a box office superstar leaves Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), there always seems to be a worthy replacement ready to fill the void. Over the last couple of years, however, the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has seen an exodus of big-time money makers exit the sport.
Conor McGregor has been too busy boxing and hasn’t defended his Lightweight title in over a year. Ronda Rousey is unlikely to return after getting knocked out for the second straight time. Jon Jones pissed hot again and may never fight again, while Georges St-Pierre recently walked away from the sport, yet again, after one of the shortest title reigns in the history of the sport.
That’s why former WWE commentator Jim Ross told Submission Radio (via Bloody Elbow) fight fans are hoping Brock Lesnar -- another money-making monster — makes one more return to the eight-walled cage.
“MMA fans jones about Lesnar being gone because the MMA, in general, is lacking superstars, they’re lacking box office attractions. They’re no different than any pro wrestling promotion in the world, their job is to create superstars that people demand to see more of. And right now, of course with the fighting as it is, you’re lucky to have three fights a year if you stay healthy, and there are no major stars that are early 20’s, young guys who are like the next big thing. Everybody’s got an opinion, but the MMA world in general, the reason people are jonesing for Lesnar is because they’ve got nobody better to cheer for right now. That’s why they wanted Georges St-Pierre back, that’s why they want Cain Velasquez back in the ring, they want Conor McGregor to fight again. We’re not missing any new names here. I’m mentioning all these dudes that have got some mileage and track records.”
Of course, Brock’s latest comeback didn’t go too well for “The Beast Incarnate.” Sure, he defeated Mark Hunt at UFC 200, but he was then popped for steroids, which led to a suspension and beef between Hunt and UFC. Plus, Dana White went on record saying WWE is unlikely let him borrow Lesnar for another “one off.”
But with all of the other big stars currently on hiatus, voluntarily or forced, Lesnar could be the mega star UFC needs at the moment.
If not, then perhaps this guy can be the savior? Or, dare I say, this pugilist?