Brock Lesnar remains big business in the MMA world despite losing his title to Cain Velasquez in September of last year, and with The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 about to get underway on Wednesday night with Lesnar installed as a team coach, he’s about to come back under the spotlight in a big way.
Before that Lesnar sat down for a rare interview with MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani, talking about his loss, his time on the show, and his rivalry with WWE star The Undertaker.
Read keynotes from their conversation below, and scroll down to watch the full video.
– Lesnar reveals he just watched his loss to Velasquez last week for the first time. He admits that “he beat my ass” though he still seems at a loss to explain exactly what went wrong.
At one stage he suggests that he rushed the fight, putting on too much pressure too early, and going against his gameplan by trading punches with Velasquez.
He also adds that perhaps it was just too much too soon after having fought off a potentially life-threatening illness, Diverticulitis, welcomed a new child into the world as well as defending his title against Shane Carwin all within the space of a year.
– Despite the disappointment of the defeat Lesnar feels that he’s landed on his feet since he’s now fighting Junior Dos Santos, who he’d have been fighting anyway even if he had beaten Velasquez, plus he got to take a starring role in the new series of TUF.
– The former champion denies the rumors after the fight that he was thinking of retiring from the sport. He says that rumors like that probably start because, whether he wins or loses, he “goes dark” after his fights for several months.
He admits that he did re-evaluate what he was doing since he puts himself at risk of serious injury every time he fights, but in the end he says he fights for his family and because he loves the sport.
He seems to like the constant speculation surrounding him when he’s out of the spotlight though, describing it as “a good thing.”
– Lesnar says that after the Velasquez fight he was “a bit delerious” and describes the beating he received in the Octagon as “putting me on a street I didn’t know the name of.”
He says he was still feeling this way as he walked from the cage and found himself confronted by WWE star ‘The Undertaker’ who had attended the fight.
Lesnar claims he has no idea what he wanted, whether he wanted to fight with him or just to get some attention. Later he implies that perhaps it’s just jealousy from the pro wrestlers, stating his belief that no-one else from that field could crossover to MMA with the level of success that he did.
He also reveals that though he enjoyed working with The Undertaker when they were both performing for the WWE, that their relationship has soured since with some words being exchanged back and forth via a mutual friend.
– Lesnar says that if The Undertaker wanted to make the transition to MMA by fighting him, he’d be up for it, but notes that “he doesn’t have a chance in hell.”
– He says it took a lot of persuading by Dana White to get him to feature on TUF 13, but that he’s glad he did it as it got him out of his comfort zone and he learned from it, appearing to relish playing the role of teacher to the fighters.
– Lesnar says he holds no animosity towards his opposite coach Junior Dos Santos, but adds that through their interactions he “got a read” on his opponent that gives him confidence for their upcoming fight, and makes him believe he can beat him.
– Finally he admits that there may come a time when he would return to wrestling, but for now he’s more than happy being in MMA, and says, “my home is the Octagon.”