Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar believes that he might have never gone back to pro wrestling if he hadn’t had to deal with diverticulitis
If you’re a fan of MMA or pro wrestling, you likely know the story of Brock Lesnar. First came NCAA championships in amateur wrestling. Then a long, lucrative pro wrestling career. Then he decided to go to MMA, and became UFC heavyweight champion. But stomach issues ended all that, and he went back to the WWE. After flirting with a return to MMA earlier this year, Brock re-signed with WWE and will likely end his days in the squared circle.
His possible return to MMA was very real though, according to Lesnar. He explained the situation on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast on the WWE Network (via Fox Sports):
“It wasn’t a bluff. I felt robbed by diverticulitis. I felt robbed by being sick. I was feeling good and it took me a couple years to start feeling good. I’m at home, I’m working out, my life is great, everything’s in tune, my contract’s coming to an end with WWE, hey it’s been a great time but something’s missing.
“I was up front and totally honest with the company and told them I’m really thinking of pursuing getting back in the Octagon.”
He explained that he didn’t take his first bout with diverticulitis seriously enough, and it ended up putting him in the hospital with 105-degree temperature and having to undergo emergency surgery. A second bout of it just made things harder on the former champ:
“You saw me (at 100 percent) in the fight against Randy (Couture) but it got worse. When I’d get halfway through a training camp and I knew something was wrong. There’s something physically wrong with me so I need to figure it out.”
After another run on top with WWE, his contract was set to expire early this year, and he had a decision to make. He actually did a training camp to see if he was prepared to return to the grind of cage fighting:
“I started training camp. I wanted to test myself and see where I was — not more physical, but mentally,” Lesnar said. “I wanted to see the mental challenges that it was going to take. If your head’s not in the game, the last place you want to get into is in the Octagon.”
Obviously he ended up choosing pro wrestling instead, but he still wonders about the road he wasn’t able to take:
“It was really unfair for me,” Lesnar said. “To this day, I don’t know if I’d be a pro wrestler if I hadn’t gotten sick. I may not be here. I’d still be banging heads.”