Brock Lesnar is one of the most compelling and polarizing figures in mixed martial arts. When he agreed to be the coach on the 13 edition of The Ultimate Fighter versus the affable Junior Dos Santos, expectations for the show soared, after a general feeling that the formula was a little stale.
There was a widespread sense of surprise that the notoriously private Lesnar, who built his training camp into his home, would spend six weeks in Vegas with cameras on him constantly for a reality show. And there was a widespread expectation that Lesnar would rant, break things, bully his team, frighten the camera crew, snarl at Dos Santos, that he would be more compelling than Kimbo Slice.
Didn't happen. Instead Lesnar ended up being a pretty good coach.
In addition, mid way through the series Lesnar's diverticulitis returned and the planned fight with Dos Santos was scrapped.
Ratings ended up being the lowest in the show's six year run. As Spike TV President Kevin Kay acknowledged in a recent interview with Jack Encarnacao, Brock Lesnar made for boring reality TV.
"Look, the Brock Lesnar season just wasn't that good," said Kay. "Let's be honest. It wasn't the Brock that the audience expected. The audience wanted Brock the bad guy, and Brock was more of a good guy, and I don't think it was that great a season."
That's the thing about a reality show that asks a proud professional athlete to do his best coaching a team of athletes who aspire to his achievement. You can't ask for anything more than the truth. Brock Lesnar may be pretty wound up and unbearable before and after his fights, but as a coach on a reality show, he's a fairly low key guy.
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