The Devine One returns with an commentary on the fight that everyone is talking about this week.

Johnny Devine — Devine Intervention

Brock “The Bad Guy”

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So, I am sitting here typing away at the same thing writers all over North America are typing at, just a couple days later. Brock Lesnar has made front page headlines everywhere with his big win Saturday night at UFC 100, beating Frank Mir, the only man to hold a win over Brock. The controversy, as all who are probably reading this know, is not the manner in which Bock won, but the “unsportsmanlike” actions of Brock both before the fight and after. Now having said that lets recap for those who may not have seen the fight. And then we’ll get to the point of my article.

First there were the back and forth comments between Brock and Frank on the build up shows. Some will frown on both fighters for it, but it’s been the best built fight in a while. As has been said many times, controversy breeds cash. The more people take sides the more people will pay to see their side come out on top. It’s very simple entertainment economics. How interesting would 24 be if Jack Bauer didn’t have terrorists to fight? How about Heroes without the Company? So it stands to reason that SOMEONE would have to be the “bad guy”. Why not the already hated ex pro wrestler? Seems like a fit to me.

Next you have Brock not touching gloves, angered by Frank’s comments and the MMA fan base’s lack of respect.  Brock was legitimately angry with everything and everyone involved. It begs the question: would you shake hands with a person you could not stand to be around for appearances sake? Probably not.

Then after the fight Brock’s post fight comments were still derogatory and less than complimentary. On top of that Brock took a shot at sponsor Bud Light, which was DEFINITELY not the right choice to make, as the sponsors had nothing to do with any past disrespect.

Lesnar won the fight handily in the second round by ref stoppage. Frank Mir looked like he was hit with a bus loaded with bricks. Lesnar should have been happy right? No, fans booed Brock like crazy. His reaction seems perfectly reasonable to me. If fans don’t like him already, how is making them angrier a good thing? Well, like it’s been said, controversy blah blah. I am not going to repeat what a number of better writers than me have already said. But what I AM going to do is show how MMA is already becoming more and more like pro wrestling every week.

True MMA fans will get mad, beat their chests and scream MMA is nothing like pro wrestling, but in my mind for MMA to continue to thrive and grow it needs to accept that there must be a level of “showmanship” or entertainment for it to have longevity and continued success.

The best built up fights, whether they be MMA, boxing, wrestling or even the school yard “by the bike racks,” all need one thing to be truly memorable…… emotion. No one gets emotionally attached to anything they themselves cannot relate to. I can no more feel the same as a billionaire who loses everything as can a billionaire relate to the homeless guy living under a bridge. It’s just not possible unless you walk a mile in that person’s shoes. BUT everyone knows the sting of trash talk or insults at some point. If not you, then someone close to you. And that kind of thing creates emotional attachment to a scenario. A lot of people wished they were Frank Mir hoping to silence the bully they imagine Brock as being. The wrestling community attached to Brock, in the hopes that his success would legitimize what pro wrestlers do, knowing that no one who has not bumped in a ring can relate to the effort it takes to being a pro wrestler.

That being said, Dana White and the UFC did a wonderful job of adding real emotion to the build up of the fight. One way or another millions of people wanted to watch that fight. That’s the facts. More so than almost any other fight in recent history. Which is a testament to both men for creating such attachment? But the “pro wrestler” in Brock took it one step further by accepting his bad guy status within the MMA work and running with the ball. Brock is not a stupid man, he knows that more people will tune in to watch him fight in hopes of him losing if he makes them mad. Period. Very simple concept. Did he learn it at WWE? Possibly. Does it matter where he learned it? No. what matters is that Brock is on his way to becoming one of the biggest draws on the planet. Will other MMA fighters follow? You bet your ass they will. Guys like Josh Koschek and Chris Leben immediately spring to my mind as guys who will embrace that people may or may not like them and run with whatever the fans want from them. Becoming larger than life “characters” means larger than life paychecks. It’s that simple. Hulk Hogan didn’t become a multi millionaire by being the most respectful and quietest fighter.

Week after week it will slowly continue. It’s not going to happen overnight. The process must be slow so that MMA fans who aren’t “in the know” don’t see it happening and cry foul. But it will happen, mark my words. If that saddens or angers you, I am sorry. If it excites and makes you want to watch more, then you are like me. I can watch two generic goofs slug it out outside a bar downtown if I want no name fighters.

If you agree or disagree, let me hear it. Questions, quandaries, queries, concerns or comments can be emailed to johnnydevine@shaw.ca .
For those of you that require more proof of MMA becoming more like pro wrestling I encourage you to check out the following link.
http://www.youtube.com/wat..ch?v=shiwbKn-5kk

In the mean time and in between time. That’s it, another edition of Devine Intervention.
Bye Now

– Johnny Devine

One Response to “Devine – Brock “The Bad Guy””

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August 13th, 2009 - 11:28 am

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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