So it’s official: horse meat > beef jerky. (Photo: UFC.com)
There was a time when the UFC had trouble drumming up any interest at all in their heavyweight division—can you say ‘Arlovski vs. Buentello for the title!!!’?—but those days are long gone. One could point to the growth of the sport attracting big men from other sports, or credit training camps for churning out well-rounded fighters, but much of the interest in the revitalized division has been carried by the broad, skull-tatted shoulders of one man.
Brock Lesnar’s 2008 debut in the Octagon brought interest, intrigue, and—most importantly—eyeballs. Lots of them. Speculation over whether the big man could survive against a real fighter was rampant, but before long we were asking if anyone could survive in a real fight against him. He quickly smashed his way to the top of the 265 lb. heap, but his skid down that mountain was just as fast. Following two brutal, first-round losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, Brock is ready to hang up the gloves. Looking back at his brief career, if it is truly over, one thing becomes painfully clear: Brock Lesnar doesn’t love fighting; Brock Lesnar loves beating people up. While those two interests often intertwine, they quickly diverge when you start getting tagged. For all of the debates over Brock’s questionable chin and concerns for vegetable-rejecting body, the real downfall of his MMA career was his heart. He doesn’t love this fighting game, and MMA is a cruel mistress. If you can’t fully commit to her, you can expect to find a pile of shredded “Clutch Gear” shirts on the doorstep when you get home from the bar. Brock seems to have gotten that message and is packing his things and moving on with his life.