Brock Lesnar will fight Mark Hunt in the co-main event of the blockbuster UFC 200 card on July 9th In Las Vegas.
Lesnar confirmed the match-up himself this morning during an interview on ESPN’s Sportscenter, revealing that it was he who had initially set the ball rolling for his unexpected return to the Octagon.
“It’s very simple,” Lesnar said when asked how the fight came about. “Nobody called me. It was nobody else’s idea. Dana didn’t pick up the phone because [they] need to fill a spot. It didn’t happen like that. I picked up the phone. It was me. I don’t even remember [when]. It was three months ago. It’s taken some time for things to play out, but I just said, ‘What are the chances of having Brock Lesnar on the card at UFC 200?’ And we got together, obviously I’m still under contract with WWE.”
Lesnar had entertained the idea of returning to the UFC last year, but then opted to extend his contract with the WWE instead, which seemed to rule out the possibility that he’d ever fight again.
However, Lesnar says that he’s since had some regrets regarding that decision, and so he decided to do something about it.
“I couldn’t live with that decision.” Lesnar said. “Going back to that interview [when I said I was done with MMA for good], it was a hard decision for me to make. That decision has haunted me for the last 15 months, and I figured I couldn’t live like that for the rest of my life.
“I’m a big believer of living out your dreams and facing your fears and just facing the reality of, I don’t want to be sitting 20 years from now and saying, ‘You know what son? You should’ve went and did that.’ And here I am. And on the biggest stage of all – I was on UFC 100, so why not be on UFC 200?”
As for his opponent, Mark Hunt, the 38 year-old says claims he was willing to fight anybody.
“Why not? It could be anybody. I didn’t care,” Lesnar said of the match-up. “If Dana White called me and said, ‘You have opponent X, Y, and Z, who do you want?’ He never gave me those options. This is the guy that we want you to face, I said, ‘Great. This is what I’m going to do.'”
Several months ago Dana White said that people’s minds would be blown by the time the UFC 200 card was finalized, and with Lesnar on-board, he’s delivered on that promise.
In his heyday, the former UFC heavyweight champion was the biggest draw in the sport, and when he left in 2011, it took years before the likes of Ronda Rousey and then Conor McGregor started to rival the numbers that he regularly delivered during his time in the organization.
Added in as the co-main event for an already stacked card that’s headlined by a light-heavyweight rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, plus woman’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate’s first defense against Amanda Nunes and an interim 145lb title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar, and you’ve got yourself a stellar line-up that could rival UFC 100’s record 1.6 million pay-per-view buys.