LAS VEGAS – With the biggest fight of the year going down on Saturday night at UFC 168, one of the UFC’s biggest draws might be cageside to view it.
This week there were rumors that heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar would attend Saturday night’s rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. Exactly why Lesnar is coming to Las Vegas for the fight has become a thing of speculation, but as usual people are beginning to whisper that maybe the UFC has something up its sleeve.
During Thursday’s post-press conference media scrum, UFC president Dana White was asked point blank if the UFC would take the opportunity to talk business with Lesnar.
"I honestly don’t know," he said, repressing a grin like a man who just might know more than he wanted to say. "Honestly?" somebody goaded. "Honestly," White said, "I don’t know."
The Minnesota-based pro-wrestler-cum-MMA fighter Lesnar was one of the UFC’s biggest draws. He headlined UFC 100 in his rematch with Frank Mir, which shattered the pay-per-view record (1.6 million buys). Saturday night’s card, which features Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title as the co-main event, has been talked about as UFC 100’s nearest rival in terms of overall magnitude.
Last month another one of the UFC's biggest names, Georges St-Pierre, walked away at least temporarily from the fight game, thus vacating the welterweight belt. With injuries sidelining heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and lightweight champ Anthony Pettis, the UFC's star power for the first half of 2014 has become an issue. So, will the 36-year old Lesnar come out of retirement?
Sources close to Lesnar told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that they didn't think Lesnar was very serious about returning, so who knows. Then again, in a year where anything seems possible, the UFC might be planning to close out 2013 with a bang.
"I personally think that 2013 was the best year of fights we’ve ever had in the history of the company," White said at one point in the scrum. "It was unbelievable. And we’ve got a lot of cool things coming up this next year going right into ’14, that hopefully I can announce on Saturday."