Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar made a successful, if uneventful, return to the Octagon at UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes on Saturday night in Las Vegas, taking a win over No. 8 ranked heavyweight Mark Hunt.
Lesnar, currently a WWE Superstar, took this fight at UFC 200 because he couldn’t live with wondering what could have been if he hadn’t suffered from a severe intestinal disorder during his first run through the promotion. Hunt took this fight because, well, he’s Mark Hunt. He’ll play punchy face with anyone.
Not surprising anyone, Lesnar maintained a safe distance from Hunt for the first couple minutes of the fight, and Hunt tried not to get into takedown range.
Lesnar eventually took a chance and shot on Hunt, chasing him across the cage to do it, but eventually took him to the canvas, where he landed some heavy right hands and a knee to the ribs. Hunt got up, but Lesnar took him back down, landing a few more punches.
Hunt got up again late in the round, winging some big punches, but that left him open and Lensar took him down again, immediately moving into full mount. With only a few seconds left in the round, Hunt held on to survive the round.
The second frame wasn’t really a good one for either man. Although Hunt landed a couple punches in the round, they weren’t the big power blows that he’s known to knock people out with.
Lesnar seemed to tire a bit in the frame, finding much less success with his takedowns.
The final frame was all Lesnar. Though he ate a couple heavy punches early in the round, Lesnar took Hunt down with about four minutes left in the fight. He didn’t relinquish top position for the duration.
Once in control, Lesnar dropped punch after punch after punch on the head of Hunt. He couldn’t find a way to put the Super Samoan away, but the domination over those final minutes secured the victory. All three judges gave the nod to Lesnar, scoring it 29-27 for the WWE Superstar.
“It took me a little while just to get acclimated,” Lesnar said about his surprise return to the Octagon following a five year absence.
Though beating a heavyweight like Hunt puts him right in the thick of the heavyweight division, the WWE said this was a one-off opportunity for Lesnar, and Lesnar has been hesitant to commit to anything beyond UFC 200.
He did little to indicate anything more on Saturday night.
“One day at a time. I’m so happy to be in here.”
During a time of rampant unrest in America, Lesnar did, however, take a minute to try and pull people together.
“America, a shout out to the men in uniform that protect and serve this country,” he said, tipping his hat to the recent divide over America’s police forces. “From sea to shining sea. From one white boy to all nationalities, we got to stand together people.”