Rumors have been running rampant regarding Lesnar’s professional future ever since former WWE commentator Jim Ross revealed in an interview with Fox Sports' Marc Raimondi that the pro wrestling star’s WWE contract was nearing its end.
According to Ross, Lesnar looks “phenomenal strength-wise” and “scary,” and the potential is definitely there to “return to the UFC and sell pay-per-views.”
But the UFC is no longer the only player in town.
Bellator has climbed the promotional ranks and carved out a nice spot for itself on Spike TV. Not to mention, the promotion is backed by monetary juggernaut Viacom.
There is no doubt Bellator has the resources necessary to land Lesnar, who would instantly become the biggest free-agent signing in the company’s history. Bellator President Scott Coker addressed this rumor when speaking with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting):
We've had a conversation internally and it's worth a conversation, but that's something we'll pursue maybe later into January. ...
I would say, look, any fighter that's out there or any star athlete - not star athlete in the sense of a baseball player, but like a Brock Lesnar - that really wants to fight, we're going to have a conversation with them. Because if they can move the needle, we're going to want them on Spike TV.
Lesnar certainly moved the needle during his time in the UFC.
With a little over a year of MMA experience, the former WWE champion leapfrogged to the top of the division and defeated UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture to become heavyweight champion.
During his two-year title reign, Lesnar was widely considered as one of the highest-grossing pay-per-view stars in MMA history. His time was unfortunately cut short in the sport after being diagnosed with diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder.
After losing back-to-back fights to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, Lesnar decided to call it quits and get his health in order. He eventually returned to his old stomping grounds in the WWE to make another run at professional wrestling.
With his contract nearing its end, there is no guarantee that Lesnar will even return to MMA. There is always the chance that he re-signs with WWE or he could even decline all offers and ride off into the sunset to live off his earnings.
As for MMA, the choice between Bellator and the UFC could simply be between money and fighting the best in the world.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.