The frustration from the MMA world is entirely understandable.
After a year of teasing the potential title fight, UFC president Dana White dropped the bombshell announcement that Brock Lesnar has retired from the sport and won’t be fighting Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight championship.
On the surface, it’s easy to see why it’s good news and why there’s still a great sense of disappointment with this whole scenario.
Yes, the former WWE Universal Champion isn’t going to make even more of a mockery out of the rankings and immediately challenge DC. However, the fact he kept the division on hold – and even Cormier who was holding out for a mega payday – is what has irked MMA fans the most.
Instead, we’re finally getting the rematch between Cormier and Stipe Miocic later this year.
It was a surprise, though, as Lesnar also re-entered the USADA testing pool which made the move seem genuine and that an Octagon return was inevitable, especially since he was defeated at the WWE’s WrestleMania event last month.
However, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, negotiations broke down because of money playing a big factor.
With the UFC’s pay-per-view events now exclusive to ESPN+ in the US, Lesnar reportedly wanted to negotiate a flat fee which the UFC turned down.
According to Bloody Elbow, he said: “Lesnar had a certain price he wanted guaranteed to do the Cormier fight.
“UFC, which, with its ESPN deal where the PPV money is guaranteed, didn’t meet the offer.
“Lesnar had a certain price he wanted that was worth it to him to go through a hard training camp at 42 and then get into the cage with an all-time great fighter and athlete in Cormier.
“Plus, WWE has continued to offer Lesnar strong deals for limited dates, and on a Lesnar schedule, pro wrestling is far safer and offers considerably more longevity.
“Given the move from television PPV to streaming, with the corresponding expected major drop in PPV buys, Lesnar, like Jon Jones and Conor McGregor, have to sign deals based on guaranteed money rather than a percentage of the PPV.
“At the same time, UFC, with the ESPN deal, doesn’t have the financial pressure of needing to do so. UFC doesn’t need Lesnar back nearly as bad now as they would have when they were openly talking about it. If Lesnar was seriously considering coming back, and for Lesnar, every play is economics, the situation had changed significantly as far as the nature of the deal that would have to be offered.”
Now that we’ve moved away from this negative saga, fans can look forward to seeing whether Cormier can repeat what he did the first time when he took on Ohio’s Miocic.
What do you make of the reason why Brock Lesnar’s UFC return broke down? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.