Brock Lesnar was interviewed by Hannah Storm on ESPN on Monday regarding his MMA return at UFC 200. The following are the highlights of the interview.
-The segment opened with footage of Brock Lesnar announcing his retirement from UFC back in April, 2015.
-Storm asked what’s changed. “I gotta sit here and watch that,” Lesnar said with a laugh. He said he is returning to UFC because he couldn’t live with his decision. He said it has haunted him for the last 15 months of his life.
-Lesnar said he immediately regretted the decision. He said he didn’t even tell his wife, but it has haunted him for a long time. Lesnar said the true competitor in him is “alive and well and I have to do this.”
-Lesnar said he felt cheated out of his career in UFC because of diverticulitis. He said he feels like he never lost to an opponent, he lost to the illness. Lesnar said he feels “one thousand percent” and doesn’t have to fake telling anyone that he’s in the best shape of his life.
-Lesnar announced that he will be facing Mark Hunt at UFC 200 on July 9. Lesnar said he had no say in whom he would face. Lesnar said he’s a grappler and Hunt is a heavy hitter. He said that’s what people want to see. He said that if Hunt ends up on the ground then the fight is over. Lesnar said he has been working and needs to work on his standup.
-Lesnar said the fight wasn’t anyone else’s idea and no one approached him about it. He said he picked up the phone. He said it was three months ago when he asked what the chances of having him on the UFC 200 card. He said he is still under contract to WWE. He said he had to have a big boy meeting with Vince McMcMahon.
-Lesnar described himself as the “modern day Bo Jackson.” Lesnar said he is excited that both companies have faith in him to allow him back inside the octagon. Lesnar spoke about how he is big business. “At the end of the day, I am a prizefighter,” he said. Lesnar said it’s not about the money. He said money is very important to him, but fighting is in his heart. “It just so happens that I am making a boatload of money,” he said with a laugh. He said there are “lots of zeroes” in his deal, but he declined to say how much he is being paid.
-Storm asked whether this will be enough if he is successful at UFC 200. “Who knows?” he said. “It may just be a tease. I don’t know the answer to that right now.” Lesnar hyped that he has another big even coming up at WWE SummerSlam. He said he doesn’t know who his opponent will be at SummerSlam.
-Lesnar was asked how long he has been training. He joked that he went swimming on Sunday morning. He did not specify when he started training. He said he has to be in completely different shape for UFC compared to WWE. He said Dana White didn’t take him seriously at first.
-Lesnar was asked about reporter Ariel Helwani being banned for life for breaking the news of his return. “I don’t even know who that is,” Lesnar said. He noted that he doesn’t take part in social media and said, “The only thing I care about is me.”
-Storm asked about Conor McGregor claiming he is a bigger draw than Lesnar. Brock said he doesn’t know McGregor personally. He said he thinks it’s great that guys can talk the talk and walk the walk. He said he has no qualms with anybody. He said he just know what he was paid and he’s happy with that. “I don’t hang my championships on the wall because they don’t pay the bills,” Lesnar said.
-Lesnar spoke about the death of Muhammad Ali. He said he met Ali and shook his hand once. He said Parkinson’s had taken over and Ali couldn’t speak, yet he felt something powerful from him. “He never spoke a world to me, but I felt the presence and power from him,” Lesnar said. Brock said Ali set the stage for big business by being flashy on the outside and flashy on the inside. Lesnar said forget how great of a champion he was, living with Parkinson’s is a feat of its own.
-Lesnar said his own legacy isn’t something he thinks about. He said he thinks about people who worry about their legacy “are shallow in the soul.” This concluded the interview.
Powell’s POV: I will have plenty to say about Lesnar’s return to UFC and this interview in today’s Prowrestling.net All Access Daily Podcast.