As the Inquisitr reported late Monday morning, Brock Lesnar will face Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in Las Vegas on July 9. Lesnar reached an agreement with Dana White and UFC, as news broke over the weekend that he’d be returning to the octagon after a five-year absence. As he did 15 months ago to announce that he had re-signed with WWE and that he was “closing the door” on a return to UFC, Lesnar appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter to take fans through the process of how this all came to fruition.
Before the actual interview with Hannah Storm started, they flashed back to his SportsCenter segment from 2015, when he said he was done with UFC. But Brock Lesnar admitted on Monday that he wrestled with that decision from the moment he left the ESPN studios. The competitor in him wouldn’t let his desires die, and that every morning he thought about his career choices (thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription).
“I couldn’t live with that decision, that decision has haunted me for the last 15 months. I’m a big believer in facing your fears and facing the reality of not sitting 20 years ago saying ‘Son, you should have done that.’ I was on UFC 100, so why not UFC 200? I lost to diverticulitis, that’s who beat me. My performance was because of the illness. I feel a thousand percent, I wouldn’t step in the Octagon if I didn’t. I’m not faking it, this is for real.”
After stressing that he’s never been beaten by another fighter, only by an illness, Brock Lesnar called himself the “modern-day Bo Jackson,” in that he’ll be competing in two different sports at the same time. He was appreciative to both Dana White and Vince McMahon for having the faith that Brock could be showcased both in the octagon and in the ring for what he is: a prize fighter. As a matter of fact, one marquee event in July’s UFC 200 will be followed by WWE’s big show SummerSlam just a month later.
Speaking of SummerSlam, Lesnar confirmed that he will be on the card on August 21 in Brooklyn for WWE’s second-biggest show of the year. Rumors have swirled since WrestleMania that Brock would finally be facing off against Bray Wyatt this summer, but little did anyone know that he was actually training for a UFC bout since April.
Lesnar admitted, or least didn’t let on to the contrary, that he didn’t know what the plans were for him at SummerSlam. It was reported in the past that Vince McMahon was less than satisfied with Lesnar’s WrestleMania program and they wouldn’t let their featured attraction go to waste like that again. The WWE, as a whole, is still showing that they are on board for this new “partnership,” releasing a statement again on Monday.
“Brock Lesnar appeared on ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter’ Monday to announce he will fight Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in his return to the octagon. Hunt, the eighth ranked heavyweight in the world, has a professional record of 12-10-1 and is best known for his strong stand-up game and knockout power. Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, will attempt to neutralize Hunt’s punching power with his sheer strength and exceptional grappling. Brock Lesnar will fight Mark Hunt at UFC 200 on July 9 on pay-per-view and then make his in-ring return to WWE at SummerSlam on August 21, only on WWE Network.”
As noted, this entire deal wouldn’t have gotten done without the approvals of Dana White and Vince McMahon. We’re still waiting to hear what, if anything, WWE gets out of this agreement, but there have been reports suggesting that UFC will promote SummerSlam during Lesnar’s match with Hunt at UFC 200. Lesnar said he’s never been one to turn down a fight, but it was also apparent during the interview that he isn’t one to turn down money either.
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