ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported Tuesday night that former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE roster member Brock Lesnar will not be coming back to the Octagon after all.
According to Okamoto, White said Lesnar told him that “he’s done, he’s retired”.
Our Dave Meltzer also independently confirmed the news.
That means a once planned title fight against heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is off the table, a bout that was expected to be the final one in Cormier’s career due to the financial windfall it would have brought in given the champion’s desire to retire this year.
While told Okamoto the plan now is to rematch Cormier with the man he knocked out for title last July, Stipe Miocic, at August’s PPV in Anaheim, CA. Miocic has been sitting on the sidelines since the loss, enjoying his first child and campaigning for the Cormier rematch. Miocic holds the record for consecutive heavyweight title defenses at three.
If Lesnar’s fighting career is indeed done, it was certainly a unique one. The 41-year-old fought nine times in a career that began with a Japanese promotion in 2007 and ended with a positive test for banned substances at UFC 200 in July 2016.
Over that stretch, Lesnar (who became a big time PPV draw as a main eventer) won the UFC heavyweight belt from Randy Couture and defended it twice (Frank Mir, Shane Carwin) before dropping it to Cain Velasquez in October 2010. After battling diverticulitis, an affliction that was expected to end his career, he would return just over a year later in a TKO loss to Alistair Overeem.
He would make his return nearly five years later in a dominant unanimous decision win over Mark Hunt at UFC 200, a win that was later turned into a no contest due to his positive test for clomiphene for which he was suspended for a year. Then last July, he appeared at UFC 226 for a post-fight confrontation with Cormier after his title win, setting up what many felt was an undeserved title opportunity.
Lesnar lost the WWE Universal title at WrestleMania, but is expected to be in action at WWE’s next Saudi Arabia event this summer.