Brock Lesnar speaks at a 2019 WWE press conference. | Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
At 44-years-old it seems the former heavyweight champ has definitively settled on the idea that he’s not going to be making another MMA run.
Never say never. Especially not in a sport like MMA, where the option for just one more fight is always on the table with combat sports. That said, it’d be a hell of a surprise to see Brock Lesnar ever make another return to the UFC.
The former heavyweight champ and pro-wrestling superstar made a shocking run through the MMA world back in 2007, when he debuted against Min-Soo Kim in the main event of Dynamite!! USA. Just a little over one year later and the onetime NCAA D1 national champion wrestler was wearing UFC gold. He stepped away from the sport in 2011, due to health complications, but made a return to the Octagon in 2016 for something of an inglorious victory over Mark Hunt—which has since been changed to a ‘no contest’ due to a drug test failure.
Even given the specter of PEDs surrounding that UFC 200 main event bout, however, the idea that Lesnar could someday make another run in the world’s largest MMA promotion never entirely went away. After all, who wouldn’t want to see Lesnar vs. Ngannou, even in 2022?
But, if that kind of ‘superfight’ seemed unlikely before, it sounds like there’s no hope for it now. In a recent interview with the New York Post, Lesnar talked about his time with the UFC, and the potential for another late-career return. Short answer: it’s not happening.
“That door is closed,” Lesnar admitted. “You know what, Dana White, the Fertitta brothers [Lorenzo and Frank] were exceptional to me.”
“I’m too old,” Lesnar added. “That’s a young man’s sport, and that door is closed. I’m Brock Lesnar, the WWE Superstar.”
The UFC recently played part in a bidding war for Lesnar mentee – 2021 D1 national champion and Tokyo Olympics gold medal winner – Gable Steveson; with the then 19-year old looking to decide between MMA, pro-wrestling, or even a possible NFL career. Ultimately Steveson decided to sign with the WWE, noting that the UFC never truly made a serious offer to sign him. Maybe someday in the future, he’ll truly follow in Lesnar’s footsteps and make the jump from pro wrestling fame to MMA stardom.