Despite dozens of recent reports to the contrary, Brock Lesnar will not be returning to the UFC’s Octagon for a heavyweight title super fight with Daniel Cormier. After months and months of anticipation, the fight reportedly fizzled out earlier this week, leading the UFC to schedule a Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic rematch instead.
Speaking to ESPN, UFC President Dana White stated that this Cormier-Lesnar matchup was quashed because Lesnar decided he is “done” with mixed martial arts. According to Dave Meltzer of Wresting Observer Newsletter, however, it’s not quite that simple.
In his previous UFC bouts, Brock Lesnar has received a significant slice of the pay-per-view profits for his fights. Recently, however, the UFC altered the way it sells its pay-per-view cards. UFC PPVs were previously available on multiple platforms, but are now available exclusively through the online streaming service ESPN+. The expectation, given that not all UFC fans are ESPN+ subscribers, is that the average number of UFC PPV sales will plummet significantly. This, in turn, would mean less money for fighters who depend on pay-per-view points.
According to Meltzer, this was a concern for Lesnar. The current WWE star and former UFC heavyweight champ reportedly asked the UFC for a flat fee to negate this issue, but from the sounds if it, his ask was more than the promotion was willing to fork out.
“On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer says Brock Lesnar wanted a flat fee for his next UFC fight due to UFC pay-per-view now being online only,” Severe MMA’s Seán Sheehan explained on Twitter. “Dave says the number was deemed too high & turned down by the UFC.”
Do you think this PPV change played a role in foiling the return of Brock Lesnar?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/2/2019.