ANAHEIM CA - OCTOBER 22: UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar weighs in at 264 lbs at the UFC 121 weigh-in at the Honda Center on October 22 2010 in Anaheim California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
When , everyone wondered exactly what he was doing there? Was he sent by Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to get some free publicity? Was he going into business for himself and playing the two sides against each other? Was he thinking of legitimately making a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) after his brief initial return to pro wrestling? showed up at : "Dos Santos vs. Mir" this past May 26, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada
None of those questions would ultimately receive answers, at least not yet. UFC President Dana White said he had a meeting planned with Lesnar and reports surfaced online not long after that the meeting didn't go well.
Despite this, rumors have persisted that Brock is contemplating a return to the Octagon. Now, Mike Sawyer of ToughTalkMMA.com is saying he's heard Lesnar will be back fighting with the UFC before the year is out:
Had an interesting conversation with someone VERY close to all the Brock Lesnar stuff. He is fighting THIS YEAR in UFC & not Frank Mir...
He would later backtrack a bit by saying, "If I believed what I heard 100% I would have put it on my website. Everyone calm down. Good source, though. Lets see what happens."
This is a dance that will go on until we get an official statement from one or both sides. It should be noted that Dana White has remained quiet on the issue since his meeting with Lesnar and WWE has hardly even mentioned his name since he appeared at UFC 146, though that will change at the No Way Out pay-per-view (PPV) on June 17 when Triple H is scheduled to discuss him.
The story is nearly impossible to keep up with thanks to all the misinformation being bandied about. Some have said Lesnar's WWE deal is non-exclusive, which sounds crazy when we're talking about Vince McMahon, an absolute control freak if there ever was one. Others refuted those reports and said his deal is, in fact, exclusive and he's simply working both sides and "there is a game being played."
I'm inclined to believe Lesnar has gone into business for himself and is playing the UFC against WWE. Perhaps he really wasn't happy with his character's treatment upon his return, especially after the Extreme Rules debacle with John Cena's impromptu post-match promo. Maybe that led him to a UFC event and a meeting with White that served as a message to McMahon and WWE to play ball lest they risk losing him once again.
And with a planned match against Triple H reportedly still set for SummerSlam in August, Lesnar could be playing hardball on how exactly he wants that match to play out.
In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that Lesnar now has "nuclear heat" for going to the UFC event without anyone's knowledge at WWE.
According to several sources, there is nuclear heat on Lesnar right now, a lot of which stems from his going to the UFC show and their knowledge that he met with Dana White. As noted last week, not only was Vince McMahon not behind it, but he wasn't aware of it until it happened. But there were problems even before that point, which may have been why Lesnar decided to go to Las Vegas and feelers were sent. Those close to the situation say that Lesnar vs. HHH is still planned as the main event for SummerSlam and because it's HHH's angle, even with this heat, that match is almost surely going to happen. There have been problems since day one in the sense Lesnar got this sweetheart contract and has been difficult or impossible, depending on who you talk with, to deal with from almost the start. Lesnar was super high maintenance in his 2002-2004 run and Vince found him difficult then with his constant demands and wanting things changed, but now Lesnar is a tons bigger star and is said to be a completely different animal to deal with, plus he's coming off his UFC success and money and even though he probably isn't Dana White's favorite person this week either, he can always make a deal to go back and make the same if not more money than he's making here.
We know now that White will welcome Brock back with open arms but McMahon is as vindictive as they come. He's also a prudent business man, however, so it should be interesting to see how this plays out. Triple H's involvement also greatly complicates things, as he's one of the most ruthless backstage political players of all time.
No matter what, this is a story to keep an eye on, even if it's difficult to keep up with.