With UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar’s announcement that he will be returning to the Octagon after a “miracle” recovery, the landscape of the UFC’s heavyweight division has once again changed.
The impact of Lesnar’s return cannot be measured just by how many fights he’ll win or how many pay-per-view buys his events will garner.
How many UFC fighters do you think that ESPN will allow to make an announcement during a live broadcast of “SportsCenter”?
Chuck Liddell was once there but his time has come and gone and now it’s Lesnar’s turn to carry the UFC’s torch and usher in a new decade for the fastest growing sport in the world.
There are a lot of big name fighters in MMA but none carry as much weight as Lesnar currently does. Maybe Fedor or Anderson Silva because of their star power overseas, but Lesnar is the face of MMA whether he likes it or not.
Without Lesnar, the UFC’s heavyweight division lacked a dominant fighter to hang its hat on. Lightweight has BJ Penn, welterweight has Georges St-Pierre, middleweight has Anderson Silva and light heavyweight has Lyoto Machida.
Now there are plenty of interesting match-ups awaiting the champion. He’ll fight the winner of Shane Carwin vs. Frank Mir and then there’s the potential for a Lesnar vs. Nogueira/Velasquez heavyweight bout down the line.
Of course, there’s always the remote possibility of a superfight with Fedor Emelianenko.
Hey, one can hope.