Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who is currently one of the biggest superstars in professional wrestling’s WWE, has long expressed his interest in again challenging himself in the UFC Octagon.
In a recent interview, his professional advocate, Paul Heyman, insisted that Lesnar’s recent interest in returning to the UFC is genuine, though many have called it a negotiating ploy as he nears the end of his WWE contract.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that Brock is looking to get back into the Octagon. He is obviously eyeballing another fight in UFC. There’s no secret. He’s posing for pictures with Dana White wearing a UFC shirt in the UFC offices in Las Vegas,” Heyman told Newsweek. “That’s not a negotiating tactic, Brock Lesnar wants to compete inside of the octagon. There’s no leveraging that; it’s a fact.”
Brock Lesnar Holds a Unique Position in UFC History
Lesnar is one of the most remarkable athletes to ever fight under the UFC banner.
He was initially signed to the UFC after just one mixed martial arts bout. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Lesnar was one of the most decorated heavyweight collegiate wrestlers ever and that he had already become a star under the WWE banner.
His stint in the UFC wasn’t a gimmick though. Lesnar truly had a desire to fight for real and quickly found a way to leverage his wrestling skills and athleticism in the Octagon, defeating Randy Couture for the UFC heavyweight championship in just his fourth professional fight, his third in the Octagon.
Lesnar managed a 5-3 overall record before limping away from the UFC, revealing that he had been battling with a difficult gastrointestinal disease called diverticulitis.
One of the biggest draws in UFC history, Lesnar went back to the WWE before again emerging at UFC 200 to defeat Mark Hunt. The decision was later changed to a no contest after Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene.
Despite now being 40 years of age, Lesnar doesn’t appear to be content with leaving his UFC career “as is.”
Brock Lesnar Doesn’t Have to Leave the WWE for the UFC
And for those saying it is simply a negotiating ploy, Heyman offers Lesnar’s appearance at UFC 200 as proof that he could remain under the WWE banner and fight in the Octagon simultaneously, leaving numerous options on the table for consideration. Lesnar appeared at UFC 200 while still under contract with WWE. In fact, an agreement was reached between the two juggernauts of their respective industries which included cross-promoting, something which could easily be considered if the two promoters opt to work together again.
“(Brock and I) have a number of projects we have been interested in pursuing that will start to kick off after WrestleMania. That doesn’t mean Brock Lesnar can’t retain the title and we do those other projects simultaneously in a continued run as Universal Champion. The proof I offer to you is Brock Lesnar fought Mark Hunt at UFC 200 and, six weeks later, main evented SummerSlam against Randy Orton,” Heyman said.
“Brock Lesnar can do both and he has proven that time and time again.”
For Lesnar to return, it’s not enough that he has the desire or even whether the business details could be worked out between the UFC and the WWE. He would also have to undergo at least six months of drug testing from USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency), while also serving out the remainder of his suspension from the UFC 200 related positive drug test.
If he truly wants to return to the UFC, however, those are hurdles that can be overcome, and Heyman believes that Lesnar still has the fire to fight.
“I don’t even know if the timetable has been discussed. The question posed is ‘are you willing to get into the Octagon?’ and fight and I would suggest Brock’s answer to that is ‘yes, I am.’ Now, when will it take place, against who and where? These are just details,” said Heyman.
“The big question has always been ‘are you willing to do this?’ And it’s pretty apparent that Brock Lesnar is.”