Should Brock Lesnar Be A UFC Hall of Famer?

Monday, March 12th, 2012 by Tony Reid

After the recent announcement that he would be hanging up the four ounce gloves for good, the question has been raised whether Brock Lesnar should be considered for the UFC Hall of Fame. The answer to that question is a downright “No.” What factors make a fighter reach that next level up in status from average to good, from good to great, from great to hall of famer? I would say that it has a lot to do with level of achievement, impact on the sport, sustained greatness/longevity/consistency and popularity. Are these the only factors? Of course not, I’m sure you could add ten more off the top of your head right now. There are other factors such as how dynamic the fighter was during their career. Did he or she transcend the sport? Where they larger than life? Did they bring eyeballs to the sport that would not have been there without them? With the sport being so young, if the fighter played a key role in the evolution of the sport that would add serious consideration, depending on the degree to which they impacted said evolution. The list really could go on and on.

But let’s start by looking at the cold hard facts. Brock Lesnar’s career MMA Record is 5-3 overall and 4-3 in the UFC. That’s a winning percentage of .571. It doesn’t take a math major to see that he barely won half his fights within the organization. I understand his fights in the UFC were against top tier competition but if he lost nearly half of them that would tell me he wasn’t really on that high of a level to begin with. His only fight outside the UFC came against Min Soo-Kim, not exactly a top tier opponent. These are hardly Hall of Fame worthy numbers. Let’s look at his longevity. He entered MMA in June of 2007 and the UFC in February of 2008. With just under four years total time in the UFC and with a good chunk of that time being sidelined with Diverticulitis, its hard to mention longevity and consistency and Lesnar in the same sentence (But I just did). He fought only once in 2011 (going 0-1), only twice in 2010 (going 1-1) and only once in 2009 (going 1-0). Are these numbers hall of fame worthy? I think not.

If the hall of fame was based solely on popularity then Brock Lesnar would be a first ballot Hall of Famer. But to say popularity and only popularity earns you a spot is crazy. Going by that mindset then Jeremy Lin should be making his way into the basketball hall of fame any day now. And so should every flash in the pan that had a few good months or even a few good years throughout the history of each sport. Of course we all know that is a ridiculous thought. If winning the championship was the only requirement than there would be many, many, many more hall of famers in each sport, too. Should every guy that won an MVP be sent straight to Cooperstown or Canton? Will every guy that became a UFC Champion be sent straight to wherever the UFC Hall of Fame is? (By the way where the hell is the UFC Hall of Fame, anyway?)These factors are important but not important enough to carry you there alone.

In his losses, Brock looked like he didn’t even want to be in the Octagon. Cain Velasquez had Lesnar literally running for his life and Alistair Overeem made him quit. He wasn’t a mixed martial artist; he was a big strong wrestler. Did he evolve at all during his time in the sport? Was he climbing the ranks in BJJ? Was he traveling to Thailand and learning Muay Thai? Was he turning into a golden gloves boxer? No, no, no and no. He seemed to be a great front runner but when the going got tough Lesnar wanted out. Is that the character of a Hall of Famer? Not in my opinion.

Lesnar’s accomplishments inside the Octagon were great, there is no denying that. When things were going well, they went really well but when they went bad it was downright ugly. He deserves to be acknowledged and recognized for his meteoric rise to superstardom, as heavyweight champ and his boost to the pay per view market and merchandising but that’s not a good enough reason to place him next to the Gracies, Shamrocks, Liddells and Coutures in the UFC Hall of Fame. I needed to see much more from Brock to even think of considering him for the UFC Hall of Fame. Brock Lesnar would be a much better selection for the WWE Hall of Fame. I would be in complete agreement with that selection.