In 2016, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar stepped into the Octagon for the first time in nearly 5 years to fight heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt at UFC 200.
Lesnar’s return was one that was quickly criticized after he was given an exemption from the first three months of mandatory USADA testing prior to the fight. While USADA was quick to swoop in and begin testing the former champ at a high frequency, it wasn’t until after the fight that Lesnar was flagged for an anti-doping violation. In addition to his fight night drug test being flagged, Lesnar had a random pre-fight, out-of-competition sample flagged for banned substances as well.
Ultimately, after his legal team presented their defense, Lesnar was handed a one-year suspension from USADA, as well as a fine.
While Lesnar is currently performing under the WWE banner, his close friend and manager, Paul Heyman, spoke to Fox Sports to explain why he can’t close the door on a potential Lesnar return to the UFC.
“Brock is in his heart a trained competitor. Now whether that means he’s going to look at this environment and say ‘you know what, I didn’t make the Vikings team in 2004 but I bet in 2017 I can and just because I can I’m going to just to show people that I want to and I take it’. Because when we named him the conqueror, that’s what he is. He’s a legit conqueror. You put a task before him and he conquers it,” Heyman told the Fight Society podcast this week.
“I really can’t tell you that it’s out of the realm of possibility of Brock Lesnar to say ‘I’m taking a few months off from WWE, I want to see how many homeruns I can hit for the Minnesota Twins’. People may laugh at that, but it’s the same people that laughed at him in 2004 when he went for the Vikings camp and he was the last person cut and that’s with a broken jaw, a fractured pelvis and diverticulitis. I think what’s next for Brock Lesnar besides what’s happening in WWE. Could it be UFC? Could it be another sport? I think it’s something he’s going to look at and say ‘I bet no one thinks I can do that, all right I’m going to conquer that’.”
Only time will tell if the former champ returns to the UFC once again.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/1/2017.