Brock Lesnar has had a decorated athletic career. Regardless of the sport, Lesnar has always put the work in and competed at the highest level. Lesnar’s athletic journey began at the University of Minnesota, where he won an NCAA National championship in 2000. From there, Lesnar would transition to the world of sports entertainment and sign with the WWE.
Although short, Lesnar’s early WWE tenure is still one of the most memorable runs in their company’s history. From 2000-2004, Lesnar would go from being a rookie in WWE’s developmental system to one of the biggest superstars at that time. Lesnar was a household name on the cover of PPV posters, video games, and plenty of other merchandise.
After attempting to become an NFL player fell through, Lesnar decided to pursue a career in MMA. The odds weren’t in Lesnar’s favor, but he took the MMA world by storm early on and achieved a great deal of success.
Since last competing inside the octagon at UFC 200, Lesnar has flirted with the idea of returning to MMA. But it seems as though he is content with his WWE career and has remained retired from the sport. This list will look at five reasons why Brock Lesnar should eventually be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
#5 Brock Lesnar didn’t come up through a famous MMA gym
A big what-if in Brock Lesnar’s MMA career is what if he came through a reputable MMA gym. It’s not a knock on Lesnar’s team as they obviously did an excellent job. But many fans wonder how much better he could’ve been had he joined a famed MMA gym like Tristar, Jackson Wink, AKA, etc.
Joe Rogan mentioned on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, that he believes Lesnar would’ve been an all-time great. The UFC commentator mentioned coaches like Faras Zahabi as an example as somebody that could’ve shaped Lesnar’s career long-term.
If Brock Lesnar had gone the route of joining a gym like Tristar, he could’ve been training with the likes of Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald on a daily basis.
Lesnar’s training method makes his career much more impressive considering somebody with his level of fame and athletic background. Brock Lesnar could’ve easily found a famed MMA gym to hone his skills and develop as a more well-rounded fighter.
#4 Brock Lesnar never took an easy fight
Brock Lesnar didn’t enter the UFC like any ordinary fighter. Prior to signing with the UFC, Lesnar had only competed in one MMA fight, which he won by first-round TKO. Coming in with an already established name from the WWE, Lesnar was immediately thrown into the deep end. On his UFC debut, Lesnar was matched up with former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
Lesnar shocked the entire MMA community with how he dominated the fight. But Mir used his experience to catch Lesnar with a submission and end the fight. Each opponent would start to get a lot tougher as Lesnar’s UFC career progressed.
During his career, Lesnar fought a who’s who including Heath Herring, Randy Couture, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez, Alistair Overeem, and Mark Hunt.
Lesnar never took amateur bouts and competed against anybody with a similar record. Instead, Lesnar competed in one regional MMA show and decided he was ready for a new challenge. Lesnar literally bet on himself by immediately joining the UFC and accepting fights with the top heavyweights in the world.
#3 Brock Lesnar is a former UFC heavyweight champion
What made Brock Lesnar’s UFC career so impressive is that he won the UFC heavyweight championship in his fourth fight. Lesnar was only 2-1 and found himself standing across a legend like Randy Couture for the heavyweight championship at UFC 91.
It was unheard of for a fighter to earn a title shot after only three MMA bouts. But, that’s what happened and Lesnar took full advantage of the opportunity to defeat the MMA legend by second-round TKO.
Lesnar would then successfully defend the UFC heavyweight champion twice. First, Lesnar avenged his loss to Frank Mir and completely dominated him at UFC 100. Lesnar then followed that performance by submitting heavyweight contender Shane Carwin in one of the UFC’s most memorable comebacks.
UFC President Dana White was attempting to book a fight between Lesnar and Fedor Emelianenko. The fight with Fedor didn’t materialize, but White said the bout would have been the biggest in UFC history. The proposed fight goes to show how quickly Lesnar had established himself amongst the best heavyweights.
#2 Opened the door for more pro wrestlers to transition to MMA
Brock Lesnar could be credited with making it possible for pro wrestlers to transition to MMA and be taken seriously. Like Ken Shamrock did for MMA fighters transitioning to pro wrestling, Lesnar did the same for pro wrestlers.
In 2007, Brock Lesnar took a huge risk when he signed with the UFC. Lesnar was a big star during his WWE tenure and could have damaged his reputation if he wasn’t successful. Furthermore, if Lesnar wasn’t successful, it could’ve affected future contract negotiations if he decided to return to pro wrestling.
After Brock Lesnar became UFC heavyweight champion, he became an example of pro wrestlers looking to do the same. Since Lesnar’s UFC debut, pro wrestlers such as Bobby Lashley, CM Punk, and Jake Hager have competed in major promotions.
It can be argued that Lesnar changed the perception of pro wrestlers in MMA. To an extent, the idea of a pro wrestler crossing over into MMA is no longer scoffed at.
#1 Brock Lesnar was a massive draw for the UFC
Another reason Brock Lesnar should receive a UFC Hall of Fame induction is that he was a massive PPV draw. During Lesnar’s UFC career, he set PPV buyrate records that weren’t surpassed until Conor McGregor became a title-contender.
Lesnar being a bankable attraction for the UFC led to both the promotion and fighters growing their fanbase. Since Lesnar was one of the biggest stars in WWE, many fans wondered how he’d fare in the UFC.
As a result, many pro wrestling fans bought PPVs with Lesnar on the card and ended up being hooked on the sport. UFC PPVs with Lesnar in the main-event or co-main event were very lucrative for the promotion.
Out of the eight PPVs featuring Lesnar, the UFC generated over one million PPV buys on five occasions. In fact, the lowest PPV buyrate for an event featuring Lesnar was 625,000. To put that number in perspective, it was still higher than some of the promotion’s top fighters were generating.