Brock Lesnar Did Not Cheapen MMA, But Rather He Actually Made People Care About It.
Back when UFC was more or less, just two dudes fighting and then two more dudes fighting and then another two dudes fighting, back in the Tank Abbott days, people really couldn't care all that much about UFC. It didn't have all that much of a cult following and granted it was an interesting cult, and those early UFCs were like night and day to the more calm and more gentle UFC of 2012. It wasn't until UFC started plagiarizing professional wrestling, with the larger than life personalities and the huge characters and the marquee matches that people want to see beyond two dudes in tights trying to mount each other.
And the numbers don't lie, Brock Lesnar did some very big business for UFC, and really made them a lot of money. I hear people crying about how he "didn't work his way up the ranks" which is like the old professional wrestling yarn of "this guy didn't pay his dues." Yeah, but Goldberg could have drawn a lot of money without dues paid, just as Lesnar drew a lot of money for UFC. The name of the game is money, because UFC, Wrestling, Boxing, they have something in common, as they are all a business.
And when insecure children don't do business, then everyone from the top to the bottom. When people sabotage others because they want to keep their spots, because they can't hack it any more. Brock Lesnar did flame out rather quickly in UFC all things considered, but he did have a few health problems. Plus Alisair Overeem failed a drug test, which rather moronic I should note, as UFC does take their drug policy somewhat seriously.
I'll be honest, now that Lesnar is gone, I haven't even bothered to pay any attention to UFC or any MMA, other than the bits and pieces that I catch on Observer Radio while fast forwarding to get to the professional wrestling news, about how screwed up of a business that is, and how WWE or TNA or ROH or whatever made another stupid decision, blowing a sure fire storyline. I did enjoy Lesnar and got great joy in watching UFC nerds cry "that fake rassler shouldn't be in the fighting thing, he beat the Ultimate Fighter, wah".
I do think that UFC in the next thirty years will be more like professional wrestling than any of us can be realized. Providing it is around in the next thirty years. The winds of change move very quickly in the world and what is popular today might be dead in about three years. Especially with this economy and it might be back to the dark days where UFC was merely just a cult fancy. Then again, Many would argue that it's peak period has passed but you just never know.