Brock Lesnar: Former Heavyweight Champ Coaching On TUF
Brock Lesnar, the biggest pay-per-view draw in UFC today, will make his debut as a coach on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. He will be coaching one group of welterweight fighters when the show premieres on Spike TV March 30.
The coach on the other side will be Junior dos Santos.
This will lead to a fight between Lesnar and dos Santos, right now tentatively scheduled to take place at UFC 131 on June 11 in Vancouver. It will be for the interim heavyweight championship. The winner of that fight will get a fight against current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, presumably near the end of the year.
So why did Brock, who is traditionally one of the most private athletes in the world, decide to accept a coaching position on the show?
As most people are well aware, Lesnar wanted to do a program with his previous employer, World Wrestling Entertainment, at their annual Wrestlemania show in March. Dana White wouldn't let him do that, and Lesnar was left without a plan.
It was thought that Lesnar would try to strike a deal with White that would allow him to do Wrestlemania if he coached on The Ultimate Fighter. That's not what happened here.
Instead, Lesnar will get a fight against dos Santos for the interim heavyweight title, with the winner getting a guaranteed shot at Velasquez.
The only way to get Lesnar back in the octagon was to give him a championship fight. Since dos Santos was the No.1 contender and Velasquez is unable to compete due to a torn rotator cuff he suffered in the fight against Lesnar, White made this fight for the interim title.
It's an interesting fight for Lesnar to take on, because Velasquez exposed his biggest weaknesses, and dos Santos can do a lot of things that Velasquez can do in a stand up fight.
There were a number of fights that were being talked about for Lesnar. The most popular choice seemed to be a third fight with Frank Mir. But Mir was given a fight with Roy Nelson at UFC 130, so that was off the table, unless the company wanted to keep Lesnar of PPV for at least 12 months.
After it was announced that Velasquez was going to need surgery and miss at least six to eight months, things started to take shape.
Dos Santos wasn't going to wait for Velasquez to get back from injury to fight again because it would have been at least a 13 month layoff between fights.
Lesnar needed an opponent with all the other viable heavyweights being put into fights. This became the most logical choice for both men.
This way, both men have a lot to gain in a fight, and there is a lot to be lost.
This will undoubtedly be one of, if not the, highest rated seasons of TUF on Spike TV.
But can Lesnar be a good MMA coach?
We will find out the answers to that question and many more when the show starts up on Spike at the end of March.
Update: The Wrestling Observer is reporting that this fight is NOT for an interim title. It will determine the No.1 contender for Cain Velasquez when he gets healthy.