Was all the talk about a Brock Lesnar return to the UFC just a ploy? Was it all just chatter to drum up a better WWE deal?
WWE on Monday announced that Lesnar had inked a new contract with the leading professional wrestling organization in the world, even announcing his next match.
After winning the main event of WrestleMania 34 on Sunday in New Orleans – the same event where former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey made her high-profile WWE debut –Lesnar will not make his next appearance in a cage, but again in the WWE ring at the promotion’s upcoming event in Saudi Arabia. Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns in the WrestleMania 34 main event, but will rematch him in the main event of the Greatest Royal Rumble event on April 27 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
There had been lots of chatter in recent weeks that Lesnar wanted to return to the UFC. His longtime friend and self-proclaimed advocate, Paul Heyman, has been talking about it, as has UFC president Dana White.
So does this mean that the former UFC heavyweight champion is being ruled out for a return to the Octagon?
Though none of the involved parties had commented on the matter at the time of publication, just because Lesnar is once again under contract with WWE doesn’t mean that a UFC return can be ruled out.
As White recently mentioned, Lesnar remains under contract with the UFC if he ever decides to return to mixed martial arts. And while his contract with the WWE complicates the situation, it doesn’t make it impossible. The UFC and WWE were able to work a deal for Lesnar to return at UFC 200 in July of 2016 when Lesnar was under contract with both companies.
That, of course, didn’t end well. Lesnar initially returned to the Octagon to defeat Mark Hunt, but had his victory overturned and was fined and suspended when he tested positive for the banned substance clomiphene.
If Lesnar does ever intend to return to the UFC, he will have to re-enter the UFC Athlete Testing Pool, which is administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and fulfill his suspension, which was frozen when he retired from the UFC following the anti-doping sanctions.
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