Dana White made the right choice by bringing Brock Lesnar to The Ultimate FighterPosted on January 13, 2011, 08:48 AM by Anton Gurevich
UFC President Dana White announced yesterday that Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos will be featured as coaches on the upcoming 13th season on the Ultimate Fighter. The show will start its airing on March 30th, as the Finale is expected to take place on June 4th at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One of the most interesting thing to see was the criticism some of the fans had for announcement of Lesnar as a coach. Many fans voiced their opinion, stating that the 5-2 former UFC Heavyweight Champion is not experienced enough to teach TUF'ers anything about MMA. This criticism would have some basis only if the Ultimate Fighter was some sort of a professional reality show (the term itself is ridiculous), or had any influence on fighter records or careers outside "the house".
TUF was never about how good you are as a coach. It's all about entertainment that brings the casual fan to the Spike TV screen every Wednesday night. We all have seen what the appearance of Kimbo Slice combined with the trash talk between Rampage and Rashad Evans did to the embarrassing (from a professional standpoint) TUF: Heavyweights show.
More than this, how come everyone decided Brock Lesnar is a poor coach? I guess it's thousands of people who train with him on daily basis, who have the legitimacy to claim who's fit to be a coach, and who's not. After every TUF season, fighters and coaches are trying to explain the viewers that it's nothing but a reality show.
Here's a very interesting interview with Frank Mir, who perfectly explains what TUF is all about:
The announcement of Lesnar and dos Santos as coaches proved Dana White is pure genius. If there's someone who can bring more casual audience to watch the UFC product is Brock Lesnar. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion is a true entertainment professional, who knows exactly what the casual UFC audience wants to see. The idea of watching 300-pound Lesnar going crazy because one of his fighters lost a fight should interest every fight-loving 18-35 SpikeTV viewer out there.
Marketing-wise, Lesnar is a much bigger draw than GSP and Anderson Silva. Silva and GSP never broke the 1 million PPV buys (serving as a sole headliner), while Lesnar did it twice by himself this year with UFC 116 and UFC 121. Anderson Silva + BJ Penn combination at UFC 101 and UFC 112 provided approximately 1,300,000 PPV buys, only 150,000 more than Lesnar did on his return fight against Shane Carwin at UFC 116.
Yahoo! CageWriter's Steve Cofield brings more on the issue:
So whether the "hardcores" like it or not, Brock Lesnar's presence is a key factor in expansion of the sport to new audiences. And between us, after defeating the likes of Randy Couture, Frank Mir, Shane Carwin and Heath Herring he deserves his respect as a Mixed Martial Artist. It's a necessary step for resurrecting the image of Brock Lesnar as a fighter, and building Junior dos Santos as a contender. So all we have to do is relax, and enjoy what will surely be a "Brock Lesnar Show".