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Lesnar a sore winner in UFC bout

LAS VEGAS -- If there's one thing Brock Lesnar apparently learned during his time with World Wrestling Entertainment, it's that there is a handsome profit to be made from being the man fans love to hate.

LAS VEGAS -- If there's one thing Brock Lesnar apparently learned during his time with World Wrestling Entertainment, it's that there is a handsome profit to be made from being the man fans love to hate.

Hey, somebody has to be the villain. Might as well be the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titlist who no longer fights off a script but can still push whatever buttons necessary to incite the crowd.

In the main event of UFC 100, held Saturday night in Las Vegas, the 265-pound Lesnar avenged a 2008 loss to popular Frank Mir with a technical knockout in which he pinned Mir to the canvas and was whaling away with powerful right-hand punches to the head, prompting referee Herb Dean to jump in and wave the match off after an elapsed time of 1 minute, 48 seconds into the second round.

Lesnar -- who was paid a reported $3 million for his night's work -- celebrated by parading around the octagon and, as the booing intensified, he extended the middle finger of both hands in a familiar obscene gesture. His immediate postfight comments were also something less than gracious.

"I love it! Keep going, keep going!" Lesnar told the sellout crowd of 12,000-plus as it showered its disapproval on him.

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Was it all a part of the same sort of act Lesnar regularly played out when he was one of the resident bad guys of WWE? Or had he crossed a line that UFC president Dana White, who in recent years has tried to sanitize mixed martial arts' formerly unsavory image, would have preferred that he not have stepped over?

After the fight, White angrily confronted Lesnar in his dressing room and told him such conduct would not be tolerated in the future.

"Brock went so far over the top tonight I can't even describe it," White said. "I don't think in the history of the UFC we've ever done anything like that.

"You don't act like something you're not. This isn't the WWE. I don't ask these guys to act crazy so we can get more pay-per-views. That's not the business I'm in."

A chastened Lesnar apologized for his actions at the postfight news conference, saying he was overly hyped by meeting his onetime conqueror in the rematch.

"I'm a sore loser," Lesnar said. "I don't like to get beat. I acted very unprofessionally after the fight. I screwed up."

No such lack of sportsmanship was exhibited by UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre in the co-feature, in which the classy Canadian overcame a pulled groin muscle in the third round to score a unanimous, five-round decision over Brazil's Thiago Alves.

"I'm in real pain," St. Pierre, who was noticeably limping, said upon conclusion of the bout. "It could have been a very bad night for me."

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Instead, he added to his growing legend with a grittiness that suggested he might someday achieve his stated goal of becoming the best MMA fighter in history.

It will be interesting to see which UFC -- the rules-adhering one or the rules-bending one -- comes to town when UFC 101 is staged Aug. 8 at the Wachovia Center.

In one of Saturday's undercard bouts, Dan Henderson delivered an overhand right that rendered Michael Bisping unconscious the instant it connected. But, perhaps for good measure, Henderson went down to the ground to deliver a forearm smash.

Not only was Henderson not disqualified, he received the $100,000 bonus for having scored the "knockout of the night."

Regardless of whether Lesnar's boorish behavior was intentional or condoned, it served a certain purpose. Fedor Emelianenko fulfills his contract with UFC's primary competitor, Affliction, on Aug. 1 in Anaheim, Calif., after which White can be expected to toss piles of cash at the Russian heavyweight.

"Eventually Fedor is going to be (with UFC)," White said. "I want Fedor. We'll end up getting that deal done and then we'll do Brock vs. Fedor."

CUNNINGHAM CRUISES

Former IBF cruiserweight boxing champion Steve "USS" Cunningham (22-2, 11 KOs) was too fast and too sharp for one-time WBC cruiser titlist Wayne "Big Truck" Braithwaite (23-4, 19 KOs) in scoring a 12-round, unanimous decision Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla.

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Cunningham came out on top on the judges' scorecards by respective margins of 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111.

"Tonight I proved again I am still the best cruiserweight in the world," said the U.S. Navy veteran from Southwest Philadelphia.

"Braithwaite is a tough dude. I thought I was going to fight him six years ago, but we always knew his boxing skills didn't match up to mine."

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