At UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2, MMA sports reporter Ariel Helwani made it known that Brock Lesnar was participating in a fight at the upcoming premier event, UFC 200: Cormier vs. Jones 2. Such an announcement was monumental, but any credence on its authenticity was questioned after UFC banned Helwani from reporting at live UFC events for life. Apparently, UFC confirmed that Lesnar would indeed participate at UFC 200. Ergo, Helwani’s lifetime ban was probably initiated more out of the fact that a source outside of UFC made the announcement of Lesnar’s special appearance and not them. Eventually, UFC lifted Ariel Helwani’s lifetime ban because, to be honest, it was unfair.
Snafu aside, the big news of Brock Lesnar, someone who is contractually signed to the WWE, fighting at UFC 200: Cormier vs. Jones has caused quite a storm among the MMA community. Eventually, we found out that Lesnar’s opponent will be Mark Hunt. Needless to say, it will be very interesting to see how Lesnar, who’s health is now optimal and free of diverticulitis, will fare against Hunt who is known for his one-punch knockout power. Yet, one must ask if it is overkill.
For starters, there are three titles up for grabs at UFC 200: Cormier vs. Jones 2. Along with the main event fight in which Daniel Cormier will defend his title against Jon Jones (who technically never lost the title in the first place), new UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate will have her first defense against Amanda Nunes. Also, José Aldo will fight Frankie Edgar for the UFC Interim Featherweight Championship, most likely initiated due to Conor McGregor, the UFC Featherweight Champion, being at a higher weight class, most likely welterweight, for his rematch against Nate Diaz.
Let’s not forget the other big names on the card, too. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez will fight Travis Browne, possibly for the number one contendership against whoever wins when current UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic defends his title against Alistair Overeem at UFC 203: Miocic vs. Overeem. Cat Zingano will make her return to UFC (and MMA), after her loss against Ronda Rousey back in early 2015, against Julianna Peña. Also on the card are Johny Hendricks, Kelvin Gastelum, T.J. Dillashaw, and Sage Northcutt.
With so many big names on the main card, in which three of the fights are for titles, throwing in Brock Lesnar does indeed seem like overkill. The only reason anyone can think of for why he is at UFC 200: Cormier vs. Jones is because of the hype the event is getting. Also, Lesnar being at UFC 200 is hype on its own because he, along with Jon Jones and Jim Miller, will be the only fighters at the event who fought at UFC 100.
Let’s just hope that when Brock Lesnar fights Mark Hunt, he can actually deliver a performance that lives up to the hype. For those who do not remember, Lesnar lost his last two fights in the UFC, the first when he lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship to Cain Velasquez and the second when he lost to Alistair Overeem (pictured above). Lesnar’s last fight took place late 2011, so he has over four years of MMA ring rust to deal with.
To be fair though, Brock Lesnar hasn’t just been sitting around those four years. He does perform on a part-time basis in the WWE. Even though it is on-the-fly staged entertainment, it is still taxing on one’s body. As a matter of fact, UFC legend Ken Shamrock claimed working in the WWE is tougher than UFC, as reported by Sportsgrid. The same goes with MMA fighter Bobby Lashley, as reported by Yahoo! Sports. And as mentioned before, Lesnar is now diverticulitis free per se which begs the following thought: if Lesnar was dangerous in UFC while sick, imagine how he would be at optimum health.
UFC 200: Cormier vs. Jones 2 will take place on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is only available to watch on pay-per-view for $50 in standard definition and $60 in high definition or at certain local venues (Hooters, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc.).
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