The raging debate in the mixed martial arts world this week has been whether Brock Lesnar's antics after beating Frank Mir at UFC 100 were bad for the sport. Count World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Mike Brown as one who thinks Lesnar attracts fans to MMA -- but not necessarily the kinds of fans that Brown thinks the sport should attract.
"Normal sports fans, or MMA fans, I don't think they're into type of thing," Brown said on HDNet's Inside MMA. "But the pro wrestling fans, that's what they're into. I've never been a pro wrestling fan, but I could imagine, I know there's a lot of them, how they got really into that. They love the heel, the bad guy, the jerk who talks a lot of smack. So maybe it'll attract some hillbilly fans."
I definitely wouldn't say that everyone who likes Lesnar is a hillbilly, but I would say that Brown is the kind of thoughtful, respectful champion I think the fans should admire. Of course, Brown will never be as rich and famous as Lesnar, so maybe that indicates that Lesnar's approach is the smart one from a business perspective. But Brown deserves our respect as a true sportsman.