Back in July of 2016, in the co-main event of the landmark UFC 200, we watched former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar step into the Octagon for the first time in some five years. His opponent in this comeback fight was missile-fisted striking specialist Mark Hunt – not an easy fight under normal circumstances, even less so coming off such a sizeable layoff.
Despite his long layoff and the skill of his opponent, Lesnar was able to make a successful return, wrestling his dangerous foe to a lopsided unanimous decision win. It was an epic comeback from one of the biggest stars in MMA history.
Regrettably, things took a grim twist just days later, when news broke that Lesnar had twice tested positive for the banned estrogen blocker clomiphene.
This news was followed by a prolonged bureaucratic battle, throughout which Lesnar and his team did their best to blame his failed tests on his use of eye medication, foot cream, and other legitimate substances. Unfortunately, however, these efforts were for naught, and Lesnar was ultimately handed a one-year suspension by both the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency, both retroactive to July 15 of 2016.
This, of course, means that Lesnar would be able to enter the Octagon again in July of this year. Despite the fact that his UFC 200 return was labelled as a “one-off,” and that he’s currently under contract with WWE, many fans have been holding out hope that he might just do so. They can now give up on that hope.
According to a UFC spokesperson, who spoke to MMAFighting.com, Lesnar has formally notified the promotion of his retirement from MMA – which is why he was removed from the organization’s online roster last week. MMA Fighting also confirmed with USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden that Lesnar has withdrawn from the USADA testing pool.
Yes, one of the biggest stars in the history of our sport has officially hung up the gloves. At 39 years old, and with many momentous accomplishments behind him, he certainly has every right to do so.
What was your favorite moment of Brock Lesnar’s career?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/15/2017.