by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar’s health has been shrouded in mystery ever since he had to withdraw from a title defense against Shane Carwin, initially scheduled for UFC 106 in Los Angeles.
His trainer, Greg Nelson, in early December confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that the champion’s malady was diagnosed as diverticulitis (an infection in the digestive tract). Yet, his return to fighting, or even training, hasn’t been so easy to pinpoint.
“We’re not really pushing it right now. We’re just letting things take their course so he can be 100-percent healthy when he starts to train,” said Nelson. “But right now, he’s just taking the time to properly heal.”
The situation will hopefully gain some clarity later this week when Lesnar goes back to the doctor to find out if he is getting better, or if he will need to have major surgery that could end his career.
“This week Brock Lesnar is going back to the doctor, getting fully checked out by one of the best doctors and hospitals in the world,” relayed UFC president Dana White on Saturday night.
“If the doctors say things are going well and things are going in the right direction then maybe we’re a few months away from him coming back. If it’s not going in the right direction, he’ll either be done and have to retire or he’ll be out for a couple years. So, hopefully we get good news.”
The UFC has already taken the first steps in moving the division forward, regardless of Lesnar’s prognosis. The promotion on Saturday announced UFC 111 for March 27 in Newark, N.J. The event features a headline bout between UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and challenger Dan Hardy, but also a heavyweight interim title bout between former champion Frank Mir and No. 1 contender Shane Carwin.
Lesnar has quickly become one of the leading pay-per-view draws for the UFC, but that’s the furthest thing from White’s mind when it comes to his heavyweight champion.
“The thing that I’m concerned about most is Brock Lesnar, that he’s okay. I’m not looking at Brock Lesnar and saying, ‘oh Brock,’ now he’s gone and we’re gonna lose all these pay-per-view buys,” White declared.
“What I’m thinking about is I hope Brock’s gonna be okay. If he has to have this major surgery, you’re talking about changing the quality of this guy’s life forever. Pay-per-view buys? I could give a (expletive) about that. I hope the guy is healthy.”
Lesnar is a polarizing figure. He’s one of those guys that you either love or hate, there’s not a lot of in between. And he’s tended to be more on the receiving end of boos than cheers.
But according to White, that’s part of what makes him so great. One way or another, he gets people excited. That’s something people would miss if he can’t continue his career.
“It’s funny because all the people that were booing and hating him, they’re all sitting back now and thinking about what life would be without Brock Lesnar. He’s exciting. He makes it fun. He’s a nut and you don’t know what he’s going to do. He’s like our Mike Tyson.”