When the WWE allowed Brock Lesnar to go back to the UFC to fight one more fight, it took a lot of people by surprise. The WWE and UFC have never shared a casual relationship, with UFC President Dana White openly talking down about the WWE and scripted matches. However, the two agreed to have former UFC and WWE champion Brock Lesnar head back for UFC 200 and one more match.
However, the uneasy relationship between the two sides makes something Stephanie McMahon said recently make a little sense. When asked about the WWE supporting Lesnar in his return to the UFC, Wrestle Zone reported that McMahon bluntly said that the WWE does not support the move by Brock and isn’t necessarily supporting his return to the UFC at all.
McMahon had some interesting reasoning for the WWE not being excited about Brock Lesnar fighting again. This is because of the fact that the UFC has a dangerous quality because anyone can win. Looking at Ronda Rousey, it is clear that a loss can really damage the reputation of the fighter, and a once dominant star becomes an afterthought.
“WWE is all about protagonists and antagonists where ultimately our conflicts are settled in the ring with action that is akin to Hollywood. It’s incredible stunt-like action and the match itself tells a story, but our audience is engaged in the characters and their storyline.
“UFC, they can make a big star but the second that person loses, they lose credibility, and how do you continue to make that star rise? So I think we have the best of both worlds and the opportunity to tell the stories in the way we want to tell them.”
That all makes sense, but it also sounds like the WWE is worried that a Brock Lesnar UFC loss could knock him down when it comes to how the public views Lesnar. Since his return to the WWE started out with a stumble, losing to John Cena, he has become dominant ever since. He has remained undefeated for the better part of the last two years, outside of matches where someone else took the loss such as WrestleMania 31.
However, a later comment by Stephanie McMahon made it sound like a Brock loss might not hurt as bad as some might think. If the WWE is not cross-promoting the fight, then whatever happens at UFC 200 can stay in the UFC and have no bearing on Lesnar’s return at SummerSlam this year. However, win or lose, Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 will bring publicity to the WWE.
“We are not supporting the fight necessarily but, again, it’s not a competitor to us and the more that our superstars, that’s how we refer to our talent, the more they do outside of WWE, the more awareness it generates and the broader the audience can be that is then brought back into our properties. So we recognize the value of that.”
What Brock Lesnar needs to do, to maintain his brand, is to win at UFC 200. ESPN reported that his opponent, Mark Hunt, doesn’t see Brock as a threat and said he will knock off Lesnar’s face. Hunt (12-10-1) said he was grateful to get a co-main event match with Lesnar (5-2) but has been outspoken about calling Brock a cheater. He pointed out that Brock was able to bypass the long drug testing and hinted that Lesnar was likely juicing and stopped when it was time to fight, putting him at an advantage.
WWE superstar Brock Lesnar will make his return to the UFC at UFC 200 to face Mark Hunt in a one-time fight. The event takes place in Las Vegas on July 9.
[Image via WWE]