Daniel Cormier’s big money retirement fight may be no more.
When Daniel Cormier won the UFC heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 last July, former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar entered the octagon and created a scene. That incident led to UFC President Dana White stating that Daniel Cormier vs Brock Lesnar would be ‘the fight to make’.
Lesnar re-enrolled in the UFC’s USADA drug testing program that same month, signalling his intention to return to active competition. With the UFC requiring fighters to be entered to their drug testing pool for at least six months before fighting and Lesnar serving a USADA suspension for failing multiple drug tests in 2016, the Beast Incarnate was deemed eligible to fight again in January 2019.
On the other hand, Cormier had previously stated that he was going to retire after his 40th birthday in March and that he would only be fighting two more times before calling it a career. DC was booked for a title defense against #2 heavyweight Derrick Lewis at UFC 229 last November 3rd and the double champ came out victorious as expected, submitting Lewis rather easily in the second round. But while many thought that Lesnar would once again be in the venue to challenge DC and probably engage him in another shouting and pushing affair, he wasn’t. And that led to speculation that perhaps the fight isn’t going to happen at all.
Lesnar’s New WWE Deal
While DC was busy preparing for his title fight with the Black Beast, the professional wrestling world was hit with some tragic news. Superstar Leati Joe Anoa’i, popularly known as Roman Reigns in the WWE universe, announced last month on live TV that he had Leukemia and would be taking a break from pro wrestling to attend to his health.
Reigns’ shocking revelation, reportedly led to change of plans. The WWE had been grooming Reigns to be the next face of their brand and after Reigns defeated Lesnar for the title last April, it appeared that Lesnar would soon be making an exit. But with Reigns now out indefinitely, the WWE needed a big name to carry the flag.
According to Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting, WWE founder Vince McMahon then flashed Lesnar a monetary offer he couldn’t refuse and Lesnar reportedly signed a ‘secret deal’ that would keep him under McMahon’s wings for an unspecified period of time. But Meltzer reported that Lesnar’s new WWE deal will keep him as late as April next year for Wrestlemania.
The recent developments, or at least Meltzer’s story, puts into serious jeopardy Lesnar’s supposed UFC comeback fight against Daniel Cormier. A couple of months back, DC vs Brock was sure as the sun rising in the east every day. In fact, the betting odds for that fight had already opened. Lesnar had been installed as the underdog in that supposed bout with Cormier (as Per Betway odds as of 11/12/18) But with Lesnar supposedly signing a new WWE deal, DC’s potential rich final payday may be no more.
UFC No More?
Lesnar’s new WWE reportedly has a clause that will enable him to fight in the UFC. That has a precedence and both organizations can always work together if it means big money for both. It can be recalled that Lesnar fought Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in 2016 while he was still under contract with the WWE. But given that Lesnar’s new deal is said to be very lucrative, is he even considering going through a full training camp again and risk himself in the real fighting world?
Lesnar hasn’t given his side on the issue yet. Nor have UFC President Dana White or WWE’s Vince McMahon talked about the reported contract. But even then, we cannot say for sure that Lesnar wouldn’t be coming back to the UFC. Sure, he may have received a fat WWE contract that will enable him to earn more than he can in any UFC bout but what if Lesnar really wants to fight again for the sake of fighting?
Remember that Lesnar’s MMA career ended unceremoniously when he suffered diverticulitis. When he returned healthy to fight Mark Hunt in 2016, he was impressive, given the time he spent off the octagon. If Lesnar is healthy and he is clean, he does have a chance at winning back the UFC gold he once held. That could be a motivation. After all, before he became part of the WWE’s current storylines, Lesnar was an MMA fighter who thrived in real competition so let’s keep our fingers crossed on this one.