Lesnar on the Ultimate Fighter: a win-win situation

nullThe 13th season of the Ultimate Fighter debuts tonight at 9 p.m. on SpikeTV and it features heavyweight coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos. While many could probably care less about Dos Santos’ involvement, the addition of Lesnar to this series is a big upgrade for the UFC.

Love him or hate him, Brock Lesnar is the biggest draw in all of MMA. Just this past year, both of the pay-per-views he headlined went over 1 million PPV buys. His UFC 116 main event with Shane Carwin led all UFC PPV’s in terms of purchases for the year of 2010, and his fight with Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 finished tied for the second most PPV buys in the year with UFC 114.

While The Ultimate Fighter show saw a little boost last season with Georges St. Pierre as coach, the series has become a little watered down and stale compared to when it first appeared on the scene.

But, with Lesnar being a coach this season, the numbers should spike (no pun intended). Lesnar is a polarizing figure. His size, his appearance, his demeanor, and his personality all seem to draw fans in—that includes me.

What I am interested to see is how Lesnar will interact with this season’s up-and-coming fighters. Will he even care about their success? Will he be a hands-on coach? Or, will he just be the D*** a lot of people think he is?

All of those questions should be answered but I think the opportunity of coaching opens the door for Lesnar to attract a whole new crop of fans. While people love to hate him, they also hated Tito Ortiz when he coached in Season 3, but Ortiz came off very likeable that season as he truly interacted and cared for his fighters. Now, afterwards he went back to being Tito Ortiz, but Lesnar has always been someone that does it his way. Problem is, we just don’t know what that way really is.

Outside the octagon, Lesnar has been successful at keeping the cameras and media out of his personal life and hasn’t let a lot of people truly get to know him. The Ultimate Fighter will provide a little look into what makes Brock Lesnar tick and I, for one, am excited to see just that.


4 responses to “Lesnar on the Ultimate Fighter: a win-win situation”

  • MMA Girl says:

    I agree that he will draw viewers to the reality show, there is no question about that. And, I think he will be hands-on with his fighters and care about their success…or at least act like it. Lesnar has shown a little bit of humbleness since surviving his medical crisis. And, we all know from watching his last few fights that he is not the “monster” that he has been made out to be. Maybe he wants to let go of this image..who knows?

  • ATS says:

    People love to hate a good villain and it sounds like that’s what Lesnar will bring to the show. I just hope Lesnar doesn’t act fake and playing into the idea that he’s an ass. But you’re right, he should attract plenty of viewers!

  • MP Towny says:

    This should be an interesting season. Although I’m a bit surprised as Lesnar doesn’t have a wealth of experience fighting in MMA (the man does possess serious world class grappling skills though!). However, the show is as much about entertainment as it is about finding the next “star” of MMA. Lesnar has a good personality for this; I think he is starting to understand where to draw the line between blending in the entertainment aspect while still being a professional. I would be surprised if he didn’t work well with the fighters, he’s smarter than what some think.

  • Drew Ellis says:

    The season debut drew in 1.4 million viewers, which was slightly down from last season’s debut of 1.5 million. The rating was still high for recent seasons, but I am a little surprised it didn’t beat the season 12 debut. Lesnar has always been a big draw for the UFC, so I would expect the ratings to stay strong throughout the season. If Lesnar can’t get ratings, the show should probably stop production.

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