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Making the Case for Lesnar vs. Coleman: Part II

My next rant regarding the amount of negativity expressed about the announcement of an August fight between Brock Lesnar and Mark Coleman is directed at all the message forum posts I’ve read that state fights like Kimbo Slice vs. Tank Abbott or Lesnar vs. Coleman shouldn’t happen because they are “circus sideshow” matches. What some people call a sideshow, I refer to as a “special attraction.” All that matters at the end of the day when making a fight is whether or not people have an interest in watching it. People are going to be interested in Lesnar vs. Coleman. Perhaps not everyone will be interested, but a lot will be.

And since when is a special attraction match a dirty thing? We watch MMA because we enjoy it. It’s supposed to be fun. Slice vs. Abbott had no top ten heavyweight implications, but it was fun. I think Coleman vs. Lesnar will be a fun fight. There’s a lot of uptight people on the Internet that have me questioning why they even watch MMA because it seems to me that they don’t really enjoy it.

Look, I will sound like a Neanderthal, but I enjoy watching people beat each other up. I have since I was a young kid. I don’t know why and I’m certainly not proud of it, but I just enjoy watching good fights. And don’t tell me that sounds bad because if you don’t feel the same way, then why are you wasting your time reading a site that’s dedicated to covering sanctioned violence!?


  • I think fans certainly enjoy fights without top 10 implications. Whether it’s John Koppenhaver v. Jared Rollins or Jesse Forbes v. Chris Camozzi, a great fight transcends titles, rankings, and even organizations.

    But can you really say the Kimbo v. Tank fight was “fun?” Sure, the buildup was great, and Kimbo’s personality is a huge draw, but the fight was anti-climactic and a foregone conclusion. I have no problem with Kimbo being brought along slowly, but eventually I would love to see Kimbo in a fight I actually enjoy, and want to watch again.

    Hopefully, Coleman will make the Lesnar fight fun. It doesn’t have to be an epic, three round war. The Mir v. Lesnar fight was incredibly thrilling albeit 90 seconds. As excited as you were about Royce Gracie’s return to the octagon, how did you feel during the match when it was apparent he was outgunned? I like the violence of an evenly matched fight, but I feel uncomfortable watching one fighter dominate an opponent who doesn’t want to be in the cage/ring (whether it’s Bo Cantrell, Bob Sapp, or Tank).

    I’m just worried that “special attraction” fights will place too much emphasis on personality and public interest and not enough on whether the fight itself will deliver for fans. And for those of us without Showtime, Kimbo might as well be PPV. I can’t part with a subscription fee on the off chance Kimbo puts on an amazing fight one of these days.

  • bubbafat says:

    Anderson Silva challenges any 185 boxing champ to a boxing match, to display the technical expertise of an MMA fighter, AND talks about possibly moving down to 170 in his UFC post fight interview. I wouldn’t mind seeing either or both. Even if he loses to a boxing champ, if he looks good, it only brings MMA credibility. As for St. Pierre, I almost feel guilty for wanting to see it. Almost.

  • egad81 says:

    I was in the chat room during UFC 82 and there were a few people in there I like to call MMA snobs.
    I bet most of the snobs have never been punched in the face or choked out. I can say… I have more then a few times.
    I love fighting and would watch to old ladies fight over the last bag of prunes at the super market if it was promoted right.

    thats just my bag of pennies

  • jj says:

    Well put.

    These are exciting fights and while they may not involve the top 10 guys, but sometimes their wrecklessness is what makes it exciting.

    If anyone understands the art of the super-fight its the Japanese. They have the most exciting matchups. Prid had a few fantastic David vs. Goliath matchups. Something that American MMA has left behind with it’s obsession over a half of pound weight difference. In the end it doesn’t always matter who weighs what.

    Super fights are great for their sheer entertainment value and after all isn’t what this is all about?

  • Brett Jones says:

    “There’s a lot of uptight people on the Internet that have me questioning why they even watch MMA because it seems to me that they don’t really enjoy it.”

    I’m in awe of how succinctly you addressed an overwhelming issue amongst the so-called MMA fanbase. Obviously, I could not agree more with you. Well said, sir!

  • maremagnum says:

    I agree, Sam. That’s why I believe it’s also snobbish for people to criticize Emelianenko for his “special attraction” fight against Choi.

  • bjjdenver says:

    I think there is far to much emphasis put on top ten fights. Not that it isn’t good to see 2 guys in any top 10 get it on, but there also a place for will be’s and once were’s.

    Putting Lesner against an established, hungry HW like Mir was a bad idea. I know they are paying Brock a lot, but people would have just as easily paid to see him fight someone a little less dangerous. Let him get some experience and work his way up. They didn’t put Nate Diaz against Sherk or Penn and he has far more mma experience than Brock.

    As for Coleman, he can still fight and makes for a great gatekeeper. He will never wear the belt again, but that doesn’t mean he can’t entertain and doesn’t have a place. I was pretty excited when they announced this fight and I am picking Coleman by GnP (of course).

    If Brock loses this, and there is a good chance he will, he will be 0-2 in the UFC and wrasslin’ fans may lose some interest in his mma career.

    To me this is in no way a circus match and Sam has no need to justify his viewpoint.

  • bjjdenver says:

    And, as for comparing it to Kimbo/Tank…

    I was completely against that fight. Not because of Kimbo, but because Tank had nothing to offer and was finished as a relevant fighter or just about anything inside the cage. I want to see Kimbo face ken or Buentello or the like.

    Tank=nothing left, out of shape and should be running a toughman contest or commentating somewhere.

    Coleman=Aging, but still dangerous and in tremendous shape. Has been competing a high level (Pride) until recently.

  • Hey Sam.

    People are making fun of this fight because they expect a top level organization like the UFC to be matching up the best fighters in competitive fights. However this fight is clearly an attempt to find a beatable opponent to pamper a very expensive UFC prospect (Lesner) and build him up. They could have matched him up against a nobody but that would have been too transparent.. so they get someone who has a name but should be retired and get a fight that is promotable because Coleman is Coleman. Hell why not get Ken Shamrock or maybe Royce Gracie. (I know not the same division, i’m just trying to make a point)

    It’s kind of a way of pulling the wool over people’s eyes and people are recognizing that and that is why they are reacting. We pay for the product and we have a right to say when we think its shitty. And hey, we’ll all still be watching the fight anyway.

    If you really believe that Lesnar is what they’ve been promoting him as, IE the next big thing in the heavyweight devision then you believe he should be facing top UFC talent. He wasn’t supposed to lose to Mir but Mir still seems to have some life left in him, heh heh. So that didn’t work and they have to dig a bit deeper to find someone he can beat that SEEMS like a significant win. Got to keep that investment afloat. I don’t blame Coleman for taking the fight.. the money is so much better now than in his day and that is an injustice to those who pioneered things. Look, I’ll be watching the fight. Maybe Coleman will do ok.. that will just show the world that Lesnar is a bust. He was not brought in because he can fight but because he has fans. There are a lot of great fighters who are doing it for peanuts in the smaller promotions who will not get that chance.

    Overall this is not a quality fight between top fighters.. that is not why you watch.. meaning they are trying to get us to watch because of the oddity of it. It’s promotable.. but not for the merits of the fighters. It IS a freakshow. It’s a Kimbo-Tank for sure.

    Personally I think it dilutes the UFC brand which is supposed to be about the best fighters and the best match-ups and is a mistake for them. But hey…life goes on.

  • mofsteel says:

    I agree about the uptight people because all they do is complain about matchmaking and they need to just watch and enjoy the wonderful sport of mma.

  • ps I’d rather see Lesner vs Arlovski… Doesn’t that sound like a lot more fun??

  • Big Butch says:

    I am so much of an MMA fan that I start mentally getting involved in the business side of things. Hell, I am a career bouncer and bar manager who happened to see a replay of a Pride show about 5 or 6 years ago and became completely hooked on the sport and all organizations. I know it isn’t my place to worry about the business…I don’t get paid for it and I should just be happy that the sport has taken off the way it has. However, when I see something that looks like it could be detrimental not only to the sport but to the fighter I want to succeed in Lesnar, it bothers me to no end.

    Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE seeing a good fight, and I could care less if it has title or ranking implications. I watched Kimbo/Tank, War Machine/Rollins, Lesnar/Mir, and countless other fights and I was very entertained. With Spike, HDNet, Fox Sports, and other syndicated shows on various other networks, I have the luxury of watching what seems like an unlimited amount of MMA every week. I can’t help but feel like I am involved when I see any organization make fights that either hinder MMA as a whole or slow down the progression of a fighter. Do I think Lesnar/Coleman will be a good fight? I think so…I hope so. I just don’t see how fighting someone who has been out of the ring/cage for nearly two years (at the time of the fight) can be beneficial in Brock Lesnar’s progression in MMA.

  • Jay K. says:


    Your statement of “Look, I will sound like a Neanderthal, but I enjoy watching people beat each other up. I have since I was a young kid. I don’t know why and I’m certainly not proud of it, but I just enjoy watching good fights.”

    has me wondering why??

    I DO enjoy sanctioned violence, haven’t ever apologized for my bloodlust and support it by purchasing the PPVs. It’s the lopsided squash matches that I usually don’t enjoy. The reason is that these fights are almost over very quick and the outcome is usually one seen more than a mile away. I’ll take a technical fight anyday over a “One and Done.”

    Call the Lesnar fight a first round TKO by strikes for Lesnar unless the Mazzastache seeking revenge for it’s owner hops the fence of the octagon and slays both men. :)

    Jay K.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Jay, I’m not sure I understand your question.

  • Thomas says:

    Sam, you are the man! I gotta agree with you man, people get in an uproar over these fights but we’re all there to see a good fight. I enjoy watching people fight as well that’s why I love this sport. Any fight with an athlete the caliber of Brock Lesnar I want to see just as much as I looked forward to seeing Tank and Kimbo slug it out. Anyone too uptight to enjoy those types of fights need to just shut the phukkup.


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