To be honest with you most people stop giving a shit about the strikeforce tourney when Fedor and Overeem left. The original reason of the tourney was the present the possibility of Overeem vs Fedor finally happening. Fedor ducked Overeem the first time which resulted in "Brett Rogers vs Overeem" for the championship. Obviously the tourney still means alot but not much for the casual fan.
Barnett failed a steriod test 3 times and destroyed an entire promotion. With the mainstream Fox Deal, Nate Diaz ruining a main event, Nate Marquart steroid scandal the UFC is now less likely to hire Barnett.
i agree with most or all of what you say, just not as strongly as you do.
many people may not care about the SF tourney at this point (and i totally agree that it's been poorly run), but nevertheless, whoever does win it is going to have cachet and marketability. fedor is irrelevant at this point because of the huge hit his image has taken. ranking-wise he's not even in the top ten anymore, possibly not even the top 15 or 20.
so, yea- zuffa may not have given a shit about SF before the merger, but at this point it would be financially and strategically foolish not to bring the winner into the UFC. the SF winner is now a zuffa product and a zuffa asset, and that cannot be overlooked or discounted.
on top of that, SF still has four very good HW's in a division which is overall on the sketchy side compared to some of the other divisions. the UFC just can't keep running variations of "lesnar vs mir" indefinitely. fresh matchups with quality opponents are very much key to their ongoing success IMO.
i don't think the drug failures matter at this point. he's in the public eye here and now fighting for a zuffa brand and has the chance to enhance his value. he hasn't pissed off dana white. yet.
the marquardt thing was a bit of an unusual case, given the drama surrounding the big clean test deadline. white made a huge point to make it personal and send a message to everyone with that and the machida thing. as i see it, the whole point of sending such a strong message is so that you don't have to do it again, but also so that you can ease up a little and give people a little room to operate. as long as they follow the rules, that is.
on top of that, since dana white seems to love throwing his weight around and acting like the boss, he even has a little extra motivation (if he wants it) to bring barnett to UFC. if you see what i mean.
- the winner of the strikeforce tourney
- a rematch with the loser of JDS / cain
and if you discount the fact that 'a fighter needs to win his previous fight (or win it impressively) to earn a title shot', you could pick any of several fighters who are better than lesnar, here and now, such as barnett, silva and werdum. possibly even big nog and carwin.
each one of them has a claim. for example, werdum essentially had overeem beaten in all areas. if he hadn't have kept flopping it would have been almost impossible to take the fight away from him. or carwin, he had lesnar owned but got too excited and sloppy, thereby gassing and losing to a submission.
but all of these guys --all of these guys-- have more actual MMA skills than lesnar across the three main areas, standup, dirty fighting, and the ground game.
i've looked at lesnar's fights and i see a grand total of TWO fairly impressive wins- against the vulnerable frank mir and against an ancient randy couture. otherwise he has two unimpressive wins against min-soo kim and heath herring, one submission loss against mir, and two absolute beatdowns at the hands of cain and carwin.
i mean, yes, true- it's impressive that he managed to recover in the carwin fight, and it's impressive that he managed to come back from diverticulitis twice... impressive in a sort of non-ring related way.
but the guy's legend is WAY bigger than his actual achievements, his attitude clearly sucks as seen in virtually every interview and TUF appearance, and like i say, i don't believe for a minute that his overall skillset is on par with the top heavyweights.
he's not a fraud, but after his recent history, he needs to prove himself against more than overeem IMO.
I'm talking guys in the actual UFC. If and when the SF tourney actually ends I'd be fine with that guy getting a title shot, but there is no guarantee they will even end up in the UFC period. Not to mention they still have 2 fights left so when the next HW title shot comes up they will still be wrapped up in the tourney.
As far as an immidiate rematch I hate when UFC does that. Why have a guy who just lost jump right back in, give some other guys a shot.
In the heavyweight division more than any other, skillset isn't all that matters. Size and strength are huge and play a big role and thats what Brock has.
I probably like Brock least out of all UFC heavyweights, but if he beats Overeem he deserves a shot. Now did he get his first title shot too quickly, probably he did, but thats in the past so who cares.
I was looking forward to seeing diaz vs gsp. Dang it. Im glad they replaced him with a worthy and exciting opponent in condit however. Condit has 27 wins and 26 of which came via submission, ko or tko. So if this turns out to be a boring fight, Im pretty sure gsp will be at fault. War Condit!