The MMA world on Saturday found out that Brock Lesnar was headed back to the Octagon for UFC 200. Now, Lesnar has an opponent for July 9.
The former UFC champion appeared on ESPN's “SportsCenter” on Monday to officially announce his Octagon return and confirm his opponent: Lesnar will take on 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix champion Mark Hunt in the co-main event of UFC 200 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The 38-year-old Lesnar has not competed in mixed martial arts since December 2011, when he was knocked out in less than three minutes by Alistair Overeem. Prior to that contest, Lesnar lost the UFC heavyweight championship to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 in October 2010, succumbing to punches from the American Kickboxing Academy fighter in the first round. Following his exit from the UFC, Lesnar resumed his pro wrestling career for World Wrestling Entertainment.
Over three years after his last MMA bout, Lesnar appeared on “SportsCenter” on March 24, 2015, to announce he had signed another contract with WWE, was officially retiring from MMA competition and that pro wrestling offered him the chance to “work part-time with full-time pay.”
WWE on Sunday posted the following statement regarding Lesnar's participation at UFC 200: “Brock Lesnar remains under contract to WWE, however, he has been granted a one-off opportunity to compete at UFC 200. Following this milestone event on July 9, Brock will return to WWE for SummerSlam on Sunday, August 21, live on WWE Network.”
Hunt, 42, suffered consecutive knockout losses to former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum and current champion Stipe Miocic in November 2014 and May 2015, respectively. “The Super Samoan” rebounded impressively, easily knocking out Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 193 in November November before clattering Frank Mir in just over three minutes in March.