twitter google

Marked Man: Which potential matchup most benefits Brock Lesnar?

After months of uncertainty and nail-biting suspense, Brock Lesnar (4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and UFC president Dana White have finally set the record straight on Lesnar’s future in the UFC. The current heavyweight champion has worked out his medical issues, will indeed return to the UFC, and eyes this summer as a potential return date.

While the exact date of Lesnar’s return remains up in the air and open for discussion, it remains quite clear who his potential opponents could be.

Throughout Lesnar’s medical debacle, the UFC had been forced to install a backup plan in the event that the heavyweight champ would be unable to return to the organization. The backup plan includes an interim heavyweight title matchup between former champ Frank Mir (13-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) and rising phenom Shane Carwin (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at UFC 111 in New Jersey.

Enter Frank Mir…

Mir initially welcomed Lesnar to the UFC in a non-title affair. The longtime UFC vet and Jiu Jitsu ace submitted Lesnar in the first round and left many doubts as to how the former WWE superstar would stack up against other top contenders.

Lesnar silenced the doubters with a dominating win over UFC heavyweight legend Randy Couture at UFC 91 to become the interim champ.

Towards the end of 2008, Lesnar gained vengeance on Mir, defeating him at UFC 100 this past July by TKO in quite the convincing fashion. The matchup, which pitted two interim title holders, ended with Lesnar becoming the UFC’s undisputed heavyweight champ. This was the last we’ve seen Lesnar in the Octagon.

Enter Shane Carwin…

Carwin quickly turned heads in the UFC with three first round stoppage victories, including one over former heavyweight title contender Gabriel Gonzaga. The three victories proved to be enough to earn Carwin a crack at Lesnar for the heavyweight title.

The title bout between Lesnar and Carwin was originally scheduled for UFC 106 this past November, but then postponed to UFC 108 at the beginning of this month due to Lesnar’s uncertain medical conditions. The bout was scratched all together when it was apparent that Lesnar would not be in any condition to fight.

Sizing up the potential matchups

Given the current players in Lesnar’s foreseeable future, we can see two possible situations coming to fruition: A rubber match goldmine with Mir, or a new test with the comparable size and strength of another former collegiate wrestler in Carwin.

Already a big draw himself, Lesnar’s rematch with Frank Mir at UFC 100 drew the second largest gate in UFC history. Surely a rubber would prove to be a goldmine for the UFC and Lesnar himself.

In a report published by MMAPayout.com, which focuses on the business side of MMA, it was shown that Lesnar topped the list of PPV revenue draws over a two year period. Mir placed in the third position, just below UFC lightweight champ B.J. Penn. Given the rubber match situation and proven track record of both fighters to earn money for the UFC, the term GOLDMINE is stamped all over this bout.

But is the money making potential really what’s best for Brock Lesnar at this point in his young MMA career?

A matchup with Carwin would bring a new challenge to the table for Lesnar. Carwin, a former NCAA Division II wrestler, brings a comparable size and strength that many feel has the ability to seriously challenge Lesnar. Randy Couture was able to bring the wrestling ability to the table, but fell short in the size and strength department. While Carwin’s wrestling experience and strength may not be at the level of Lesnar, it certainly has the potential to cause trouble for the heavyweight champ. Would it come down to wrestling ability and brute strength, or would both resort to slugging it out on the feet?

The final breakdown

From a challenge and development standpoint, it would appear that a Carwin matchup would most benefit Lesnar in the long run. On the contrary, the business and promotion capability of a rubber match with Mir shows dollar signs flowing into the bank accounts of Lesnar and the UFC.

So which potential matchup would most benefit Lesnar? No one can answer that except for Lesnar himself. Does he want further closure on his nemesis Mir, or a new challenge against an opponent who arguably poses more threats than anyone he has ever faced?

Regardless of what happens with the heavyweight title picture, Brock Lesnar has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he will always have success and fame within the UFC.

19 COMMENTS
  • retrofitting123 says:

    I think regardless of previous ppv nembers that a win over carwin would solidify his position. Either that or a win over a long time vet like NOG who people still regard as dangerous.CARWIN vs LESNAR would sell

  • MacBatty says:

    Good Article BUT…….”Lesnar silenced the doubters with a dominating win over UFC heavyweight legend Randy Couture at UFC 91 to become the interim champ.”

    Lesner was never Interim Champ….Randy was the TRUE champion and Mir was the Interim Champ.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    I think Mir vs Lesnar would benefit Brock the most. First he gets to trample Mir again with all the storylines of animosity between them. The trash talk itself would be an event. No midget-sized security at this weigh-in. The money and PPV buys would be off the charts. I’m of the opinion that if he takes on Carwin he loses the belt. In turn that makes the matchup with Mir less epic because the belt won’t be on the line.

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Carwin would provide a better overall challenge to Brock than Mir, so I agree with the article. Carwin has a very good chance to win if he keeps the fight standing and is able to stop Brock’s takedowns. Don’t know if he has the strength to do that though.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Do you think a rubber match between Mir and Lesnar would be a GOLDMINE?

  • Guthookd says:

    Considering fighting is Lesnar’s job, it follows that his goal is to make as much money as possible. With that in mind I think his best option is Mir. I think he has a 3-1 chance of winning the match.

    I don’t see a win over Nog doing much for his career. I’m sorry to say that Nog is already on the doorstep of retirement. Not to mention that in the off chance that Nog (who lost to Fedor three times) beats Lesnar, the HW belt would instantly loose stock.

    A fight with carwin would be meaningful to us hard core fans, but the fact remains that Carwin is relatively unknown, so I don’t see that win really propelling him further than a win over Mir, not to mention it’s probably the most dangerous match for Lesnar, out of these three.

    Let’s not think about Dos Santos right now. We’ll let him come in through the back door for a surprise later.

  • Dustin Zuch says:

    MacBatty: Good Article BUT…….”Lesnar silenced the doubters with a dominating win over UFC heavyweight legend Randy Couture at UFC 91 to become the interim champ.”Lesner was never Interim Champ….Randy was the TRUE champion and Mir was the Interim Champ.  

    @MacBatty…

    Lesnar and Mir were both interim champs. This was occuring during Randy’s contract disputes with the UFC. From UFC.com’s title history log:

    UFC 81, Feb 2, 2008 Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira defeats Tim Sylvia for the interim heavyweight title.
    UFC 91, November 15, 2008, Brock Lesnar defeats Randy Couture to become an interim UFC Heavyweight champion.
    UFC 92 – Dec 27, 2008, Frank Mir defeats Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira to become an interim UFC Heavyweight champion.
    UFC 100 – July 11, 2009, The two interim Heavyweight title holders, Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, fought to determine the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion and Lesnar won the title.

  • retrofitting123 says:

    Guthookd: Considering fighting is Lesnar’s job, it follows that his goal is to make as much money as possible. With that in mind I think his best option is Mir. I think he has a 3-1 chance of winning the match.I don’t see a win over Nog doing much for his career. I’m sorry to say that Nog is already on the doorstep of retirement. Not to mention that in the off chance that Nog (who lost to Fedor three times) beats Lesnar, the HW belt would instantly loose stock.A fight with carwin would be meaningful to us hard core fans, but the fact remains that Carwin is relatively unknown, so I don’t see that win really propelling him further than a win over Mir, not to mention it’s probably the most dangerous match for Lesnar, out of these three.Let’s not think about Dos Santos right now. We’ll let him come in through the back door for a surprise later.  (Quote)

    agreed about the Nog on his way out. Although alot of diehard pride ppl still think hes the man to beat.I agree that this would devalue the belt and i also feel nog wont get past CAIN as ive stated in other posts.

  • Rece Rock says:

    “…the business and promotion capability of a rubber match with Mir shows dollar signs flowing into the bank accounts of Lesnar and the UFC.”

    And that’s all that matters to those whom make the decisions so as much as we would like to think about whats good for brock… let’s face it, -it doesn’t matter.

  • Rich S. says:

    Honestly I think Mir would be the best match-up for Brock, even though, apparently, no one wants to see it..

    Although I feel that Mir has a good shot at beating Carwin, I think Carwin has a better chance against Brock, because of the sheer power in his punches..

    Also, a second win over Mir would officially prove to the world that his submission defense has come a long way and he’s a legitimate mixed martial artist..

    Mir could also be a deadly matchup for Brock, depending on how ready Brock will be come fight time..

  • chiggs says:

    no matter who he fights next, mir or carwin, lesner will eventially have to fight the loser as well. (at some point). either opponent would be a great fight, so expect to see both fights at some point

  • dpk says:

    I would personally like to see Brock fight the Cain v Nog winner next. Then he can go fight the Carwin v Mir winner after that. I am also interested in Dos Santos who is patiently waiting his turn.

  • king mah mah says:

    NO CONTEST! Brock vs Mir is his best match-up! I know some people like Carwin and everything, but lets face it. Brock vs Mir has “hardcore” AND “casual” fans alike very interested! PERIOD! It’s the best thing for ALL involved.

  • king mah mah says:

    @staff- YES I’M SHOUTING WITH THE CAPS!! LOL

  • edub says:

    Dustin Zuch: @MacBatty… Brock Lesnar defeats Randy Couture to become an interim UFC Heavyweight champion.  (Quote)

    Yea thats completely wrong. Somebody correct this guy

  • king mah mah says:

    Yeah thumbs it down bitches!! I want a minimum of 200 thumbs down!! DO IT!!

  • newyorkmcgee says:

    retrofitting123: I think regardless of previous ppv nembers that a win over carwin would solidify his position. Either that or a win over a long time vet like NOG who people still regard as dangerous.CARWIN vs LESNAR would sell  

    Lesnar vs. anyone would sell…
    Lesnar vs. Mir III shatters buy rate records…

    especially with the trash talk build up on the new UFC primetime show.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    as much as i want to see Carwin take his belt home one day the fact is the Mir vs Lesnar will do crazy numbers. I agree with Brock vs the winner of Cain/Nog first
    either way Brock will end up fighting both of them at some point.
    Go Carwin.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Lesnar v. Mir III is likely to be a big draw for ppv, but why go straight to the big fight? Capitalize on the drama (assuming there is some) of Lesnar’s return with a fight against somebody else like Carwin. Once Lesnar’s got his momentum back, then throw him in with Mir, who will continue to talk and talk and thereby hype the match. If Lesnar doesn’t beat Carwin, you could still have the fight between Mir and Lesnar and promote it as a grudge match.

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.