If you are one of those MMA fans that’s not happy with the recent signing of former WWE wrestler CM Punk (0-0), or the fact that Bellator is currently pursuing another former WWE wrestler in Alberto Del Rio (9-5), you may want to find another sport to watch for 2015. Not only will CM Punk be mentioned at every UFC ppv event or press conference from here until he makes his debut, but Brock Lesnar WWE’s contract expires in April 2015.
Scott Coker has that Viacom money that he’s ready to spend, and he’ll need it if he wants to bring in Lesnar. Brock will be the biggest free agent in MMA and professional wrestling come April, and rightfully so. Three of the seven ppv’s that featured Brock had over 1 million buys. His title fight with Cain Velasquez was around 900K, and he was also the main event for UFC 100 which holds the record with 1.6 million buys. The lowest number he produced was 535K, which is still better than most. I looked up recent ppv numbers for the UFC, and from what I could find, the biggest draw of 2014 was Weidman v. Machida at UFC 175 with 545K. Brock may not be the best striker and its obvious he doesn’t like to get punched in the face, but he “moves the needle”. With 2014 being one of the worst years for ppv buys, the UFC is digging deep to get their numbers up in 2015.
With the signing of Punk and the return of “Rampage”, it is clear the UFC is looking past having “the best fighters in the world”, for fighters that can “move the needle”. Let’s be honest, Jackson was already on the downside of his career when he left the UFC for Bellator.
Don’t expect to see Brock challenging anyone for the title in 2015. His fights outside of the UFC were not what got him called back to the octagon, the fact that he has headlined a UFC ppv card with a millions buys is what got him back.
Bringing Brock back to the UFC, along with CM Punk, may not sound like the best decision for the hardcore MMA fan, but from a business standpoint, it makes perfect since. Could you imagine what Brock could do for Bellator? You put that guy on free tv and your numbers will be through the roof; the UFC would be crazy to let that happen. Dana feels that if Brock does return, it will be in the UFC because that’s where the best fighters are, and Brock wants to fight the best.
On the upside, 2015 looks to be an exciting year already. We get Jones v. Cormier and Diaz v. Silva on Jan 3. Conor McGregor will get a title shot with a win over Siver, and “Rampage” will blast some guy no one has heard of. And if we are lucky, we will get to see Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk fight each other with those bikini briefs that leave little to the imagination. Last but not least, we will see the return of Brock, most likely in the UFC, but don’t count Bellator out yet.
Imagine a card with Anderson Silva, CM Punk, and Brock Lesnar, that would smash the UFC record for ppv buys whether you like it or not. You’re crazy if you don’t think Reebok is talking about how to market Brock. My personal opinion, make a big bulky shoe with a big sword on it and call it The ReeBrock Lesnar.
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