Sunday, July 10, 2016
Lesnar Wants More Octagon Appearances
"Let's get one thing straight: Brock Lesnar's gonna do what Brock Lesnar wants to do."
That's how the former UFC heavyewight champion fresh off his first victory in six years opened his press conference on Saturday night.
It was in response to a question about his future with WWE and UFC and whether he could make a full-time comeback to the latter, but it's a quote that also applies to Lesnar when in action. He did as he pleased with Mark Hunt on Saturday's co-main event, throwing the top-10 heavyweight to the mat with ease and taking him down via unanimous decision after three rounds.
And if it pleases Lesnar to keep fighting in UFC events, you can bet he'll find a way to make that happen.
Lesnar's five-year absence from the Octagon didn't seem to bother him as the WWE superstar was able to dominate Hunt with his ground and pound attack to earn a win at UFC 200.
His performance sparked plenty of chatter about his future, and in his post-fight press conference, he did not clarify the situation at all, though he most certainly left the door open for more mixed martial arts fights.
For the second time this week, Lesnar said "never say never" when asked about making a heavyweight title run. He was also in great spirits after the win, saying he "hadn't had that much fun" in a long time and that he felt great after the three-round bout. The former heavyweight champion looked good and was able to shake off the nerves and rust that follow a five year layoff with an impressive performance.
Lesnar's next appearance will come with WWE at SummerSlam in an August match with Randy Orton. Lesnar signed what is believed to be a lucrative multi-year contract with WWE about 15 months ago when he decided to give up on returning to the Octagon for good just days before WrestleMania 31.
That has obviously changed, due in large part to WWE chairman Vince McMahon agreeing to allow Lesnar to fight at UFC 200 while still under WWE contract. (Promotions for Lesnar's SummerSlam match and the WWE 2K17 game featuring Lesnar on its cover could be seen during the UFC 200 broadcast, likely a give-back from Dana White to McMahon.)
Now Lesnar's future with UFC is hazy at best, but the idea that there may even be a future in UFC for the 39-year-old Lesnar is incredible. He admitted that age is a consideration and that "the big 4-0 is coming;" he'll be realistic, but the possibility does exist for a comeback.
As for a potential opponent should he return, Lesnar was asked about facing Cain Velasquez, who won his fight after a long layoff of his own in impressive fashion against Travis Browne. Lesnar's response? "Sure, absolutely."
Lesnar's overly positive attitude after the fight was impossible not to recognize, in large part due to its rarity. He was clearly extremely happy to be back in competitive fighting. A return to UFC for Lesnar obviously requires further coordination between WWE and UFC. How willing and able McMahon and White are to work together is unknown, though a once somewhat-contentions relationship between the two has eased significantly over the years with the two men even meeting at least once in Stamford, Connecticut, a few years back.
The optimistic view is that they were able to make UFC 200 work for all parties -- UFC got a star for its card, WWE raked in some unscheduled promotion -- so why not make other mutually beneficial deals in the future.
Then again, considering the ever-defiant nature of Brock Lesnar, The Beast is likely to follow whatever path he so chooses.