Fans all know by now that WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar will compete at the UFC 200 event. Lesnar confirmed the news on ESPN’s SportsCenter broadcast this morning that he will fight Mark Hunt, a known striker who has won his last two fights by knockout. He currently sits as the number eight ranked heavyweight in the world. Obviously, the event will be huge and everyone knows that Lesnar’s presence will translate into more buys for the event, despite an already stacked card.
What is so interesting about all of this is that Brock Lesnar is still under contract with the WWE. The company confirmed after UFC announced Lesnar’s return to the octagon that he will be working the WWE SummerSlam event in Brooklyn, New York. This is a pretty big deal, and WWE most likely will see their event promoted during UFC 200 next month. Lesnar’s presence on both shows will be great, but he may have some difficulty in making it to SummerSlam depending on the outcome of his fight with Hunt.
The New York State Athletic Commission claimed today, via The LAW podcast, that Lesnar will have to be cleared before he can be allowed to work the major WWE event. Laz Benitez, a rep for the NYSAC delivered the following statement.
“Potential participation by Mr. Lesnar in an August WWE event would depend on his medical fitness and physical condition at the time of the professional wrestling show. No person is allowed to participate in a professional wrestling exhibition in New York State until he or she is cleared as medically fit to do so by a New York State licensed physician.”
This may not seem like a big deal to people, as WWE is scripted entertainment and not an actual sports competition like MMA. However, the NYSAC does oversee wrestling in their state the same way they do with MMA and other sports. That means that WWE could be at a risk when it comes to Brock Lesnar. We all know now that he’s supposed to work two major events in a row, but if he gets hurt in the first event, he will need to get cleared to return to action.
In MMA, a lot of people get “medically suspended” after they fight. Most fighters don’t compete for months at a time, so it is never a big deal when they get removed from being able to compete, as they weren’t going to do so anyway. However, Brock Lesnar is a pro-wrestler on top of being a fighter again. He is scheduled to work two events in a row, and if getting cleared by the NYSAC becomes a problem for Lesnar, WWE could be furious.
The commission claimed that they would have to see Lesnar and evaluate him. That means WWE doctors cannot just rush a check and get him out to work the show. This means that Lesnar must avoid getting hurt in a major way in his fight with Mark Hunt. That is easier said than done, especially for someone just getting back in the octagon after four years of time away from the sport of MMA. Hunt has remained in the sport for years and has been a consistent fighter, meaning a win over him is by no means an easy thing.
Let’s pretend that Lesnar loses by K.O. The moment he does, he will be evaluated for a concussion and would only have a little over a month to recover from it. While concussion healing can happen in that amount of time, it is by no means a given. While many believe Brock Lesnar will win his fight against Hunt, that cannot be known. Due to the fact that Hunt is a striker that does have K.O. power, Lesnar is at a big risk.
MMA is much safer than other sports, interestingly. However, possible concussions and other injuries are part of the job. The NYSAC could become a huge thorn in the side of the WWE if Brock Lesnar is not “medically cleared” to work a scripted match at WWE’s second biggest event of the year. We’ll have to see what happens in the fight to know if this will even be an issue.
[Image via WWE]