Brock Lesnar says initial UFC talks were for November return in NYC, wanted to fight “before it’s too late”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Brock Lesnar (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Brock Lesnar was on his first UFC conference call in more than four years on Thursday, and he touched on a number of topics as he overtook the call that also included his opponent Mark Hunt and headliners Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

Lesnar said the July 9 UFC 200 date came as somewhat of a surprise, and they came down to the wire on getting a deal done after initial talks of a fall return to the cage.

“I wasn’t sure if it was even gonna happen,” Lesnar said when asked how long he’s been in camp for this event. “I don’t remember the date. I’ve been training four or five weeks. Before my call to Dana I wasn’t even sure this thing was gonna happen at UFC 200. We had talked and thought maybe we could put something together by November for New York. I’ll fight wherever the money’s right. We took it to the eleventh hour and that’s where we’re at. It is what it is.”

As for whether this is a long term return or a one-off fight, Lesnar’s simply not sure. This fight’s about doing something that was taken away from him due to illness the first time around, and he’s not ready to do anything more than fight Hunt in Las Vegas.

“I don’t know [if I’ll fight more after this],” Lesnar said. “I feel really good. Training camp is going great. I’m happy. I’m happy with my life, I’m happy with everything. Since I left the Octagon after I got beat by Overeem and was kind of forced out of the cage because of my illness it haunted me for a long time. Before it’s too late I wanted to get back in the cage and have fun with it. This is all about having fun. I’m not looking past this fight. I’m just taking it one day at a time, one training session at a time, and I’m looking forward to July 9. I’m grateful that Mark Hunt took the fight. It was short notice for me and him, so we’ll see what happens on the 9th.”

Lesnar also made it perfectly clear this is for him, responding “I don’t give a s***” when asked his thoughts on it affecting his WWE draw. And as for Hunt’s PED accusations, Lesnar had a simple message:

“I’m a white boy, and I’m jacked. Deal with it.”

Penick’s Analysis: The UFC needed Lesnar for this card more than anything, pushing up the return perhaps quicker than Lesnar had in mind, but he’s stepping up for it anyway. If he wins here, we may still see him fight at UFC 205 depending on what the WWE wants to do with him after this matchup. He clearly doesn’t care if it negatively affects his time in the WWE, and he’s got money enough to simply walk away if it becomes an issue. If instead it only elevates him further, he’ll probably take that in stride as well. That’s kind of been how he’s handled things for the last several years. He’s doing what he wants to do, and he’s gotten two companies to pay him handsomely in the process. It’s a hell of a gig if you can get it.

[Brock Lesnar art by Grant Gould (c)]

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