He might not express it in the same manner as the rest of us, but Brock Lesnar is enjoying all that comes with UFC 200.
When he retired following a loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141, Lesnar was a shell of the man who took the MMA world by storm at the beginning of his career due to a life-threatening battle with the intestinal disease diverticulitis. And then, after a brief flirtation with a comeback last year, Lesnar said he was “closing the door’ on MMA.
Of course, things change, and now Lesnar will occupy the co-headlining spot at UFC 200 when he faces Mark Hunt on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The hulking South Dakota native might not be the most sentimental guy, but even he had to admit that it has been a little surreal going through the fight week process again after such a long absence.
“When I flew in I’ve been taking it all in. In years past I took it for granted. Not only [did I] take it for granted, I wasn’t mentally in the right place,” Lesnar said at press conference on Wednesday. “ I ‘m really happy to walk in and check in. Everything. Even flying in to Vegas.”
Lesnar’s showdown with Hunt is supposed to be a one-off deal before he returns to World Wrestling Entertainment in time for SummerSlam in August. A lot could depend on how he performs against Hunt, but Lesnar is at least considering the possibility of a future UFC fight down the road.
“This may be a teaser, I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I have no idea. I never say never.”
Lesnar would not speculate on whether his relationship with WWE chairman Vince McMahon was such that it would allow him to continue to perform for both organizations.
“I guess that’s not a question for me, that’s a question for Vince McMahon,” Lesnar said. “I don’t know. We’ll get through Saturday and see what happens. I have no idea. After Saturday I think I’m booked [in the WWE] for August.”
Lesnar is a betting underdog against Hunt, who has fought nine times in the Octagon since his celebrated opponent departed from the Las Vegas-based promotion. Lesnar says he is prepared for all possible outcomes and will savor the moment regardless of the end result.
“Obviously, I’m here to win a fight but it’s fighting and anything can happen,” he said. “But I’m prepared for whatever. I don’t think it’s going to define me. I’m just happy to be here. I really am. It’s no bulls--t. This is exciting. I’m on the card at UFC 200.”
While diverticulitis clearly robbed Lesnar of some prime fighting years, he claims that the disease has not hindered him in quite some time. The biggest proof? His presence on the dais on Wednesday afternoon.
“My health is behind me. I’m sitting here at UFC 200, soaking it all in,” he said. “I feel great. It’s good to be back. There’s nothing else to say. I’m here I feel great; that’s it.”