UFC announced that Brock Lesnar is on the UFC 200 card, filling the spot in the main event that Dana White has spoken about previously. In an interview with ESPN’s SportsCenter, Lesnar reveals that he requested to return to the UFC rather than him being called upon for his big name. When Conor McGregor was dropped from the card, many speculated that the PPV numbers will dwindle despite Jon Jones and Cormier in the main event.
Lesnar’s opponent is revealed to be Mark Hunt, who recently dropped his old rival Frank Mir with a brutal knockout. The WWE star and former UFC heavyweight champion tells ESPN that he didn’t have any choice over who he is fighting and that he is working on his standup fighting skills. Lesnar is known for his strength and wrestling ability rather than striking on the feet.
Morning Report: Mark Hunt calls Brock Lesnar a 'pretender,' says he will 'get it good and proper' at UFC 200 https://t.co/LNeOWGk317— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 7, 2016
In a tweet in May earlier this year, the Notorious bragged about his record breaking feats in the octagon.
“It is not safe to say. It is fact to say. I hold PPV, Gate, TV, Fightpass and Embedded record. Even Title fight KO.”
It is not safe to say. It is fact to say.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 2, 2016
I hold PPV, Gate, TV, Fightpass and Embedded record.
Even Title fight KO. https://t.co/nqwoQSap9A
Although McGregor did not mention Brock Lesnar by name, his response was from a fan tweet who asked if he has overtaken Brock Lesnar as the biggest draw in UFC. UFC 100, which Brock Lesnar headlined, is believed to be the biggest PPV event in MMA history until the Conor vs. Nate fight at UFC 196, which supposedly beat the record. UFC does not release official PPV numbers.
While McGregor’s facts are not entirely accurate, Brock Lesnar was asked by the Sportscenter host what he thinks of Conor McGregor’s statement.
“I don’t know him. I know of Conor McGregor,” Lesnar said. “This sport has evolved even from when I first entered the octagon. I think people are finding out that you have to talk the talk, and you have to more importantly, you have to walk the walk.”
Brock echoes Jon Jones’ statement about McGregor being good for the sport rather than take it personally.
“For guys that can talk and walk the walk, I think it’s great. I think it’s great for the company. I’ve got no qualms with anybody. If somebody wants to state that they’re the biggest pay-per-view draw in the world, I don’t care.
The former heavyweight champion also clears the air about his PPV numbers and why he fights.
“I’ve never come out and said, ‘I hold the most pay-per-view buys.’ All I know is what I got paid and I’m happy. Like I said, I’m a prize fighter. I don’t hang my championship trophies on the walls because they don’t pay the bills.”
Brock Lesnar also clears up why he felt he lost some match-ups in the UFC, and his return is not all about the money. He reveals that his health issues played a key role in some of his losses in the UFC.
“The true competitor in me is still alive and well and I have to do this. At the top of my career, I wasn’t at the top of my game. I feel like I was cheated out of my career in the UFC. In my mind and in my heart, I never lost to a foe. I never lost to my opponent. I lost to diverticulitis. That was my opponent who beat me.”
Many fans didn’t believe Brock Lesnar will return to the UFC due to his contract with the WWE. Most speculated that Georges St. Pierre will make his return or some other big name will fill the spot. His opponent, Mark Hunt, is a dangerous striker but Brock has a wrestling advantage if he can get the fight to the ground.
Who do you think wins at UFC 200? Sound off in the comment below.
[Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images]