One of the biggest stories this year has been the potential return of Brock Lesnar to MMA. With constant talk of contract turmoil between the pro-wrestling superstar and the WWE, as well as impending free agency with the expiration of said contract, "Will Brock Lesnar return to MMA?" has been a regular question in the media. Reports swirled for months: First that health concerns were pushing him toward wrestling and then, that legacy concerns were drawing him to MMA.
Finally fans got their answer, on Tuesday, March 24th, when Lesnar announced that he'd re-signed to the WWE and was firmly closing the door on a future MMA career. But, it sounds like the decision didn't come without some serious bidding from the UFC, as Brock told Greg Beacham of the Associated Press that Lorenzo Fertitta himself doubled their offer to Lesnar on the day he decided to sign his next pro-wrestling contract:
"Lorenzo said to me, 'Can we sharpen our pencil? Can we double it'" Lesnar said. "I said, 'It's not about that. I'm calling you to tell you where my heart is, and it's not about the money.'
"And then in the back of my mind, I'm thinking, 'Well, yeah, it is about the money, but I don't have to beat myself up for it.' To prepare for another MMA fight, we're talking 16, 18 weeks of pure hell, and then the cage door shuts and it's on."
Lesnar also offered up some more details about the end of his career in the UFC, and how badly health issues affected his last few fights. It was an ending which actually, reportedly, had him back in camp for a UFC return these last few months:
"When you're sick for two or three years and you don't know what's going on, all of a sudden I went from the baddest man on the planet, to vulnerable," Lesnar said. "It's reality. My whole life I've been this superhuman freak that just kills people, a savage beast. I wasn't that guy anymore. ... Of course my confidence was totally jaded on my last three fights. Whose wouldn't be? Is Anderson Silva the same guy he was (after breaking his leg)?
"I've been a barbarian my whole life. I'm just a smarter barbarian now. Evolution, you know?"