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Brock Lesnar Still Loved in Minnesota

Mike Swick said Brock Lesnar was "probably the most hated man in MMA history." Jesse Ventura said he was "ashamed of his behavior" on "Larry King Live." And Mike Brown wondered if Lesnar's post-UFC 100 antics would attract "hillbilly fans" to MMA.

In other words, it's safe to say that Lesnar upset a lot of people after he flipped off the Las Vegas crowd, taunted Frank Mir, and insulted an official UFC sponsor following his most recent victory. But one's thing's for certain: his fans in Minnesota love him just as much as they did before.

Hundreds of people came to the Mall of America in Minneapolis on Sunday for a Brock Lesnar autograph session. And a quick listen to some of the video interviews on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Web site about the event indicates that Minnesota still has Lesnar fever. Lesnar, a former University of Minnesota wrestling star, actually seemed humbled by the turnout.

"This is very cool," Lesnar said. "It's a Sunday; it's a beautiful day out, and everybody is here just to see me. So let's get started with some autographs. Thanks, everybody."

The crowd then let a big a roar.

An older man said he and his kids got up at 4:15 AM to come to the session. A Canadian couple said they drove eight hours to see Lesnar. Another man said he wanted the UFC heavyweight champion to sign his baby.

Um, where's all the hate? Where's the backlash?

The MMA world may not have accepted Lesnar's apology just yet, but clearly his Minnesota fans have. Something tells me Lesnar is perfectly fine with that.

(Source: Nick Thomas @ Bloody Elbow)