Now that it’s been confirmed that WWE is supportive of Brock Lesnar performing at UFC 200, there are plenty of other questions that need answering, with the most obvious one being: who is Brock Lesnar going to face at UFC’s milestone event?
Well, we’re gonna take some stabs at that question here, but that question undoubtedly raises more questions, like are the WWE involved in the process of choosing his opponent or are they, at the very least, campaigning for him to face a weaker opponent that’ll give him a strong chance to win? Will the UFC look for a fresh face to face Lesnar or will they look for someone from his past?
The only thing we know for sure is that UFC 200 was lacking star power before yesterday and it isn’t today. While Lesnar might not be the best fighter of all-time, he’s an incredibly entertaining fighter, who is a bit of a loose cannon when he gets a microphone in his hands. Imagine if he pulls another post-fight rant about Coors Light and what he’s going to do to his wife at home?
With that in mind, before they reveal his opponent on ESPN tomorrow, let’s take a look at five potential fighters that could face The Beast at UFC 200.
5. Shane Carwin
We’ll start this list off with a familiar name for Brock Lesnar, as these two already faced off at UFC 116, where The Beast defeated Carwin in the second round by submission. It was Lesnar’s last win in the UFC and it came all the way back in 2010. What has Carwin been up to since then? Well, he’s only fought one other time and that was a loss to Junior dos Santos by decision. Carwin actually retired in 2013 due to injuries, but there have been rumors that he’d like to return and he’s already Tweeted that he wants this match:
For everyone blowing up my phone, yes I would take this fight @UFC 200. I would love to knock Brock out. Any time, any place
— Shane Carwin (@ShaneCarwin) June 5, 2016
While this wouldn’t be a walk in the park for Lesnar as Carwin is an established fighter, they both have plenty of octagon-rust, making it an even fight in that regard, and have history together, making it an easy sell to the audience. It wouldn’t be a squash for Lesnar, but he’d likely be favored.
4. Todd Duffee
Here’s the kind of fighter that WWE would like Lesnar face. While Duffee is far from a pushover, with a 9-3 MMA record (3-2 UFC record), he’s never been able to beat an ‘elite’ name in MMA, losing to both Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem in his two chances to do so. Duffee’s last match was a knockout loss to the aforementioned Frank Mir back in 2015, meaning that UFC fans have seen him recently, making him a legitimate possibility to face Lesnar in July. There’s no doubt that Duffee wants this fight as well:
Todd Duffee just contacted me. He wants Lesnar, too.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 5, 2016
If the UFC wants to give Lesnar a match he’ll be heavily favored to win, it’s possible they match him up with this unranked Heavyweight.
3. Roy Nelson
Apart from our #1 entry on this list, this is the most marketable match for the UFC. Firstly, because Roy Nelson is a smashmouth fighter that fans absolutely adore because of his look and intensity. Secondly, because Nelson has already taken a swipe at Lesnar on Twitter:
— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) June 5, 2016
The build up to this fight would be terrific. The only problem is that Nelson is already scheduled to fight in July, but we’ll assume that UFC can easily change that to accommodate a fight with The Beast.
On top of that, Nelson, currently ranked 10th by UFC among Heavyweights, is also 2-5 in his last seven fights, so UFC wouldn’t be throwing Lesnar to the sharks with this matchup. Fingers crossed on this one.
2. Josh Barnett
If Lesnar’s opponent would be decided by who’s campaigning the most to face him, Barnett would easily win and face The Beast at UFC 200.
— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) June 5, 2016
Also, if you’d like a retweet from Barnett, tweet that you’d like to see him face Lesnar and he’s likely to retweet you, as he’s been retweeting fans expressing their desire to see him face Brock since it was announced that he was returning to the octagon.
While Barnett is getting up in age, he’s still a recognizable name in the sport making him a real possibility to face Lesnar, The #9 ranked Heavyweight in the UFC is 1-2 in his last three fights and wouldn’t be a fighter that would definitely defeat Lesnar, like a Fabricio Werdum or Stipe Miocic. If we had to bet, we’d bet that UFC goes with Barnett.
1. Frank Mir
If Frank Mir wasn’t facing a potential two-year suspension for PED use, we’d be 100% sure that this would be the fight that Dana White would choose to book. Mir is genuinely surprised at the allegations being made against him and is appealing the decision to get it reversed. If he can manage to draw out the appeal process or get it done in time to fight Brock, there’s no doubt that this is the most marketable fight on this list. Fans of the UFC are already well aware of the hate that these two have for each other and they’d love to see a rubber match between these two to find out who the better man is.
What’s also working in Mir’s favor is that he’s still ranked on the UFC website at 12th overall, perhaps implying that UFC hasn’t given up on Mir not being suspended.
While Mir hasn’t commented yet, some MMA analysts have:
Re: Lesnar's opponent, my best guess (and totally a guess) is it's gotta be either Mir or a returning Shane Carwin.
— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) June 5, 2016
Let’s hope he’s right.
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