Entering the octagon after a five-year absence, former Ultimate Fight Championship Heavyweight champion and current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar faced the No.8 ranked heavyweight Mark Hunt. While Lesnar could not put the “Super Samoan” away, he defeated Hunt via unanimous decision after their three-round battle.
Lesnar, 38, made it clear that he felt diverticulitis — an intestinal disease that forced 12 inches of his colon to be removed — cut his first stint with the UFC short. Now healthy and reenergized, “The Beast” has put both the UFC and WWE on notice — letting the media know after the fight that he does what he wants.
“Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants to do,” he said (via Yahoo Sports). “I believe that my future is already laid out for the next month.”
Lesnar’s next bout will occur at WWE SummerSlam on August 21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The former four-time WWE champion will face “The Viper” Randy Orton for the first time since both men were WWE rookies in 2002.
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) July 10, 2016
“Once the dust settles there, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Lesnar said. “I had one hell of a time tonight, and I enjoyed myself, so we’ll see what happens.”
Not only was Lesnar’s UFC return profitable for him — earning a reported $2.5 million guarantee to step into the octagon — he also received praise from his WWE bosses after the win.
“To come back after all the time and put on that kind of performance speaks to the once in a lifetime type of athlete that Brock is,” Triple H said in a statement to ESPN (via Wrestling Inc).
Vince McMahon, the chairman of WWE, gave Lesnar possibly the highest praise any mixed martial arts fighter has even been given.
“Brock is the most formidable combat athlete in the history of the country,” McMahon said.
Brock Lesnar earns his first win since July 3, 2010 (2,198 days). pic.twitter.com/RkTjKhTZFP
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 10, 2016
In nine total MMA fights, Lesnar owns a 6-3 win-loss record. However, at this point, Lesnar said it was “too soon” to determine if he wants to resume his fighting career. With his ground-and-pound offense and takedown prowess, Lesnar manhandled Hunt, a man who many credit for wielding one of the hardest punches in the heavyweight division.
Throughout Lesnar’s first stint in the UFC, Lesnar received a reputation for not taking punches well. But Hunt, who landed some stiff shots, never shook Lesnar.
“The mystery is gone,” Lesnar said. “I guess I can take a shot … I wanted to finish the fight. The guy’s got a coconut head. … He never knocked the f**k out of me, [though], and here I am. I’m happy.”
While Lesnar did not give a definitive answer on his future, he did say that if he reaches the decision to continue his career, he will do just that.
“If I want to make that decision to keep fighting I will,” Lesnar said.
At the moment, the only competitor who has to worry about Lesnar is Orton — who is set to return from major shoulder surgery.
— WWE (@WWE) July 8, 2016
Usually a man of few words, Lesnar flashes the occasional smile and proclaimed his pride in returning to dominate once again.
“I’m a 39-year-old man and I’m pretty proud of myself,” Lesnar said. “I’m older … when I decided to make this comeback it was a hard decision. I’m glad I did it. If you don’t stick your neck out, you’re not going to accomplish anything.”
[Photo by Del Rio/Getty Images]