Lesnar, Fedor Make Businessweek’s Most Powerful Athletes List

Brock Lesnar and Fedor Emelianenko were recently included on Businessweek’s list of the 100 Most Powerful Athletes in sports.

The magazine ranked athletes based on both actual sports talent and their appeal to advertisers, sponsors and fans off the field (or outside the cage, in this case).

Emelianenko checked in at No. 83, making him the highest-ranked fighter on the list and, surprisingly, a full 13 spots head of the No. 96-ranked Lesnar.

Look — I’m a fan of Fedor Emelianenko. But any list that somehow tries to claim that Fedor Emelianenko is a more viable or more powerful draw than Brock Lesnar in the sports world is ludicrous. SportsCenter gave Lesnar ten minutes of air time to announce that he would not be retiring last week, and anything Lesnar-related is covered in depth by mainstream media. And those Bud Light comments that Lesnar made at UFC 100 last year, the ones that supposedly pissed off sponsors and cost the UFC millions in ad revenue? A Bud Light executive told me late last year that the company was absolutely thrilled with Lesnar’s comments.

It’s pretty cool that MMA fighters are being recognized by mainstream media sources alongside guys like Albert Pujols, Lebron James and (cough) Tiger Woods. But if those same media sources are going to talk about the sport, they probably need to invest some time into actually understanding it.

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