For the next couple of weeks, JarryPark.com will countdown the 15 most memorable combat sports moments of 2007. Some will be positive while others will be negative. Some will have happened in a ring or cage while others on the outside. Every day, we’ll feature a single moment as we bid adieu to ‘07. As we present each moment, feel free to agree or disagree with any of our selections in the comments section below.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we chose fifteen the answer is quite simple: You take the “7″ from ‘07 and the “8″ from ‘08, add them together and you get 15. Duh. To see the rest of the countdown click here.
#12: Here Comes the Pain
What: Former WWE champion Brock Lesnar makes his MMA debut
Where: Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA
When: June 2, 2007
What a sight it was for pro wrestling fans to finally see the man once dubbed as “The Next Big Thing” in World Wrestling Entertainment make his MMA debut. Sure, he fought on the K1 Hero’s Dynamite!! USA show which will go down as one of the most flawed MMA cards in history. Sure, his opponent, Min Soo Kim, took the fight on one week’s notice and showed no real interest in putting up a fight against the former NCAA champion. But, regardless, on June 2, 2007, Lesnar officially became the first major North American wrestling star to make the transition into MMA (Ken Shamrock went from MMA to wrestling then back to MMA) and has since been signed by the UFC.
Lesnar will make his Octagon debut against former UFC Heavyweight champion, Frank Mir, at UFC 81 on 2/2/08. A curious matchup simply because Mir is an accomplished MMA fighter and Lesnar, well, not-so-much. That said, I think it’s brilliant match-making on the part of the UFC. If Lesnar wins, well then, he just beat a former UFC champ. And if he loses the promotion can always say there is no shame in losing to a former title-holder. Heaven forbid he would lose to a no-name fighter. Then the UFC’s million dollar gamble would prove to be a million dollar bust. One thing’s for sure: We can expect his match against Mir to last longer than the minute and nine seconds it took for him to dismantle Kim. But we have several weeks to dissect Lesnar vs. Mir. For now, let us remember 2007 as the year “The Next Big Thing” arrived in “The Next Big Sport.”