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Brock Lesnar: Dana White didn't call me to come back -- 'I made the phone call'

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The UFC wanted a big splash at UFC 200, so the promotion enlisted help from perhaps its most massive star in Brock Lesnar. That seems to be the prevailing narrative.

It didn't go quite like that, though, according to Lesnar. The former UFC heavyweight champion told his WWE on-air advocate and longtime friend Paul Heyman that he was the one who picked up the phone and called UFC president Dana White. Not vice versa.

Dana White didn't call me up for this," Lesnar said. "I made the phone call. You can't get into the Octagon half-assedly, nor would I make the call if I wanted to half-assedly get in the Octagon, because I'm smarter than that. I know how dangerous it is. It's a dangerous sport. I wouldn't put my health at risk for my family by no means. My head is in the game on this. I'm 100 percent all in. All in. No doubts in my mind. No doubt at all."

Lesnar, 38, retired from the UFC in 2011 after an incredible three-year run. He had multiple bouts with diverticulitis and lost his last two bouts to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem. "The Beast" said he just wasn't himself due to the disease.

"I ended up getting beat by foes that in my mindset I should have never lost to," Lesnar said. "I lost to diverticulitis. I lost to Cain Velasquez. I lost to Alistair Overeem. I'm not here to avenge any loss other than to avenge the loss that I took to diverticulitis. I just want it.

"When I was inside the Octagon my last few fights, I believe I wasn't the man that I needed to be. I was faking it. I was faking it to be in there. I was faking it that a disease was more powerful me -- I was faking that I was more powerful than it."

Lesnar, who will remain on WWE's roster and return for its SummerSlam event in August, said he is already in a training camp with former MMA and college wrestling coach Marty Morgan and others in his home of Regina, Saskatchewan. He'll take on Mark Hunt at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, it was announced Monday on ESPN.

"We're getting geared up already," Lesnar said. "It's already put together. I've got lots of help. I've got lots of people that are excited about this."

Lesnar came from WWE to MMA in 2007 and won the UFC heavyweight title from Randy Couture a year later. He defended the belt against Frank Mir and Shane Carwin. He is tied with three other former champions for the most title defenses at heavyweight in the UFC. Lesnar was a decorated amateur wrestler and national champion at the University of Minnesota.

It's unclear if Lesnar is back for the long term or just for UFC 200. But either way, he is happy to be back.

"When I left the UFC, I didn't get to leave on my terms," Lesnar said. "I'm not saying I'm coming back to end something that I didn't get to finish on my terms. I want to be inside the Octagon again and I want to be inside the Octagon healthy and I want to be inside the Octagon under my terms."