With his UFC career well behind him, it would make little sense for Brock Lesnar to turn back now.
Known as "The Next Big Thing" in the WWE, Lesnar lived up to that nickname in his crossover to MMA. After only one professional bout, the former NCAA Division I wrestling champ was offered a UFC contract and a bout against former heavyweight champ Frank Mir.
Lesnar came out on the losing end of his UFC debut, but his freakish size and incredible athletic ability garnered plenty of attention from fans and UFC President Dana White, who decided to give him a second chance.
White's generosity would pay off big time as Lesnar trounced Heath Herring in his second UFC bout.
Whether fans cheered for or against him, there has never been a spectacle in the history of MMA quite like Brock Lesnar.
He garnered constant mainstream attention that even superseded all-time greats in Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell.
White saw no reason to delay the inevitable. After the Herring fight, he offered Lesnar a UFC title shot against Couture, another gamble that would once again pay off.
Lesnar ousted the Hall of Famer and took his place at the top of the heavyweight division.
After winning the title, Lesnar would only rack up a couple of successful defenses before dropping back to back losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem. He officially announced his retirement from MMA in December 2011.
As a former world champion, it's natural for a fighter to enter into the UFC Hall of Fame debate.
Is Lesnar worthy?
His manager and close friend Paul Heyman seems to think so, as reported in his recent interview with MMAjunkie.com.
"Of course he is [a UFC Hall of Famer]. Listen, here's the thing: Look at the three that he lost to, number one. Number two, what if Brock Lesnar did what everyone else did and said, 'Feed me a guy every other month for three years so I'll get six victories a year. I'll be 18-0 before you put me in there with a Frank Mir, a former UFC heavyweight champion, or Randy Couture and the legends of legends in UFC.' But he didn't do that. He walked in and said give me your best."
It can be argued that Lesnar had a minor hand in the UFC's continued growth. He helped bring new eyes to the sport. There have been many well-known professional wrestlers try their hand at MMA, but none have found the same success as Lesnar.
The world was obsessed with the former WWE superstar turned UFC fighter. It was an infatuation that couldn't be toppled.
Even with Lesnar gone, there is still some hope permeating through the UFC that he will return one day. White has even kicked around the idea of a super fight between Lesnar and Emelianenko.
Unfortunately, the odds of such a bout happening are slim to none. At 35 years old, Lesnar appears to be done fighting. According to Heyman, there really isn't anything left to prove.
Lesnar has already won the UFC heavyweight title. His bank account is stocked with millions, and he keeps active with occasional WWE appearances.
Why take any more unnecessary health risks?
"I think Dana White would love to have Brock Lesnar back. I think Lorenzo Fertitta would love to have Brock Lesnar back. Does Brock Lesnar want to go back? I don't think Brock has anything to prove in the UFC anymore. He's 35 years old. He made a lot of money in the UFC.
His house and his farms and his cars and everything that he owns is paid for. Why would he go in and risk injury and concussions and risk any kind of physical damage when he doesn't need to? That's the thing you have to understand. How hungry can a fighter be when he has millions and millions of dollars in the bank? What's there for him to gain? Another run as UFC heavyweight champion? Why would he do that?"
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