It doesn’t look like Brock Lesnar will be back in the Octagon after all.
“Brock Lesnar told me he’s done,” White told ESPN. “He’s retiring.”
MMA Fighting subsequently confirmed news of Lesnar’s intentions to retire.
This develop comes in the wake of long-running speculation that Lesnar, a former UFC heavyweight champion, would return to fight again following a seven-year stint with the WWE (during which he also competed at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016) and challenge current heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. The two had an in-cage confrontation at UFC 226 last July following Cormier’s first-round knockout of then-champion Stipe Miocic.
Cormier has said on multiple occasions that his plan is to make Lesnar one of his final opponents before retiring, referring to Lesnar’s history as one of the biggest draws in the history of combat sports. However, with Lesnar’s apparent retirement, ESPN is reporting that the UFC is looking to book a rematch between Cormier and Miocic for an Aug. 17 pay-per-view in Anaheim, California, a matchup that Miocic has been campaigning for since their first meeting.
Lesnar’s return was complicated by his ongoing obligations with the WWE as well as a one-year suspension for a failed drug test from July 2016 that was still to be served. Should Lesnar truly be finished, he retires with a 5-3 (1 NC) record in MMA, including two successful defenses of the UFC heavyweight title.