We are in the midst of a very interesting week in the world of combat sports.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and multiple time WWE Champion Brock Lesnar is a free agent for the first time in years.
The 43-year-old athlete has made waves in both the pro wrestling and MMA world this week based on much speculation as to where he will land.
Let’s look at the two options and see which one is more likely for the beast incarnate.
The WWE, or World Wrestling Entertainment for the non-pro wrestling fan, has been the home of Brock Lesnar for the past six years. Upon Brock’s return from the UFC, Lesnar has been featured in the upper mid-card, to the main event scene in WWE for his entire six-year stint.
Some highlights for Brock during this period would be winning the WWE Championship, the Universal Championship, and ending the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania undefeated streak. Career accolades aside, why did Brock want to stay in WWE? Also, why did the WWE want Brock Lesnar?
For those unaware, Brock joined the WWE’s developmental territory, OVW, upon graduating from college with a strong wrestling background. Brock being a division one national champion wrestler made a seamless transition to the world of pro wrestling. He was soon called up to the main roster where he competed for a few years. However, the intense schedule as well as the physical toll wrestling was taking on his body prompted Brock to request his release, which he was granted. After a failed attempt at pro football and working for some other pro wrestling companies, Brock began training for MMA. Brock found a home in the UFC after having one pro bought which he won. Brock was the skyrocketed to the top of the UFC winning the Heavyweight Championship and going 4-3 in the promotion during his first run. After battling diverticulitis and losing his last bout against Alistair Overeem, Brock made his return to the WWE.
Brock has been a member of the WWE roster since his return, until now. The reason why WWE wanted to bring Brock back in the first place was to not only return an old name that fans could easily recognize but to also capitalize on the immense star power of Lesnar and draw in new fans. From Brock’s perspective, he could return to a place he knew, make more money than he was making in the UFC, have a part-time schedule, and be involved in marque matches. One last reason for Brock would also be the demand on his body. While Brock was certainly tested in WWE as pro wrestling is no walk in the park, MMA is centered around damaging your opponent whereas injuries in pro wrestling are more the result of where and tear. But because Brock has worked a part-time schedule, he hasn’t had the build-up of injuries like some more active superstars have.
So will Brock resign with WWE? Well, not to spoil the upcoming section, but the answer is most likely yes. The WWE love having Brock as an attraction exclusive to their brand. However, in these incredibly weird times due to the pandemic, Brock could feasibly leave WWE should they want to continue cutting costs and saving money where they can. Which may be why Brock has left the door open on a UFC return.
Let’s first begin with the caveats to a Brock Lesnar return to the UFC. Brock had returned for the infamous UFC 200 pay-per-view a few years ago to battle Mark Hunt. Brock was given an exemption from drug testing before this bought and subsequently failed a pre-fight and post-fight drug test. Because of these failures the result of the bought, originally a unanimous win for Brock, was overturned to a no-contest, and Lesnar was fined 250 thousand dollars, which he still has not paid. Brock was also given and year-long suspension but that has since expired. If Brock wants to reenter the octagon, he will have to pay the fine before he can do so. This wouldn’t be an issue for Brock because he would most likely earn more than a million dollars for a UFC fight. So if Brock does want to return and pays his fine, who would he face?
A few names come to mind for Brock should he want to rejoin the UFC. The first could be a rematch with the man who last defeated him in the octagon, Alistair Overeem. Overeem won his last bout and would definitely be open to a high-profile rematch with Lesnar. Both men are in very different points in their careers since the last time they fought, so a rematch could be interesting. Another great opponent who has actually called out Lesnar on Twitter could be former Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. Jones is angling for a Heavyweight Championship match against Stipe Miocic but it appears he will have to wait in line behind Francis N’Gannou. A Jones-Lesnar match-up would the definition of a money fight, but it would certainly be a fight everyone would want to see.
Also, and this could just be a pipe dream, but should Francis lose to Stipe, a Lesnar-N’Gannou fight would be everything Heavyweight bouts should be: two behemoth men squaring off in the center of the cage.
Brock Lesnar is certainly an enigma for both the pro wrestling and MMA worlds.
Whether he chooses to resign with WWE or jump back to the UFC, we will all be watching.
Are you a Brock Lesnar fan?
What is your favorite Brock Lesnar moment?
Featured Image: Sportskeeda