LAS VEGAS - JULY 03: Brock Lesnar reacts after his second round submission victory against Shane Carwin to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship Unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 3 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
When Brock Lesnar abruptly retired from MMA following his crushing loss at the hands of Alistair Overeem back at UFC 141 on Dec. 30, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada, those in the pro wrestling world immediately began speculating on Brock potentially returning to WWE.
That's because as far back as a last year rumors were swirling that Vince McMahon was courting him for his services but was always foiled by UFC President Dana White and his company, which offered Lesnar a much sweeter deal. Not necessarily in terms of money, although it's likely better, but also because working for UFC requires almost no travel. In fact, excluding fight week, Brock could hang out at home, train, and be with his family at all times.
WWE, of course, doesn't offer such a casual schedule and demands a much bigger commitment. It's only in special cases that a guy can come back, have it his way, do what he wants, have a match and bail without it causing a ton of problems in the back. Hell, even The Rock, who does have it that good, couldn't come back without ruffling a few feathers.
The big question now, though, is whether or not White will let Lesnar go back to WWE. Brock's retirement may have opened the door a few inches but it's still running there's a locked chain keeping it from opening in the form of a binding contract with Zuffa. When asked if Lesnar would be going back to WWE, White had this to say:
"When you retire, he retires under contract. I have no idea (how long the contract is). Listen, I've had my moments with Brock Lesnar but I've had a great relationship with him and we'll figure it out, no big deal. Never had a situation with a guy where we haven't done the right thing."
That certainly makes it sound as though White is, at the very least, open to letting Lesnar pursue other endeavors. And why wouldn't he be? There is only one other fighter in the history of MMA who has headlined more than one show that drew over 1 million pay-per-view buys and Brock did it four times in total, maybe five when the numbers come in for UFC 141.
On the one hand, that's a good reason not to want to let Lesnar escape back to WWE to let them reap the benefits of his added exposure in UFC but it would also be a blatant power play against Vince McMahon and company to play keep-away. It's widely expected that the most WWE would end up using Lesnar for is one big match at WrestleMania, anyway, so it seems as though the best route for White to take would be to let Brock do his thing and maintain a good relationship with WWE.
Unless you Cagesiders have other ideas. Anyone think UFC will flex its muscle and keep Lesnar from returning to WWE?