It’s difficult to say what the main event of UFC 81 is this Saturday night. A better way of putting it is, the match you choose to think of as the main event says a lot about what kind of person you are. Kind of like a Rorschach test, only with blood inside an octagonal cage. I realize I might be freaking you out right now, so allow me to explain.
The two big fights this Saturday will feature Tim Sylvia taking on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the “interim” heavyweight title, and former WWE star Brock Lesnar facing former UFC champ Frank Mir. Officially, Nogueira (or “Minotauro”, as he is commonly known) and Sylvia are the main event. Their match is, after all, for the title that Randy Couture vacated but which the UFC somehow refuses to strip him of.
And yet, the UFC’s advertising team didn’t get the memo. On billboards and taxi cabs in some areas, they are allegedly hyping the Lesnar-Mir fight instead. The reasoning is fairly simple: people know Brock Lesnar. By people, I mean pro wrestling fans. They are legion and they have money to spend on their various obsessions. MMA promoters have been trying to win them over in earnest for the last few years, and Lesnar is the best bet since Kurt Angle turned out to be more bark than bite.
That’s why this event is as much a personality quiz as anything else. Are you the aficionado who wants to see what will be the more meaningful, though probably also the more boring title fight between Sylvia and “Minotauro”? Or are you the sensationalist who wants to see the fireworks between Lesnar and Mir?
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