Bengaluru, April 10: Universal champion Brock Lesnar signs new deal with deal with WWE, but that doesn't mean he wont't fight in the UFC this year, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Lesnar is one athlete who brings mainstream attractions in pay-per-views whether in UFC or the WWE. Lesnar's negotiations in three-year pro wrestling deals in both 2012 and 2015 shows how much the organizations value him.
BREAKING: #UniversalChampion @BrockLesnar re-signs with @WWE and will defend his championship against @WWERomanReigns in a #SteelCage match at WWE Greatest Royal Rumble! #WWEGRR https://t.co/rr4xAzlrGs— WWE (@WWE) April 9, 2018
In recent weeks, that is just before Wrestlemania, news broke that the WWE's Universal champion was set to return to UFC after the wrestling promotion's biggest PPV event. This is not the first time the Beast has done this, back in 2015 also he teased of a move to UFC and was negotiating seriously with them until one week before Wrestlemania, but it was announced he was staying with WWE like this year.
Since January, the speculation in the wrestling world was that Lesnar would leave after Wrestlemania, and he would lose his Universal title to Roman Reigns, and then return to the UFC. He was also pictured alongside the UFC president Dana White, which strenghthened the rumour.
White over this past week has talked about Lesnar returning many times, and openly said his idea was to give him a heavyweight title shot at the winner of the Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier fight on July 7 in Las Vegas.
The length of Lesnar's new deal was not disclosed, however, sources close to the situation described it as a short-term deal. The deal, according to sources, does allow him to do at least one UFC fight.
If that's the case then UFC can't put Lesnar in a championship match if his existing contract would not allow him to defend the title. While he would start underdog against either Miocic or Cormier, stranger things have happened in the UFC recently.
A Lesnar win could put the UFC in a strange as they would have to negotiate with WWE owner Vince McMahon for any future title defense.
A key aspect is that Lesnar, who pulled himself out of the USADA drug testing pool, had still not returned, meaning he would need six months of clean tests before fighting. One would think he'd want to get the ball rolling if he was planning on fighting again since he turns 41 this summer.
Lesnar last fought in the UFC in July 2016, where his decision win against fellow heavyweight Mark Hunt was overturned to a No Contest as he tested positive for clomiphene. It was confirmed that Lesnar was fined $250,000 and suspended from competition for one year by the NSAC. He was eligible to return in July 2017 but he opted not to enter the octagon.
Lesnar and McMahon kept the Wrestlemania 34 result secret from almost everyone, including the top executives and the writing team, all of whom expected Reigns to beat Lesnar in the main event at Wrestlemania at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The expectation was that when he loses the title, Lesnar would then leave for UFC. Instead, he won the match and retained his Universal title, leading to his signing being announced next night on Monday Night Raw.
Not only has he signed a new deal, Lesnar is also set to defend his belt against Roman Reigns at the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia on April 27.
The #UniversalTitle will be on the line in a STEEL CAGE at the @WWE Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia! #WWEGRR #RAW #RAWAfterMania @WWERomanReigns @BrockLesnar @HeymanHustle pic.twitter.com/rSgWs8amtW— WWE (@WWE) April 10, 2018
#WWEGRR will include:— WWE (@WWE) April 10, 2018
- @WWERollins vs. @FinnBalor vs. @mikethemiz vs. @SamoaJoe in an #ICTitle #LadderMatch
- @WWERomanReigns vs. @BrockLesnar for the #UniversalTitle in a #SteelCage
- @JohnCena vs. @TripleH
- A 50-MAN #RoyalRumble MATCH#RAW #RAWAfterMania pic.twitter.com/lle4H7TAlG