Mixed martial arts fans are talking about it, pro wrestling fans are talking about it: the bizarre post-fight confrontation between newly-dethroned UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and longtime pro wrestling superstar The Undertaker.
The Undertaker, Mark Calaway, was ringside answering questions about the title bout with Fight Magazine's Ariel Helwani when Lesnar emerged from the octagon and began walking toward the pair on his way back to the dressing rooms. After a brief stare-down, a deathly serious 'Taker asked, "You wanna do it?"
Lesnar said nothing and continued to the back of the room. Helwani said later in an interview with The Fight Network that it was not a staged event in any way.
Watch the exchange:
Some think The Undertaker merely meant to encourage Brock to work harder at training, a fact he later emphasized in the interview with Helwani.
Others feel The Undertaker's line was a challenge to brawl, perhaps due to bad feelings over the way Lesnar left the WWE. Most observers, however, feel Calaway's age and many injuries would preclude him from getting into a "shoot" (real) fight against a world-class athlete. WWE fights are scripted entertainment events, whereas the mixed martial arts practiced in the UFC and other organizations are pure, unscripted combat with some sparse rules under the authority of state athletic commissions.
Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer thinks Vince McMahon is trying to book a match for WrestleMania XXVII; Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker could potentially pit "The Streak" (Taker's undefeated 18-0 record at WrestleMania) against Lesnar's street credibility as a legitimate mixed martial artist.
The McMahon family would receive a financial boost from that storyline, as it would pad a bank account that has been thinned by Linda McMahon's Senate run. It would also deflect some media attention away from Michael Benoit, the father of former WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, who has been campaigning on behalf of Linda's opponent Mike Blumenthal. The Benoit family claims the McMahons kept their distance after Chris killed his family and himself in 2007, and that they continue to endanger the lives of their workers today by not monitoring brain traumas among its performers.
UFC President Dana White downplayed the possibility of a Lesnar return to WWE, saying "Brock Lesnar is still under contract with the UFC ... he is not going to wrestle in the WWE. He cannot wrestle, box or fight anywhere else."
If Lesnar continues his MMA career in the UFC, it is possible that a rubber match against contender Frank Mir could loom as his next bout. He earned $400,000 in the loss according to the California State Athletic Commission, andto allow his injuries to heal properly.