Brutal and boring
No matter how much ESPN pimps Brock Lesnar, it cannot make UFC any less dumb
Brock Lesnar won his super heavyweight comeback fight at UFC 116 this weekend, which probably thrills you if you enjoy kicking puppies.
Really, that remains the audience for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which combines the worst of boxing's bloodthirst with professional wrestling's staged preening and adds some boring mat gyration, grappling in for good measure.
It doesn't matter how much ESPN tries to push Lesnar on America — and did the masters of sports over-promotion ever try on this holiday Monday, putting Lesnar on SportsCenter for an exclusive interview and seemingly every other network platform — ultimate fighting is destined to remain the domain of yahoos with money to burn on overpriced pay-per-view cards. It's still a very niche market, no matter how much UFC president Dana White tries to insist otherwise.
More sports outlets are covering UFC than ever before because it's the new overblown craze — just like hundreds of papers beefed up their NASCAR coverage years ago, only to quietly scale back more and more as stock car racing's ratings continue to sink. That is UFC's future as well.
Lesnar didn't revolutionize mixed martial arts by making a big-man bout interesting. He just showed that America will embrace any dumb event for a while, if it's marketed the right way. Lesnar, a former professional wrestler (enough said?), is probably laughing as hard as anyone at the successful smoke job.