In an unexpected move, WWE and the UFC just announced that the Beast incarnate himself, Brock Lesnar, will compete at UFC 200 in July. The news comes as a huge surprise given Lesnar is currently under contract with WWE, not to mention he officially retired from MMA in March 2015. Now, we not only get to see the Beast get his hands dirty in the octagon again, it also doubles as a bit of promotion for WWE until Lesnar makes his inevitable return to the squared circle at SummerSlam.
There is also another intriguing aspect to this deal. Lesnar’s fighting someone at UFC 200, but the opponent won’t be announced until tomorrow. You know what that means. It’s time for wild internet speculation!
24 hours is a lot of time to let my brain run wild with that kind of information. On the one hand, it does not matter who UFC chooses to face Brock this July. They’ve got him back for a one night event. The man was one of their biggest attractions when he was heavyweight champion, and he is arguably just as big of a deal, maybe more so since going back to WWE. The PPV buys are already guaranteed regardless of Lesnar’s opponent.
On the other hand, there is one name on UFC’s roster that I hope against hope and wish against wish to see named as Lesnar’s challenger this July. That man… is CM Punk.
Before you tell me all the reasons why this can’t or won’t happen, I’ll tell you myself. First, I won’t pretend to understand how UFC’s rules work, but there is probably a weight class issue between Lesnar in Punk that forbids that sort of thing. Second, Punk’s yet to make his official debut in the octagon but his first opponent has already been named as Mickey Gall. Third, Punk’s sidelined with a back injury so I doubt he’d be able to compete this soon anyway.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s imagine UFC realized just how many more buys they could get if former UFC champion Brock Lesnar had his return match against a debuting Phillip Brooks — a.k.a. Mr. Pipe Bomb himself, CM Punk. Punk’s debut has been hotly anticipated for well over a year now. And Brock Lesnar is BROCK MOTHERFUCKING LESNAR.
Could you imagine what the rematch of their great 2013 feud would look like? Upon further reflection, it probably wouldn’t be all that that different from their SummerSlam match, but you can’t tell me that match doesn’t have dollar signs written all over it. There isn’t a WWE fan or MMA fan alive who wouldn’t want to see it. Even if they are just paying to see Brock toss Punk around a cage like a rag doll for 10 minutes.
Since Brock’s officially been away from UFC for five years, I’m not sure how that factors into the contender selection or his previous record. Does it mean he psuedo-resets to 0-0, and because of that he could square off against someone like Punk? I doubt it, but a guy can dream, right? Look, I’m not going to get my hopes up about this. The stars won’t align no matter how much I want them to. Besides, WWE is getting some kind of talent exchange out of this whole deal too, probably a Ronda Rousey or Conor McGreggor appearance at a later date. I doubt they would appreciate UFC using Brock’s appearance at UFC 200 to book the exact kind of match Vince McMahon would book for WrestleMania.
In the meantime, I will just hope for the next best thing: UFC names Lesnar’s opponent as literally anyone tomorrow. But surprise! We find out that UFC’s deal with WWE also included the twofer named Paul Heyman. The result, we get a solid month of more gems like this, now with added ESPN coverage.
In conclusion, please enjoy this supercut of Paul Heyman yelling “Brock Lesnar” over and over again. My dream will no doubt be crushed tomorrow, so join me in this world of optimism, won’t you. It’s not going to last long.