For a man who hasn't competed in MMA since 2011, and in not the best form, Brock Lesnar found himself in the center of discussion once again Saturday night. After a dominating, albeit conservative rout of former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, Alistair Overeem made it known to the crowd he'd love to the man to welcome Lesnar back.
"I heard there was talk of him coming back," Overeem repeated post-fight. "I'll be here waiting for him. That's all."
When asked by Ariel Helwani if Overeem knew something the rest of us didn't about Lesnar, White largely downplayed the notion of Lesnar even returning to MMA, let alone rematching the man who demolished him just over two years removed.
"Brock Lesnar is not coming back," White said during the UFC 169 post-fight press conference. "Brock Lesnar is not fighting. I mean, does he want to come back? We've talked about him wanting to come back. He feels like he wasn't 100% while he was here. He feels like he sold himself a little short. All the stuff I've told you guys before. But no, he's not. We have no deal with Brock Lesnar. He's not coming back anytime soon."
Speaking with FOX Sports after the fight, it was clear White wasn't exactly impressed with Overeem. "The reality is Alistair [Overeem] didn't try to finish or capitalize on any of the work he had done. It was a crappy performance, in my opinion."
Considering the months of 'loser goes home' talk, perpetuated to an extent by White, himself, is it hard to imagine Overeem acting differently? He admitted as much speaking to FOX.
"[The possibility of being cut] wasn't going through my mind, but it was a decisive factor in my gameplan. We had to play it safe. Especially looking at my previous fight, Before Frank [Mir].
"We fought a safe and clever gameplan this time."
Does a $50K ($75K in this case) 'knockout of the night' bonus mean much to a guy making nearly $300K just to show? Apparently not.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Post show. Ariel Helwani and Chuck Mendenhall recap all the action from UFC 169 in Newark.
Aftermath. Dave Doyle breaks down the best and worst of UFC 169.
Scary. Two people were reportedly stabbed during scuffles in the audience Saturday night at the Prudential Center.
Dana recaps UFC 169.
Highlights from Legacy 27.
Rampage says Tyrone Spong sucks at MMA.
Jimi Manuwa's art of the knockout.
To honor the passing of Affliction founder Todd Beard, here's his infamous radio interview with Scott Ferrall.
As always, check out our 'Pros react' piece for instant reactions to UFC 169.
Boa tarde, galera! Voltando hoje para o Brasil para comemorar o aniversário e o título. Obrigado meu Deus por mais essa vitória!— Renan Barão (@RenanBaraoUFC) February 2, 2014
Obrigado pelo apoio de todos vcs!! Agora e descansar e curtir a vitoria!! #aldokicks— Jose 'Scarface' Aldo (@josealdojunior) February 2, 2014
What a night! http://t.co/OcWxxoub4g— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) February 2, 2014
Top View!!! pic.twitter.com/YaogDxgn2S— Abel Trujillo (@AbelTrujillo1) February 3, 2014
Nick Catone UFC (@NickCatone) February 2, 2014
Neil Magny (@NeilMagny) February 2, 2014
Better luck next time.
Whelp! Back to the drawing board. Thanks for all the support folks. Congrats to @RenanBaraoUFC— Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) February 2, 2014
Ricardo Lamas (@RicardoLamasMMA) February 2, 2014
Congrats to @josealdojunior parabéns campeão!— Ricardo Lamas (@RicardoLamasMMA) February 2, 2014
Hey guys not the outcome I wanted but I'd rather go down Looking 4 the finish than just grind out a boring dec! Thanks 4 the love & support— Jamie Varner (@jamievarner) February 2, 2014
@JohnMakdessiMMA that was a bad decision my brother. I'm sorry.— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) February 2, 2014
Say what you like. I came to fight @ufc. I took no damage in the fight but if you go the distance you can't complain. It is what it is— Tom Kong Watson (@TomKongWatson) February 2, 2014
Everyone's asking, but my knee is fine. Had nothing to do with the heel hook attempt. I injured my foot a week before the fight.— Kevin Lee (@MoTownPhenom) February 2, 2014
That still had nothing to do with the fight, I froze and Al did a great job keeping composed and pressuring. Hats off to him.— Kevin Lee (@MoTownPhenom) February 2, 2014
U gotta be kidding me?!...my mama taught me to be a better man n keep my mouth shut if I don't have anything nice to say, I'm out #UFC169— Benson Henderson (@BensonHenderson) February 2, 2014
I'm not saying barao didn't have him hurt and probably would have finished him, he is a beast. I'm just ... http://t.co/rFqP38ezT9— Chuck Liddell (@ChuckLiddell) February 2, 2014
U call that being rained down?? I'm not attacking barao he fought great and the early stop probably didn't ... http://t.co/ZKDYRQ8rYz— Chuck Liddell (@ChuckLiddell) February 2, 2014
A BIG MORNING! Texas commission just overturned the result of me vs Eye to a No Decision! Not my win, but not an undeserved loss either...— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) February 1, 2014
My goodness.Never a dull moment in The Evil Eye's life.Thanks for support, this will be sorted out in due time. Still have new fight to win!— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) February 1, 2014
khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) February 2, 2014
Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) February 1, 2014
I'd watch Reem vs. Sylvia.
"@BigfootSilva: Why he call Brock Lesnar? I'm here..."me2— Tim Sylvia (@timsylviamma) February 2, 2014
Announced this weekend (Jan. 31 - Feb. 2 2014)
Wanderlei Silva vs. Chael Sonnen at UFC 173
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Da Headbanger.
With only two finishes on a 12 fight card, the night left most viewers feeling unsatisfied. And not just because of the lack of finishes, but because of the controversy surrounding the stoppage of the main event of the evening. Renan Barao defended his title against Urijah Faber as Barao rocked Faber multiple times and rained punches on Faber as he curled up covering his face. Faber immediately protested the stoppage as he was showing a thumbs up to the referee, but the thumb was difficult to see from the referees point of view and he really wasn't doing anything intelligible to defend himself. Faber felt that the ref should have waited until his body went limp to stop the match... but has he been paying attention to the lawsuits that have been brought up against the NFL as the result of head injuries? Yeah... there is no way in hell the UFC could have justified waiting until Faber went limp to call off the match. Though the ending leaves the fans (and Faber) unsatisfied, fighter safety does have to come first and the right call was made in the end.
The first title defense of the evening between Jose Aldo and Ricardo Lamas had no controversy attached to it as Aldo beat Lamas methodically before gassing in the fifth and final round to take a decisive victory. There has been plenty of discussion of Aldo moving up in weight to face lightweight champion Anthony Pettis when he returns from injury and the time may be right to explore that option as the #1 contender for the lightweight strap is anyone's guess. Alistair Overeem was able to avoid the pink slip in his match, though it seems likely Frank Mir will receive it after falling to Overeem, Ali Bagautinov likely earned the next title shot at flyweight, and Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner easily produced the best fireworks of the night.
Lets do it!
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