As we roll towards UFC 80, the hype machine is already revving for UFC 81. I, however, still have the burr of Sokoudjou’s hype rammed up my ass and am going to proceed with caution. My particular focus is on the building hype surrounding Brock Lesnar, the former college wrestling champ, WWE champ, NFL shit-causer, Japan pro wrestling star and now undefeated MMA fighter (1-0). It was announced at UFC 77 that Lesnar had signed with the UFC, so we knew it was just a matter of time before we started hearing the hype drums in the distance. He faces off against Frank Mir on February 2nd in Las Vegas.
Lesnar’s story might be an interesting one, but only because he’s earned a reputation for pissing in the face of success. I’m not convinced he’s going to be a force in the UFC, but if he does pull his shit together and starts making waves, I wouldn’t be surprised if he bolted like he always does. However, if he does become a huge UFC force, I will erase this post and replace it with one where I predict Lesnar will be the next UFC king. That’s how I roll.
Let’s glance at our most recent hype example. The bad taste of The African Assassin’s loss has been particularly rank for bettors. Some of the lines had Sokoudjou and Machida almost even at UFC 79 with some giving the edge to Machida. Yet most sites like this one still suggested betting Sokoudjou. Message boards around the MMA world threw more fuel on the hype fire and by the afternoon of the 28th, it was being reported by BloodyElbow that wages were being placed overwhelmingly on Sokoudjou. Not that the Assassin didn’t have a shot. He had impressive KO’s in PRIDE, is a ball of muscle and those dreds look badass. But this is the UFC and Machida has been winning in Dana World already. He’s a counter strike specialist and his ground game is one of the best (notice BloodyElbow saw past the Sokoudjou bullshit).
Did we – and bettors – pay attention to this? We’d like to say yes, but the hype monster is too fucking strong sometimes and we don’t realize it until we see the guy we bet (Sokoudjou) on his back for most of the fight looking like a turtle flipped on his shell. I don’t blame us. We just want to be there when the next dominating fighter bursts on the scene — is that so wrong? So when you feel the urge to throw down your life’s savings on Brock Lesnar just because something inside is telling you to, that’s not intuition. It’s Dana White’s hype machine.Note: We should mention that one of Lesnar’s nicknames is “The Next Big Thing”. Subtle.