Former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE professional wrestler Brock Lesnar was present at UFC 146's all-heavyweight card Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nev. At the post-fight press conference, Dana White didn't want to open up too much on his conversations with Lesnar, but he did say that Lesnar returning was a possibility when asked about it.
The big man normally doesn't show up at UFC fight cards unless he is fighting. It was a bit surprising to see him at UFC 146. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he has a history with heavyweight challenger Frank Mir and that the champion Junior dos Santos was supposed to be his opponent after they coached against each other on The Ultimate Fighter.
I think Lesnar had ulterior motives in gracing fans with his presence last night.
The one problem with a comeback is that Lesnar is back in the WWE and signed a one-year contract where he is supposed to make 30 to 40 appearances.
In his return to the squared circle, Lesnar lost to WWE star John Cena and it apparently upset Lesnar in the fashion the post match went down.
Lesnar sent Paul Heyman to quit the WWE for him shortly after the loss to Cena, but most people chalk that up to being a storyline to play off of.
With Lesnar's appearance at UFC 146 last night, people must be starting to wonder if there was any truth to him quitting and the possibility of a UFC comeback seems plausible.
Lesnar left the UFC with a 5-3 record and was on a two-fight losing streak in fights where he was demolished in the first rounds by Cain Velasquez and UFC newcomer Alistair Overeem.
His wins inside the cage were over former champions Frank Mir and Randy Couture, along with victories over Shane Carwin and a currently retired Heath Herring. He's beat some legitimate fighters, but in his fights with Velasquez, Overeem as well as Carwin fans saw Lesnar exposed on the feet, it became clear that although he could throw some hard punches, he didn't like eating them one bit.
Lesnar did go through a very difficult time with his health after wining the UFC heavyweight title against Frank Mir, though. He had to withdraw from his first defense against Carwin and his fight with Dos Santos due to bouts with diverticulitis. The latter bout resulted in the removal of 12 inches of his colon.
It's safe to say that he never looked the same after his first bout with the disease.
Against Overeem he seemed to have had a good camp leading up to the fight and looked in good shape, but the Dutch kickboxer's knees and liver kick were too much. Lesnar couldn't score a takedown in the fight and he looked like a fish out of water with Overeem.
That being said, nobody can deny that Lesnar had success inside the Octagon against some legitimate opponents and his wrestling, top control and ground and pound are pretty decent.
If Lesnar does decide to return, hopefully he commits to working on his striking defense with the right camp and he needs to take it slow.
I'm not saying he has to fight on the prelims forever before getting a shot, but he needs a couple tune-up fights before facing the upper echelon of the division again. An eventual rematch against Frank Mir—to complete the trilogy—would obviously make sense.
The UFC heavyweight division looked stacked as ever with Lesnar, Dos Santos, Velasquez and Overeem. With Lesnar retired and Overeem serving out a nine-month suspension, the division is still strong as evidenced by last night's all-heavyweight card, but it has definitely lost some of its luster. A comeback from Lesnar would do a lot for the division and for the UFC in general, even if he isn't the best fighter ever.
The fact of the matter is, win or lose, fans wanted to see Brock fight. Nobody else in the UFC with only seven fights has drawn fans the way Lesnar did when he was fighting.
Don't expect Lesnar back anytime soon and expect the rumor mill to be milling for a while before we hear anything concrete on Lesnar's future. The fact of the matter is just talking about Lesnar is good for business in the UFC, and yes, fans are probably going to have deal with more Lesnar headlines than ever before.