The UFC made huge news over the weekend with the announcement of the return of Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 on July 9. Lesnar, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, will be facing Mark Hunt at the marquee event, but how will that affect his current gig with the WWE? Busted Open Radio had former WWE personality and current ESPN anchor Jonathan Coachman on Tuesday’s broadcast to break down the pros and cons of Lesnar’s return to the octagon.
Lesnar’s mixed martial arts career was cut short after multiple bouts with diverticulitis, a digestive disease, and retired from the UFC in 2011. He then returned to the WWE and once again became sports entertainment’s biggest star. In a statement, the WWE said Lesnar’s appearance at UFC 200 is a one-off deal and he will be competing at the SummerSlam pay-per-view in August. But if he suffers a loss to Hunt, how will that affect the WWE’s ability to book him as this unstoppable juggernaut?
“Brock Lesnar truly is different than the rest of us, he’s made different than the rest of us. In real life he is The Beast, and in the WWE I think they’ve done a phenomenal job of reincarnating him after what we saw at the end of his UFC career,” Coachman said. “But if he gets beaten down by Mark Hunt at UFC 200, in front of probably the biggest pay-er-view audience the UFC has ever had, then how do you go back to the WWE and say, ‘He’s The Beast!’? There’s a lot on the line.”
Mark Hunt is no slouch, far from it. He’s a former kickboxing champion and top contender for the UFC heavyweight title. The “Super Samoan” is also known for his walk-off knockouts, knocking his opponents down and walking away before the referee officially stops the fight. Hunt has scary power in both hands; if he’s able to connect with a punch, in all likelihood you’re going to sleep. Coachman applaud’s Lesnar’s choice to test the waters in the UFC against a tough opponent.
“This is a chance for him, at a level that none of us can comprehend and will never be at physically or financially either, and so I respect him for that, that’s he’s willing to take a chance and say, ‘Let me see what I’ve got.’ I respect that,” he said.
Coachman believes the prospect of winning the fight greatly intrigues the WWE and outweighs any fear of him losing credibility if he suffers a loss. Vince McMahon is likely salivating at the opportunity to bill Lesnar as a two-sport superstar who can dominate both in the ring and in the octagon.
“Vince feels like he’s the all-knowing and the Godfather, which in my world he is, you’re never gonna find somebody who respects Vince more than I do. He could at this and say, ‘Listen, we can increase the legacy of Brock Lesnar,'” Coachman said. “Think about this: he comes back and beats Mark Hunt, feels pretty good, wins a couple more. Wait a second, are you fighting now in the WWE at the same time when you’re fighting as the world heavyweight champion in the UFC? Think about that for a second, how crazy would that be if you’re able to pull that off? Crazier things have happened. It’s absolutely a possibility.”
Busted Open Radio airs Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 2-4 pm ET on SiriusXM Rush.
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