So much for Brock Lesnar’s UFC return.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and Ariel Helwani reported on Tuesday that the plan to have reigning heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier take on the ex-UFC champ and current WWE star has now been shelved.
“He told me he’s done, he’s retired,” UFC president Dana White told ESPN. “We’re going to move in another direction with Cormier.”
By “another direction,” White says that they are looking to book a rematch between Cormier and Stipe Miocic, who lost his title to Cormier by first-round KO last year at UFC 226. Lesnar was in attendance, entered the cage afterward, and we were treated to a pro wrestling style promo. The seed was planted for this matchup to materialize after Lesnar had re-entered the USADA testing pool, but that’s about as far as things evidently went.
Lesnar (5-3) hasn’t competed in the UFC since beating Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in 2016. He would later fail USADA tests for clompihene, resulting in a one-year suspension and flipping his win to a no contest. Brock had his suspension frozen by USADA after announcing his retirement, and he wouldn’t be eligible to compete again until he filed for his return.
Cormier (22-1, 1 NC) intended to retire by his 40th birthday, which was last month. That’s obviously not happening. The “champ-champ” vacated his light heavyweight title to focus on defending his heavyweight belt, winning by submission against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 last November. Miocic (18-3) has not fought since the KO vs. Cormier. He holds the all-time UFC heavyweight record for consecutive title defenses, with three.
Now we will see if one of the other goals for this year is for the UFC to aim for a trilogy between Cormier and Jon Jones, who’s the only person to defeat DC in his illustrious career.