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Making the Case for Lesnar vs. Coleman: Part I

So far the reviews of the revelation that Brock Lesnar and Mark Coleman will be fighting on August 7 in Minnesota have been mixed. A lot has been written about the matchup and I have to say I disagree with most of it.

Buckle up because this post is long. There are just too many bones to pick though.

The first issue I have is the assertion that UFC president Dana White is a hypocrite for promoting a match between Lesnar and Coleman. Look, I’m not afraid to hold White accountable when he says something that doesn’t add up, but I don’t agree that White has compromised himself in making this fight.

Steve Sievert of the Houston Chronicle doesn’t agree. Let me preface this by saying I have my issues with the MMA Media but that Steve is a guy that I highly respect. I enjoy his work, read it regularly, and often agree. However, his recent comments about White essentially contradicting himself is one statement that I do not agree with:

In discussing the announcement of the August fight between Coleman and Lesnar, UFC President Dana White said the 43-year-old Coleman asked for the fight, and that the matchup “made sense, so we did it.”

However, White later – probably without even realizing it – opened mouth and inserted foot concerning Coleman when addressing a question about Fedor Emelianenko.

“Let’s be honest, I don’t think Fedor is among the top five heavyweights in the world. His last ‘real’ fight was in 2005 … that was against Mirko Cro Cop. He hasn’t fought anyone since.”

One of the fighters Fedor has faced in that period is none other than newly minted UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman. So, on the same night, Coleman was both inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and, effectively, labeled a stiff.

Let’s be fair here, Dana never branded Coleman a “stiff.” Whether he effectively did or not is up to interpretation. Granted, White did try to discredit him as part of his campaign to slander Fedor, but the fact remains that Fedor really hasn’t had a real fight since 2005. All Dana said is that Fedor beat a Mark Coleman that was past his prime — and that’s a stone cold fact. I have a ton of respect for Coleman but he’s not the fighter he once was and why should White be criticized for telling the truth?