With former UFC heavyweight titleholder, Brock Lesnar, recently entering free agency following his most recent stint with the WWE – rumours have begun to rumble surrounding the possibility of a return to the Octagon for the veteran.
Lesnar, who failed to agree terms on a new deal with the Vince McMahon banner – is free to float offers from other professional wrestling promotions, as well as the UFC. With Jon Jones’ recent decision to vacate his light heavyweight throne, and test his ability a division higher – if both Lesnar and the Rochester native are interested in meeting – UFC president, Dana White is happy to make that fight.
Speaking at last night’s post-fight press conference following the latest instalment of the Contender Series – White reiterated his willingness to make an eye-catching matchup between the would-be returning, Lesnar, and former champion, Jones.
“Yeah, I mean, obviously I talked to TMZ (Sports) about that one today, and I was like listen, if they both want to fight each other then I’m sure it’s a fight that the fans would want to see,” White said. “It would be a good introduction to (Jon) Jones into the heavyweight division. Yeah, if they wanted to do it, I would do it.“
Lesnar hasn’t featured in the UFC since July 2016 where he returned at UFC 200 opposite kickboxing veteran, Mark Hunt. Lesnar received an exemption from anti-doping agency USADA to compete – scoring a unanimous decision win on his return. After the event, Lesnar was notified of a potential anti-doping violation, after a test sample returned a positive result for the banned substance, clomiphene. The 43-year-old would go on to receive a $250,000 fine and a one-year retroactive suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, with the result overturned to a ‘No Contest’.
The promotion were tentatively planning a heavyweight title matchup between then-champion, Daniel Cormier, and Lesnar back in 2017 – with the bout failing to come to fruition, with White explained how the latter was “done” with fighting. Three years down the road, White revealed he still wasn’t sure what Lesnar’s plans are in regards to competing professionally again.
“He’s (Lesnar) 43-years-old and he’s got a lot of money. I don’t know what his plans are and how his body feels or any of that,” White told reporters. “Like I said, I haven’t talked to him. (TMZ Sports) asked me about it because his contract is up and I said if he calls me and he’s interested in fighting then I would obviously consider making that fight.“
Lesnar, who claimed the heavyweight title opposite Randy Couture, would score two successful title defences against Frank Mir in a rematch, and submitted Shane Carwin in a unification bout – dropped the crown to Cain Velasquez, before losing via first-round knockout to Alistair Overeem, resulting in his first retirement from mixed martial arts.
Jones famously issued an invitation to Lesnar following his rematch victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, calling out the South Dakota native in his post-fight interview. “Brock Lesnar, if you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by a guy who weighs 40-pounds less than you, meet me in the Octagon,“Jones said.
While White remains adamant that Jones won’t leapfrog Francis Ngannou to a title tilt opposite reigning gold holder, Stipe Miocic – a divisional bow opposite Lesnar would offer an interesting proposition.