Rumors about Brock Lesnar returning to the UFC have continued to circulate ever since they were somehow resurrected around the time of UFC 168. They apparently reached Lesnar’s former opponent Alistair Overeem, who called the former UFC heavyweight champ out after defeating Frank Mir with a one-sided beating at last night’s UFC 169 from Newark, New Jersey:
“I heard word that Brock Lesnar is coming back to the UFC. Well, I’ll be here waiting for him.”
This statement rose more than a few eyebrows because Overeem already destroyed Lesnar with a first round TKO at UFC 141 back in 2011. The No. 9-ranked “Reem” will likely get a solid rise up the rankings by defeating Mir, and his long-awaited (and twice booked) showdown with Junior dos Santos is probably a much better option for Overeem.
The issue inevitably arose at the UFC 169 post-fight press conference, but despite saying that he might be willing to let Lesnar work for the UFC and the WWE at the same time just a few short days ago, UFC president Dana White was quick to shoot down any speculation of the behemoth’s return:
“Brock Lesnar is not coming back. Brock Lesnar is not fighting. I mean, does he want to come back? We’ve talked about him wanting to come back, and he feels like he wasn’t 100 percent while he was here. He feels like he sold himself a little short and all the stuff I’ve told you before. But no, he’s not. We have no deal with Brock Lesnar. He’s not coming back anytime soon.”
That statement would seem to put a stop to all the speculation in its tracks, but as we’ve seen before, this topic is a very hard one to put to rest. With Lesnar appearing regularly on WWE television programs and pay-per-views, an Octagon return doesn’t seem to be in the card in the near future.
And perhaps that’s a good thing. While Lesnar was always a smothering beast of a wrestler, he ran into problems against top-level heavyweight strikers like current UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez and Overeem. He could definitely put on some exciting fights that didn’t necessarily hold any legitimate rankings implications, but even that sounds a bit outside the realm of possibility at this point.
In the meantime, Overeem will take some time off and enjoy the scenery after finally winning a bout following two devastating knockout losses in fight he was winning. With former champ dos Santos recovered from his second gruesome defeat to Velasquez at UFC 166, “Cigano” awaits his first challenge on the road back towards a title shot. Will he finally get to cash in on all the smack talk he and Overeem have thrown at one another?