Couture-Lesnar bad for MMA?
A commenter left this on an earlier entry about UFC 91:
This fight doesn't speak very well for MMA. I have no idea how Couture is even still around. He is so old. And to give Lesnar a shot at anything at this point is a disgrace. It's not like he's proven that he deserves it. So what if he beat down a weak-chinned Korean with a 3-6 record and managed to roll around on the ground with a fat man for 3 rounds for a decision. Mir was his only real competition, and Lesnar lost. The sport deserves better. MMA should be about grit and determination, not this.
This is something I've seen from a few people and it doesn't make sense. I think UFC president Dana White deserves some credit for putting this fight together because it is intriguing. He always says he wants to put on the fights fans want to see, and whether it's fair or not, I'd much rather see Randy Couture-Brock Lesnar than Couture-Fabricio Werdum, even if Werdum deserved the title shot more.
Couture is old but is also a legend. He was old when he first got into the sport and he was old when he beat Tim Sylvia for the title at UFC 68. Just because he's old doesn't mean he's not one of the top heavyweights in the world, because he is.
He's a great test for Lesnar, who has been fighting increasingly difficult competition. We will get to learn a lot about Lesnar in this fight and where his future in the sport will be. We will also know if Couture is still at the top of the heavyweight scene in MMA, especially poignant after months of rumors about a possible Couture-Fedor Emelianenko fight. We've since seen what Fedor is capable of and now we'll get to see if Couture could have (we will never see the fight, unfortunately) brought something to that fight.
Lesnar doesn't deserve a title shot, and Couture even suggested that when I spoke with him about this fight. But, everything else about this matchup makes sense. Especially the chief reason it was put together -- because it will sell like crazy.
(Photo courtesy of Zuffa, LLC)