WWE officials are convinced Brock Lesnar will return to the UFC after his current contract with the professional wrestling organization expires in March, a report indicated. The 37-year-old hasn’t competed in mixed martial arts since a serious digestive condition forced him to retire in 2011.
“The Lesnar people always keep things quiet, but within the company, the belief is that he’s going back to UFC, and his showing up lighter to [a WWE show] last week confirmed that to people who thought it,” wrestling insider Dave Meltzer said Saturday in the subscription-only Wrestling Observer Newsletter, according to MMAJunkie.com. Lesnar currently holds the WWE Championship and is slated to face fellow wrestler John Cena at the “Royal Rumble” pay-per-view event in January 2015.
Lesnar has not publicly addressed rumors he plans to return to UFC in 2015 -- nor have WWE officials. UFC President Dana White did not provide a definite answer on the matter. “I haven’t talked to Brock," he told MMA Junkie.
However, White did address Lesnar’s possible return at a UFC press conference in November. “Brock Lesnar’s under contract with the WWE. We have a great relationship with him. He’s healthy and he has said that he’s interested in fighting again. We’ll see what happens,” White said.
A former NCAA champion wrestler and NFL prospect, Lesnar made his UFC debut with a 2008 loss to former heavyweight titleholder Frank Mir. Lesnar went on to win his next four professional fights, including a knockout victory over legendary mixed martial artist Randy Couture to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Lesnar successfully defended his title twice before suffering back-to-back losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem. Immediately after the latter loss, Lesnar announced his retirement due to health concerns stemming from his battle with diverticulitis, a digestive tract illness that required multiple surgeries to correct.
He recovered from the disease and returned to the WWE in 2012. Longtime confidant Paul Heyman said in August Lesnar was never fully healthy during his first run in UFC.
“Anything you saw him do [in UFC], he did as an unhealthy man competing at the very top level on the face of the planet. Imagine what he could have done if he was 100 percent healthy,” Heyman told Fox Sports.