I've been reading comments on other websites from fans, and a great deal of the comments are negative. Some fans have called this match up WWE ish, disrespectful to Nog/Mir, and comments like Brock Lesnar doesn't deserve a title shot. While I can understand those sentiments...you must look at the big picture in regards to this situation.
- Couture is 45 yrs old...but still bankable via PPV
- Who else could Couture fight?
- Lesnar has the tools to beat Couture
Look the contract that Couture has signed is a 3 fight deal, and Zuffa must maximize those opportunities to the fullest. He's still a bankable PPV draw and couple that with the angle of him sitting out a year with a fighter with Lesnar's presence equals lightning in a bottle. It's not like Lesnar hasn't proven that he is for real at this point after demolishing a true veteran of the sport in Heath Herring.
Who else could Couture fight? A lot of money has been invested in TUF 8 with Mir/Nog as coaches and filming of that show has been COMPLETED. What...are they gonna just throw that whole show down the drain just for ONE fight? That would be a stupid way to waste money. Furthermore, the winner of the Couture/Lesnar fight will fight the winner of Mir/Nogueira...so if Couture and Nogueira hold up their end of the bargain...that fight will happen.
Looking at this from another POV....Couture could fight Werdum, yet Werdum isn't a bankable PPV draw like Lesnar and he's scheduled to fight at UFC 90 regardless. Werdum just signed a new deal...so he has ample time to fit into the HW title picture. Couture could re-match Gonzaga, but who wants to see that right now? Plus Gonzaga's fighting at UFC 91 as well. Couture could fight Kongo, but Kongo isn't a PPV draw either and frankly that would be a waste of a fight in Couture's case.
So we have Couture/Lesnar in what will be a blockbuster PPV event. So if Couture and Nogueira win their respective fights, then we all get to see one of the fights we've all wanted to see for some time. If Lesnar wins, then that gives the UFC HW division a instant star and complete legitimacy in beating a 'legend' like Couture. If Lesnar/Nogueira happens, then Lesnar helps Nogueira carry that PPV being that a lot of casual fans do not know Nogueira(that could change after TUF 8). If that happens, Zuffa can do Couture/Mir in the battle of former champions and if Couture won he could then take the Nogueira fight(regardless of if he beat Lesnar or not).
As you can see a great deal of this stuff is scenario based, which is exactly what Zuffa had to work with. This is the best possible scenario for the company under these circumstances. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of those people making the negative comments will be glued to their television sets watching.