Brock Lesnar Reflects On ‘Powerful’ Encounter With Former Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali

Brock Lesnar
Mandatory Credit: Rey Del Rio

Former UFC heavyweight champion and professional wrestling star, Brock Lesnar, has opened up on his encounter with the late, former heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali – describing the latter’s embrace and overall aura as “powerful”. 

Lesnar, a former undisputed heavyweight champion under the UFC banner, has yet to return to professional mixed martial arts since a July 2016 official ‘No Contest’ against Mark Hunt at UFC 200. Lesnar originally landed a unanimous decision win at the T-Mobile Arena, however, the result was overturned to a ‘No Contest’ after Brock Lesnar’s pre-fight drug test was flagged by anti-doping agency, USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency).

As for the iconic, Ali, the Kentucky hero passed away back in June 2016, after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s, and his declining health, having last competed professionally in 1981. Ali, regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights and professional boxers of all-time, as well as argued as the greatest puncher of his generation, retired from the sport boasting a 56-5 professional record.

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In the time since his most recent professional mixed martial arts bout, Brock Lesnar returned to professional wrestling under the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) banner, recently closing their flagship, Summerslam event against fellow professional wrestler, Roman Reigns.

Brock Lesnar admitted his encounter with Muhammad Ali impacted him greatly

Reflecting on a brief encounter with Ali, Lesnar admitted back in 2016 before his UFC return, that he was impacted by the “powerful” energy omitted from the Louisville legend.

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“I got to meet (Muhammad) Ali one time and all I remember when I met and shook the man’s hand was, he never talked, at that point, Parkinson’s had taken over,” Brock Lesnar said. “But I just remember when he (Muhammad Ali) extended his hand and he didn’t have to say anything to me, it was just – not a weird vibe, it was such a gracious handshake and it was just very, I can’t even put a word to it.”
“So, I felt something powerful from the man,” Brock Lesnar explained. “I watched pretty much all of his fights, I met him one-time and he never spoke a word to me but I felt the presence and power from him. So it was impactful for sure, here’s a guy who’s a boxer, who’s selling tickets, walking the walk and talking the talk. He set the stage, it’s big business, you’ve got to be flashy on the outside and flashy on the inside.” 

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“It’s a tragedy, my heart goes out to the family, to live with Parkinson’s for so many years, very difficult,” Lesnar said. “That’s just a battle inside, forget how great of a champion he was. The man had to live with Parkinson’s for how many years? That’s a feat in its own.”

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.