It appears as though Brock Lesnar’s career as a MMA fighter in the UFC is over. Dana White, who is the UFC President, told ESPN that Lesnar has retired from UFC competition after months of speculation that Lesnar would return for at least one more fight against current UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier.
Dana White said about a discussion he had with Lesnar last week: “He told me he’s done. He’s retired.”
Lesnar is 41 years old (he’ll turn 42 years old in July) and last fought at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016. Lesnar won the fight against Mark Hunt, but was later suspended for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Lesnar last appeared in a UFC Octagon in July 2018 when he confronted Daniel Cormier in the cage. That led to a lot of immediate speculation that the two men would fight this year. Apparently, that’s not going to happen now.
As for Cormier, he is likely going to fight Stipe Miocic likely on August 17th. That’s not official yet. It could be Cormier’s retirement fight since he has spoken many times about wanting to retire from UFC this year. Cormier could also end up in WWE as an announcer on Smackdown, which is something Cormier mentioned in October 2018. There’s no word on if that commentary position will still happen for Cormier.
Regarding Lesnar, TMZ reported today that Lesnar has been drug tested by the USADA ahead of his possible return to the UFC. That could lead to speculation that Lesnar may have found out he failed a test and perhaps was going to be suspended again, but that’s just speculation right now. Lesnar could choose to move on from UFC simply because he’s nearly 42 years old and has had health issues in the past.
Lesnar is advertised for WWE’s next Saudi Arabian event on June 7th, so we might see him back on WWE TV this month to promote that show. It’s possible that Lesnar could face Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship at the Saudi Arabia show although that’s just speculation at this point. Lesnar’s former rival Bill Goldberg is also advertised for the Saudi Arabia show, so maybe they’ll have one more match.
There is also some new speculation about Lesnar’s WWE future. As we know, for most of the decade, Lesnar has had multiple short term agreements with WWE for a few matches per year. He gets paid really good money by Vince McMahon and when people think he’s leaving, he ends up coming back. Since WWE has more money than ever thanks to new TV deals starting this October, Lesnar can continue to make a lot of money from WWE although now that the UFC door has closed, he can’t really leverage the two companies against eachother.
The rumor about Lesnar’s WWE future comes from Brad Shepard of the Oh You Didn’t Know podcast, who reported that Lesnar might retire from WWE in the next year. Thanks to RingsideNews for the quote from Shepard:
“Brock had a conversation with Vince McMahon over the weekend and wants to retire from WWE at WrestleMania 36. That’s huge.”
That is huge if Lesnar does retire next WrestleMania, but there’s a lot that can happen over the next year. I’m not questioning Shepard necessarily because I know he has broken some stories in the past. I just don’t know true the story is.
The expectation is that Lesnar is also going to be part of the Smackdown brand this October due to the blue brand moving to Fox on Friday nights.
TJR Thoughts: I’m not surprised that Lesnar has retired from MMA. He is almost 42 years old and he can make just as much money, if not more, in WWE without really hurting his body much. Yes, pro wrestling leads to some injuries at times, but it’s a lot safer than MMA if you know what you are doing. Lesnar really hasn’t had many injuries in his WWE career.