The decision to give Brock Lesnar a title shot isn’t sitting well with a some fighters, observers, and fans, but Dana White defended the UFC’s decision, following Daniel Cormier’s big win on Saturday.
Cormier took out Stipe Miocic in the first round of the UFC 226 main event this past weekend, and in doing so, “DC” now holds both the light-heavyweight and heavyweight crowns. In recent weeks there had been talk and reports that the UFC was going to book Lesnar for a title fight in his Octagon return, and on Saturday, the promotion confirmed he’s going to fight Cormier next.
Since Brock Lesnar hasn’t recorded a victory since 2010, however, and because he was hit with a one year suspension from USADA early last year, the title shot has been met with plenty of objections. So, when White was asked to comment on the criticisms that are being fired at the Cormier – Lesnar bout, the UFC President said this (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“People are gonna criticize us no matter what we do,” White said. “Brock came in, he popped for that thing but he beat Mark Hunt who was one of the top guys. He’s a former world champion, it’s a fight that people want to see, and it’s definitely a fight that Cormier wants. Cormier wants that fight.
“They’ve known each other a long time – the whole wrestling thing – and they talk a lot of s**t to each other about wrestling and who would have won in wrestling and who would have done this and that. There is a thing with those two on who would win and now they’re gonna find out.”
Sure, there are always going to be critics, but, the explanation above isn’t going to silence folks who aren’t down with Lesnar fighting for the title. Yes, he beat Hunt, but that victory was overturned due to a failed drug test. Prior to that, back in 2011, Lesnar was quickly dismantled by Alistair Overeem, who was just bombed out by Curtis Blaydes.
But, as White alluded too, a ton of people will tune into watch Lesnar fight “DC”. So, until the masses turn away from title fights that don’t make sense from a meritocratic view, this type of matchmaking will continue to happen. And if Lesnar does beat Cormier, think how huge his first title defense will be?