Brock Lesnar made headlines recently when it was announced that he will make his return to mixed martial arts and compete at UFC 200 against Mark Hunt. After nearly five years away from the sport, Lesnar will look to reestablish his dominance inside the octagon.
However, Lesnar’s decision to return to MMA had nothing to do with satisfying fans. Instead, the “Beast Incarnate” is focused on maximizing this opportunity for himself. In a media conference call on Thursday to promote the fight, the former UFC Heavyweight champion made it clear that he does not care about his WWE standing or anything else that doesn’t concern his fight against Hunt on July 9 (via MMA Fighting).
“This isn’t about my fans. This is about me living my life, being the person that I want to be,” Lesnar said.
“Granted, without the fans and everything, none of us would be able to do this. I get that. But I don’t sit up at night wondering is my drawing power gonna be hurt or are my WWE fans gonna tune in and watch me do this. I don’t give two s***s about that. This is about me. I want to get in there and be an athlete again. That’s what this is about.”
In an interview with Business Insider earlier this week, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon had some strong comments about Lesnar’s upcoming UFC return. While WWE has granted him the opportunity to compete at the biggest UFC show in history, McMahon said that WWE does not necessarily support the fight.
— WWE (@WWE) June 29, 2016
“UFC, they can make a big star but the second that person loses, they lose credibility, and how do you continue to make that star rise? So I think we have the best of both worlds and the opportunity to tell the stories in the way we want to tell them,” McMahon said.
McMahon said: “In Brock Lesnar’s case it was really a special case that we are allowing him to do this fight [against Mark Hunt on July 9]. But like you said it’s not really a cross-promotional opportunity, but we are allowing him to participate in that fight.”
Lesnar, who had not heard of McMahon’s comments had a typically short and sweet response.
“I don’t know,” Lesnar said with a laugh during the call. “I don’t care what she says.”
There has been talk among wrestling fans on social media — and inside the WWE offices — of how Lesnar’s status as the company’s most dominant force would suffer if he lost to Hunt. Going back to McMahon’s comments — once you lose a fight in the octagon, you lose credibility.
Once more, in typical Lesnar fashion, he didn’t have much to say in regards to his WWE status being impacted.
“I really don’t give a s**t,” Lesnar said.
— WWE 2K17 (@WWEgames) June 28, 2016
During various appearances on ESPN when Lesnar announced his comeback, he said it’s possible that this comeback leads to more fights in the future. While he’s not committing to anything past July 9, he said that his health — after battling diverticulitis, which effectively ended his career the first time — is the best it’s been in a long time.
“I don’t know. I feel really good. Training camp is going great. I’m happy. I’m happy with my life. I’m happy with everything. Since I left the Octagon after I got beat by Overeem and kind of forced out of the cage because of my illness it haunted me for a long time. Well what do you do? Well, here I am. And before it’s too late, I want to get back in the cage and have fun with it.”
[Featured Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images]