All of the speculation about Brock Lesnar returning to the UFC has been put to rest.
The former UFC heavyweight champ and current WWE champ was rumored to be potentially coming back to the Octagon for a third showdown with archrival Frank Mir and was even spotted backstage at February’s UFC 184, but today, the hulking behemoth appeared on ESPN’s Sportscenter to shoot down any possibility of him returning to the cage.
One of the UFC’s biggest stars during his run from 2008-2011, Lesnar had a hard time making up his mind.
“It was a very hard decision to make,” he told show host Michelle Beadle.
But with time running out on the WWE to make plans for the biggest show of the year at this Sunday’s (March 29, 2015) WrestleMania XXXI, his hand was forced. He had already begun training for MMA recently, but when he did, the mindset of a champion just wasn’t there anymore.
“I’ve been training to get back into the Octagon,” he said. “I felt physically great, but something lacked mentally and that’s not good.
“I talked to Dana (White), I talked to Lorenzo (Fertitta), Vince (McMahon), my wife, my friends, I had many sleepless nights and at the end of the day, I was born to be an entertainer and I have fun doing it.”
Lesnar continued on about his decision, noting that although he did have a strong desire to end his MMA career on a higher note than his injury-derailed first stint, he also didn’t have much to gain after having already been a prominent heavyweight champion.
“I could go back to the Octagon, and what am I gonna gain? I was the UFC heavyweight champion of the world. Due to my illness, my career got cut short. That’s God telling you, ‘Hey it’s time to move on’ and maybe it’s a bump in the road for me, but as the years went by it wore on me so much that the fighter inside me didn’t want it to end that way. I didn’t want it to be like that. I didn’t want to leave the UFC on a losing streak. That’s just the competitive guy inside of me.”
“Was my heart and my head really into it? What are the reasons why I want to go in there? Because I don’t like the way it ended? Or, really what is it? At the end of the day I’m really happy where I’m at with the WWE.”
That might just be the best decision for Lesnar to make, as he’s nearing 38 years of age and most likely wouldn’t be favored against many of the top heavyweights. His age played a factor into his decision to not return to MMA, and apparently he’s leaving for good after signing a big contract with WWE last night.
“I’m officially closing the door on the sport of MMA. I signed last night with the WWE. We came to a conclusion last night. The offer on the table I couldn’t refuse. I think it’s fair to the fans, and I want to be fair to the fans to know that on Sunday, I’m going to hold that damn belt. It was public knowledge (that his contract was coming due and he was considering MMA) and it was out there as to, ‘What is Brock going to do?’
“I’m an older caveman now and I make wiser caveman decisions. My legacy in the Octagon is over.”