Following extensive rumors surrounding Brock Lesnar's canceled octagon return, UFC President Dana White has cleared things up.
The former UFC Heavyweight Champion last fought in July 2016, outpointing Mark Hunt only to have the result overturned due to two positive drug tests. However, Lesnar has since been linked with a title bout against Daniel Cormier, even entering the cage last year as the super-fight suddenly looked set. That never came to fruition though and as a result, many have been left speculating as to why.
In particular, the UFC's new ESPN based PPV model was cited, with some questioning it's financial implications for a star like Lesnar. In an interview with ESPN though, White refused the notion, pointing to WWE's improved offer instead. "That’s not why Brock Lesnar didn’t fight,” he said. “Brock Lesnar got a better deal is basically what happened for Brock.”
In fact, White scoffs at the idea that new structure has any impact at all. “That’s absolutely false. And if you really look when we were on pay-per-view, we were on traditional pay-per-view, everybody was talking about how the pay-per-view business was dying. It’s dying and nobody can pull numbers anymore.
“Really? We were still pulling five to seven million pay-per-view buys a year when we were on the dying, traditional pay-per-view. You can’t listen to any of this noise.”
Nonetheless, it seems that Lesnar's fighting days are indeed complete, recently returning to WWE and becoming Mr Money in the Bank. His MMA record will for now at least, stay at 5-3-1.