As of today, the biggest story in the UFC’s heavyweight division surrounds two fighters who aren’t even a part of it. In fact, one of the two men in this conversation has never actually fought there. Career light heavyweight, and once again UFC champion, Jon Jones created a whole heap of buzz following his win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 by calling out former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar is currently in his second spell of retirement from MMA, and back working the pro-wrestling circuit for the WWE. He last competed for the world’s largest MMA promotion in 2016, a one-off bout with Mark Hunt. And while he dominated much of the action of the fight, on his way to a unanimous decision win, both he and the UFC ended up walking away with a black eye.
Lesnar failed a pair of drug tests surrounding the bout, the results of which saw him suspended for a year and stripped of his win. But it wasn’t just Lesnar who ended up tarnished. The UFC took a lot of heat for their perceived limiting of Lesnar’s drug testing schedule, having waived the necessity of a four-month testing window to get him on their bicentennial event.
And it’s that combination of circumstances that has Stefan Struve concerned about the idea of a Brock Lesnar return to the UFC:
“No. If you talk about something like that, especially like Lesnar, his fans come from everywhere,” Struve told Submission radio, regarding a series of Tweets he sent out targeting the Lesnar/Jones fight. “So, you know, I just speak my mind. There’s no secrets with me. I say what I believe. You know, I think cheaters should not be in the UFC and I think the UFC made a big mistake last time by bringing Lesnar in and giving him a four-month exemption before his fight so that USADA wouldn’t test him for four months, which is a normal thing to do if you bring back a fighter. I believe that if he were to come back now he would have to go through six months of testing. So I’d be very curious how those six months go.”
“They cannot do that. That’s impossible,” Struve continued speaking to the idea that the UFC could fast track Lesnar again to get the Jones fight made quickly. “That would be the worst message the UFC could ever send out. So if he fights again he should go through six months of testing, I believe, before he fights again. I think that’s the rule right now. So if he comes back and they let him go through those six months of testing, then I’m curious to see how he steps in the cage.”
All that said, if the fight did actually end up taking place, Struve sounds confident that Jon Jones wouldn’t have much trouble taking a win off the WWE superstar.
“I think Jones beats him anyway,” Struve said, of a potential fight taking place. “Simple as that. Jones is too good of an athlete. I don’t think Lesnar gets a hold of him to take him down. Jones moves too well. I think DC is a great fighter and of course that kick was great, but before that, I didn’t see the Jon Jones who we used to see as dominant as he used to be. So I’m curious to see if he re-finds himself and gets to be more dominant again. But I don’t think Lesnar takes him down or anything, and he’s definitely not going to win the fight on the feet.”
In the meantime, Struve is gearing up for a bout with Alexander Volkov in the main event of UFC Rotterdam on September 2nd. The card is expected to feature Germaine de Randamie’s return to the bantamweight division against Marion Reneau as well. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes on the card as the event approaches.