Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar signed a new contract Monday night with World Wrestling Entertainment, and said he was closing the book on mixed martial arts for good.
Sources in WWE had said that it was imperative that Lesnar make his decision by last night so that plans for WrestleMania could be made, which takes place on Sunday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Lesnar is in the main event on the show, defending the WWE championship against Roman Reigns. If he had not signed, the result of the main event would be obvious, since he would have to lose.
"It was a very hard decision to make," Lesnar said Tuesday night on ESPN SportsCenter.
Lesnar told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he turned down an offer worth "10 times" what he was making during his UFC run. He also claimed the UFC tried to increase its offer when he called to inform them he was returning to WWE on Tuesday.
Lesnar, who turns 38 in July, was at a crossroads and said he'd spent numerous sleepless nights weighing his options between UFC and WWE. He said he was serious enough that he had started MMA training two-and-a-half months ago.
The belief is that WWE had an edge in the talks because of the age factor, and that Lesnar had been out of the Octagon for nearly three-and-a-half years.
Lesnar had been UFC heavyweight champion and was a huge pay-per-view draw during his 2008-2011 run, which saw health issues keep him from reaching his potential in the sport. He said it had bothered him that his sports career ended with a losing streak.
"I've been training to get back into the Octagon," he said. "I felt physically great, but something lacked mentally and that's not good."
"I talked to Dana (White), I talked to Lorenzo (Fertitta), Vince (McMahon), my wife, my friends, I had many sleepless nights and at the end of the day, I was born to be an entertainer and I have fun doing it."
He also said he is not considering going back to MMA from this point forward.
"I'm officially closing the door on the sport of MMA. I signed last night with the WWE. We came to a conclusion last night. The offer on the table I couldn't refuse. I think it's fair to the fans, and I want to be fair to the fans to know that on Sunday, I'm going to hold that damn belt. It was public knowledge (that his contract was coming due and he was considering MMA) and it was out there as to, What is Brock going to do?"
Lesnar joked, "I'm an older caveman now and I make wiser caveman decisions. My legacy in the Octagon is over."