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Posted: Monday March 23, 2009 2:07PM; Updated: Monday March 23, 2009 3:34PM
Josh Gross Josh Gross >
INSIDE MMA

What 'G' means for MMA, Lashley's potential, and much more

Story Highlights

St. Pierre's new deal with Gatorade may be a boost for MMA ... in the future

Bobby Lashley could be a good fighter, but he's only two bouts into his career

Despite the naysayers, Rashad Evans could manhandle "Rampage" Jackson

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Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin
Say what you will, but UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans (right) could easily take down Rampage.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

With a break in the major MMA action, it's time we dip into the mailbag.

From Georges St. Pierre's latest marketing endeavor and his ongoing (and, quite frankly, ridiculous) feud with B.J. Penn, to Rashad Evans' chances in his first defense, here are your answers.

What do you think Georges St. Pierre's new Gatorade sponsorship means for him and MMA?
-- Joe B., Winnipeg, Canada

In case people missed it, on Friday, Gatorade announced St. Pierre is among six Canadian sports figures, including Gordie Howe, set to appear in commercials as part of a new ad campaign that will run during the NHL playoffs.

St. Pierre, the current UFC welterweight champion and 2008 Canadian Athlete Of The Year, according to SportsNet, is the first mixed martial artist to land a spot in support of the sports drink giant, which is in the midst of trying to freshen up its brand.

You can take the news as one more sign of MMA's growth, especially in fight-crazy Canada. While Gatorade owns North American rights to run the spots, for now the company is scheduled to air them only north of the border. If the ads, which include some of the biggest icons in sport, get shown in the U.S., it'll certainly be a boost to the 27-year-old St. Pierre, the UFC and to MMA, in general.

Looking at the big picture, I take this to mean elite fighters can -- and are beginning to -- transcend the sport (including the UFC) to a place where they'll be recognizable to mainstream audiences. For purposes of negotiation, this can be incredibly powerful, and it will be interesting to see how, and if, sponsorships like this can propel fighter popularity and purses.

That said, St. Pierre won't capitalize any time soon. He signed an eight-fight extension with the UFC prior to stopping B.J. Penn at UFC 94.

What did you make of Bobby Lashley's win over Jason Guida? Lashley may want to be the next Brock Lesnar, but I haven't seen anything to suggest he can be.
-- Eric Simmons, Detroit

He's not Lesnar. At least, not yet. But really, no one with two fights should be expected to be one of MMA's best. It's unrealistic and unfair. With time and experience, who's to say how good Lashley will be? He deserves a chance to grow as a fighter, and he can do that right now fighting the Jason Guidas of the world. Give the guy at least half a year before demanding a big step up in competition. It'll come soon enough.

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