“I’m a big fan of the sport, and I know a lot of those guys,” Johnson said, in studio to promote his new movie “Tooth Fairy.” “I think [Brock Lesnar] coming back is fantastic … as far as me ever getting in an Octagon, I enjoy it and I respect it.” (As this point, he trailed off into non-committal adulation of the athletes without offering a definitive answer on the question of his participation. We would also have accepted, “Are you kidding me?”)
Johnson’s opinion is no big surprise: he wrestled with Lesnar in the WWE and clearly has an understanding of the work ethic involved in combat sports. Chan, meanwhile, is a couple decades ahead, grew up studying martial arts as a form of theater expression, and has probably seen enough of his own blood as a stubborn stuntman to last a lifetime. Still, it’s interesting that a lot of the comments regarding the sport’s cheerful brutality originate from older speakers. No generation ever seems happy with contemporary culture.