JR weighs in heavy on Brock Lesner

200px-jim_ross_no_mercy_2007.jpgJR came out strong last Sunday to speak on some MMA fan’s reaction to Brock Lesner win over Randy Couture. Here’s some excerpts:

Former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar won the UFC Heavyweight Title Saturday night in Las Vegas with a 2nd round TKO over UFC legend Randy Couture. Perhaps now MMA purists will acknowledge Lesnar’s athletic abilities and not hold his tenure in the entertainment world of the WWE against him. But somehow I doubt it….at least not for now.

The pro wrestling bias has never been more prominently displayed than by what I perceive to be a vocal minority of MMA fans against Lesnar simply because he signed with the WWE after an outstanding amateur wrestling career that was topped off by winning a NCAA Heavyweight Title in 2000 after finishing 2nd in the NCAA’s in 1999 while wrestling for the University of Minnesota.

When the NFL did not work out, Brock turned back to his long time roots and parlayed his grappling skills and amazing athletic gifts by signing with the UFC. Lesnar’s name identity that he developed globally with the WWE made Brock marketable from day one but it also came with a pre-conditioned identity. Lesnar was a former pro wrestler and that stigma made the South Dakota farm boy a marked man from day one by many UFC fans.

UFC promoters discovered what many successful pro wrestling promoters had known for years and that is their fan base would pay big money to see someone get their ass beat if that individual represented what the majority of the fan base disliked which could come in a variety of incarnations. In the annals of pro wrestling, that could mean an evil “German”, a diabolical “Japanese”, a menacing “Masked Man”, or a flamboyant “Loud Mouth” among many personas.

Lesnar was none of these but he did have the “distasteful” pro wrestling stigma attached to him that will be a part of his UFC bio until the day he retires. Never mind that the guy was a superb amateur wrestler long before his short albeit successful stint in the WWE. “Dammit the guy was one of those pro ‘rasslers and those guys have no business in any form of MMA.” Wrong.

Simply being billed as a former WWE Champion was enough to make some MMA fans “hate” the 6’3″-275 pounder from day one. By the boos I heard Saturday night on PPV, many UFC hardcore’s still despise Lesnar and perhaps even more so now that Lesnar is “their” heavyweight champion and more specifically because Brock defeated “Captain America”, the beloved, and deservedly respected, Randy Couture in such a dominating, no questions asked fashion. BTW Couture is a class act and a credit to the UFC. Hopefully, Couture will go down in weight and continue to fight as one can’t help but love his passion and warrior spirit.

However, now the UFC can promote Lesnar vs. virtually any qualified, MMA born and bred heavyweight they choose and the fans will be on board in the hopes of seeing Brock humbled and, more pointedly, beaten to a pulp.

The same pro wrestling methodology that has been around for decades is now exactly what MMA hardcore fans are buying into.

Remember, eat more BBQ.

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